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Is Turkey Ready for a War with Syria?


This article examines whether Turkey is ready for a full-scale military conflict with Bashar Al-Assad’s Syria. It draws from an adaptation of Clausewitz’s concept of three resources that a state must possess to be able to win a war: the fighting forces proper, popular support, and its allies. Turkey is at a significant disadvantage when it comes to its air force and air defense capabilities. Should a major confrontation erupt, Turkey would not be guaranteed to be able to control the relevant air space. Turkish citizens do not favor seeing their country in a foreign quagmire. Despite myriad differences, Turkey it is still deeply embedded within NATO, and its strategic interests do not differ from those of its strategic allies. Turkey also cannot afford to risk an open military conflict with Russia. The article concludes that Turkey is politically and militarily not capable of fighting a full-scale war in Syria.

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