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Entangling Alliance

June 27th, 2012 - 2:49 pm

There’s another wildfire with the potential to burn out of control — this one on the Turko-Syrian border:

When the Syrians shot down a Turkish military jet at the weekend, Turkey’s government responded with commendable moderation. But the temperature rose yesterday when the country’s Deputy Prime Minister, Bulent Arinc, revealed that Syria had gone on to fire on a plane sent to look for the missing pilots and described this as “a hostile act of the highest order”. Turkey is now threatening a military response against any Syrian forces approaching the long border between the two countries and has revised its military rules of engagement. . . .

But just as significantly Turkey is a member of Nato. Ankara has approached the alliance now under Article 4 of the Nato Treaty which allows any member state to demand a Nato meeting if it believes its “territorial integrity, political independence or security” is threatened.

Turkey hasn’t invoked Article 5, which would if approved would require Alliance action in defense of Turkey.

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