Journal: Turkey’s Grand Strategy

08 Wild Cards
Chuck Spinney Sends

Below and at the link is a comprehensive discussion of the emerging grand strategy that is shaping Turkey's foreign initiatives.  It deserves careful reading.

Stealth Superpower: How Turkey is chasing China to become the next big thing

by John Feffer

John Feffer is the co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, writes its regular World Beat column, and co-directs its Balkans Project. His past essays, including those for, can be read at his Web site. He would like to thank Alexander Atanasov, Rebecca Azhdam, and Noor Iqbal for research assistance.

Why doesn’t Turkey have a comparable grip on American visions of the future? Characters in science fiction novels don’t speak Turkish. Turkish-language programs are as scarce as hen’s teeth on college campuses. Turkey doesn’t even qualify as part of everyone’s favorite group of up-and-comers, that swinging BRIC quartet of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Turkey remains stubbornly fixed in Western culture as a backward-looking land of doner kebabs, bazaars, and guest workers.

But take population out of the equation – an admittedly big variable – and Turkey promptly becomes a likely candidate for future superpower. It possesses the 17th top economy in the world and, according to Goldman Sachs, has a good shot at breaking into the top 10 by 2050. Its economic muscle is also well defended: after decades of NATO assistance, the Turkish military is now a regional powerhouse.

Perhaps most importantly, Turkey occupies a vital crossroads between Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia. A predominantly Muslim democracy atop the ruins of Byzantium, it bridges the Islamic and Judeo-Christian traditions, even as it sits perched at the nexus of energy politics. All roads once led to Rome; today all pipelines seem to lead to Turkey. If superpower status followed the rules of real estate – location, location, location – then Turkey would already be near the top of the heap.


Review: Power Trip (Open Media Series)

4 Star, Corruption, Power (Pathologies & Utilization)

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

4.0 out of 5 stars Predictable, Useful, Lacks Real Structure,

July 25, 2003
John Feffer
Edit of 22 Dec 07 to add links.

I am a big fan of Seven Stories Press and their important work in bringing alternative views to the public. Unfortunately, they also tend to be somewhat predictable and repetitive, so minus one star.

Having said that, I rate this as a very important book that is worth buying, along with “Why People Hate America”, “The Fifty Year Wound”, and the books by Joe Nye. [See my reviews for a summative evaluation of each book.]

The book explores the mis-direction of US foreign policy, with sections on resources, military, international law, foreign economic policy, intelligence, and culture.

The book discusses the specifics of Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

The book attempts, but does not succeed, to present a chapter on “how things should change.” This chapter, while well-intentioned and undoubtedly sound in its specifics, misses the mark in terms of presenting a comprehensive alternative foreign policy that supports both American security and sustainable global prosperity. Indeed, I recommend my review of the Boren and Perkins book on foreign policy in the 21st Century, which includes 18 key points made by their distinguished authors, as a superior listing of key points to consider.

US unilaterilism is making the world less safe for our children. Everything being today “in our name” is reducing both security and prosperity in the long run. This book is an important secondary reference, well worth buying, but it does not quite hit the home run that a winning Presidential candidate can use in 2004 to oppose the current program.

Bad Leadership:
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency
Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It
Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders Into Insiders

Good Leadership:
The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism: How the Financial System Underminded Social Ideals, Damaged Trust in the Markets, Robbed Investors of Trillions – and What to Do About It
One from Many: VISA and the Rise of Chaordic Organization
The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All
Society's Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People
Day of Reckoning: How Hubris, Ideology, and Greed Are Tearing America Apart
Independents Day: Awakening the American Spirit

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