The American Hudson Institute of Research held a meeting with Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse on the Turkish threats to the population of northern and eastern Syria, the Russian missile deal to Ankara and the fate of NATO.
Turkey has posed new threats. Its purchase of the S-400 missile system from Russia threatens NATO. The Turkish military has been massing at the Turkey-Syria frontier, threatening the people of northeast Syria and U.S. military personnel.
In this context Whitehouse said,"I think with respect to the purchase of the anti-aircraft weapons, the Armed Services Committee and the Department of Defense are going to do a pretty good job of protecting themselves there. With respect to the various threats, I think it’s time to take a slightly stronger line. We’ve always backed off, even letting the Armenian Genocide resolution to go forward because we need their airbases. And I think that some of the problems in Syria are being exacerbated there."
I’ve been a big fan of the Kurds. I think the Kurdish effort in the Middle East in our wars was incredibly helpful. The northern part of Iraq was kept more or less safe because of extremely brave Kurdish fighters who were unbelievably effective per pound of hardware that they required. And I think that panics the Turks because of their Kurdish population. But if we start letting ourselves get rolled by countries like Turkey – I think Erdogan’s a pretty dangerous guy. We’ve got to be very careful there. That’s about as far as I’ll go.
On the future of Turkey as a member of NATO he said, " It’s busily degrading it."