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German Resistance to the War Party’s Turkey-NATO Escalation Gambit: General Kujat Issues Warning

July 31, 2015 (EIRNS)—When the former head of the NATO Military Committee (2002-2005), German General Harald Kujat (ret.), calls Turkey’s recent moves against the Islamic State terrorists in Syria "dubious," then people should pay attention. General Kujat, the former senior military authority in the Western Alliance and former Bundeswehr Chief of Staff, told state radio Deutschlandfunk (DLF) yesterday, "Turkey has done nothing in the last two years to fight the Islamic State. To the contrary, there are many who say that Turkey has played a very dubious role in relation to IS."

In the interview he told DLF,

"When solidarity in the Alliance is called for, then one also has to note that Turkey itself for a long time has not shown solidarity with its allies. ... The question is, what is the strategic goal of Turkey? And it is completely clear that it is not the strategic goal [for Turkey] to fight IS as a priority, but to prevent a Kurdish state in the north of Iraq."

It happens that 80 German Bundeswehr troops are training the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq for defense against IS; the Syrian Kurds have played an invaluable role in the fight against the IS terrorists.

In a July 29 interview in the Saxony newspaper Freie Presse, General Kujat compared Turkey’s behavior to that of Saudi Arabia in Yemen: "I have pleaded for a long time, to bring Iran into discussions for a political and diplomatic solution. Iran could make major contributions." He even called for Arab states to put their old animosities behind them, in particular Saudi Arabia’s against Iran. "A regional alliance of Iran and Saudi Arabia could thus support the West in the fight against terror." But, as the Saudis are attacking the Houthi in Yemen, "Turkey is doing exactly the same. Under the cover of assisting the fight against IS, they are moving first against their privileged enemy, the Kurds."

In terms of differences at the military level within NATO, General Kujat made reference to the situation within the U.S.:

"Americans don’t want to always have to put their head on the line. They have seen how difficult it is to bring stability to this region, with two Iraq wars, and in Afghanistan. The best example is Iraq, which is still a stomping ground for terrorists,"

and noted, "the American population seems to have had enough of this," including a reference to the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign.

Kujat is known for his sharp criticism that "NATO failed in the Ukraine crisis," and made "not a bit of a contribution to de-escalation," when speaking to Bavaria’s Bayern 2 radio, on April 16, 2014. He has called repeatedly for the U.S. President to sit down with Russian President Putin, who would negotiate with the U.S. "on a level playing field."