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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Turkey’s military tries to restore trust with Moscow


On Wednesday, the Russian military has completed the evaluation of the inspection Turkish bases in the Command of the marine brigade. Previously, Turkey has actually linked its implementation with parallel inspection of Ukrainians that has become Ankara a kind of “diplomatic trick”. It is, however, unlikely to help: claims for military opacity of the Turks is even in NATO.

The base of the Turkish Navy “Foca” is the only part of the Turkish army and Navy amphibious brigade, intended to conduct independent amphibious operations to seize and hold the bridgehead on the Bank. There are six battalions of Marines, but they are focused on the action on the coastal areas in conjunction with land forces and air support. In Turkey believe that the amphibious brigade is perhaps the most prepared connection in all the armed forces. Approximate number – about 3 thousand people (four of a battalion of Marines and a battalion of support). Commander in the rank of Brigadier General is directly subordinated to the command of the southern naval zone.

“Medieval political thinking of Ankara seems to be clever and meaningful only by the Turks. Both Moscow and Europe tend to answer or chuckle, or shrug”

The “Foce” is located and a small detachment of special forces Su Alti Taarruz. The base itself by area, quite large – more than 18 thousand square kilometers around an elongated fjord. To inspect such an object in the light period, to put it mildly, problematic. Especially when “hanging on the shoulders of the” few specially trained staff of the Turkish defense Ministry Department responsible for intelligence analysis, information, and arms control. But the Turkish side stated that Russian inspectors on 30 March has already left the Mouth, the helicopter they were taken to Istanbul, where they will be sent to Russia.

If we proceed from the legal language, such inspections are carried out in the framework of the Vienna document of the OSCE in 2011 to “determine the extent of the military activity or lack thereof”. In this case, the parties to the agreement shall notify each other of their military activities and to respond promptly to questions, if any. But in practice they’re limited to the implementation of a number of formal manipulations, rather showing the extent of the political and diplomatic trust than the actual military control.

This strange situation has been aggravated by the crisis in Ukraine, which is almost buried everything that was included in the original agreement of the OSCE. Monitoring mechanisms are now highly politicized and the transparency moves to the zero point. It is noteworthy that this situation began to disturb even the Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg, who by their loyalty towards Russia was no different never. In his opinion, the Vienna document requires a serious revision in the direction of increasing transparency mechanisms. In this case we are not talking about unilateral concessions from the Russian side: Moscow and so extremely sensitive position performs all kinds of control measures and commissions. The only crisis in this area was initiated by the United States, but in just a few months of mutual inspection was continued.

But just in time for Turkey have a lot of issues, including NATO as the organization as a whole and from individual members of the Alliance. For example, Greece, in Turkey, in principle, devoid of “trusted mode”, and no inspection with representatives from Athens is just impossible. Despite all conciliatory advances of the European community, the final resolution of the Cyprus problem in sight. Total management commitment to Cyprus and the unrecognized Turkish Republic of some rules did not guarantee that the conflict may resume in the future. Nobody canceled, and constant aerial duels Greek and Turkish aircraft over the Aegean sea, and clarify the relationship because of a few disputed Islands. In this context, the amphibious brigade in Foca – the main stimulus for Athens. After all, during the conflict in Cyprus, and in the disputes over the Islands, the main factor “first stage” will be the speed of transfer by sea of the invading forces and – later – reinforcements. At the time, estimating possible losses when you try to transfer troops by air, the Turkish command decided to make a bet on the marine scheme of invasion. When Russia began shipping Greece modern air defenses, Turkey had refused the development of the airborne forces as a separate kind of troops.

“The shadow of Ukraine” hung over and the last Russian inspection. Apparently, the Turkish side agreed to it (Yes, she had no right to refuse, but the precedents in recent months already have been) only in the case of parallel stay in Turkey, the Ukrainian delegation with the same inspection. The Ukrainian delegation went to the main base South training regiment of tactical air command in Konya. That is, in the area directly related to the events in Syria. Nothing interesting for Ukraine there is not and can not be. But for the Russian representatives – on the contrary.

Moscow, in principle, anyway, as Ankara links these to international inspection with Ukraine. But this Comedy shows the precariousness of the whole architectural design of the European agreements on arms control. Now there was no multilateral Treaty of this type, which really would affect the military situation on the continent. The last operative document was the agreement on the flank quotas, who died in connection with the collapse of the USSR, although a few years NATO countries tried to insist on formal compliance, carrying out complex calculations, equipment and weapons of the new flanking States. Already border NATO has changed dramatically, and second, the high Contracting parties did not exist, and they are still trying to paint a flanking quota.

The current situation is already a system failure. Provided the instruments of control of military activity finally turned into a complex policy instruments with zero hands-on “exhaust”. Even with utilitarian-military point of view, they are meaningless. The same Turkish amphibious brigade raised the alarm less than an hour, and to determine the degree of readiness of such inspection impossible.

At the same time, Turkey though and managed to link inspection with Russian Ukrainian, has agreed to carry it out that the game Eastern mind was at the same time to demonstrate and “readiness for dialogue with Moscow”, and loyalty to common political course. Turned out indistinct, the benefit of medieval political thinking of Ankara seems to be clever and meaningful, with lots of signs and hints only by the Turks. Both Moscow and Europe tend to answer or chuckle, or shrug. Most recently, when the Turkish coast guard was not allowed to the Islands of the Aegean sea high-ranking European politicians, who wanted to inspect the work with refugees.

Jens Stoltenberg, by the way, the main complaint about the “opacity of the Treaty of the VD 2011” shows not Russia, it would be logical for him, namely the OSCE. This structure was the initiator of the project, and it is formally responsible for its failure. Now to revive the former system of the European treaties on arms control is meaningless. The rules are easier to write again is in line with the current strategic environment. And in this same situation is extremely exaggerated role to play “new European state”, and Turkey, to agree that new rules Brussels is extremely difficult. Turkey, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Poland are interested in maintaining the current level of confrontation and mistrust another couple years, hoping to correct for this time of budget problems at the expense of military spending by “old” NATO countries and the United States. And that’s not to mention Ukraine, with their usual eloquence actively oppose any pan-European projects if they as an equal partner to Russia appears.

However, inspection on the basis of “Foca” can serve as at least a slight impetus to the long overdue revision of outdated rules of the establishment of military trust. She is not alone, of course. But the correct assessment of the situation many of the countries concerned could make the correct conclusions from Turkish “hospitality.” And amphibious brigade in Foca, as Turkish frogmen, anywhere there not going anywhere. There is a very long fjord. Can to the open sea and not be able to come out as “Caliber” will arrive.

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