Tactic, strategy and the Middle East - YAŞAR TAŞKIN KOÇ

Tactic, strategy and the Middle East

Leading the army and aligning the military troops.

The first one is called strategy and the other one is tactic.

More precisely, the root of the words come from here.

Now we know they gained much more meaning over the course of time but those who are experts on these subjects, maybe rightfully, are leading the discourse up to war, armies and power. Unfortunately, humanity cannot develop strategy and tactic without those. However, apart from power, there is a wide world for strategy and tactic ranging from football, novels and science to art, human relations and philosophy.

But it is not happening; we cannot get rid of the bad principal element which we inherited from the etymological roots of words. What happens when we cannot get rid of it?

Are our tactics a part of a strategy?

Or do we have only short-term tactics and do we pretend like they are a strategy?

Is our diagnosis regarding what kind of arrangement will be made in the Middle East tomorrow clear?

Do we have a vision and purpose suitable for this diagnosis?

I am talking about the Middle East; namely, a geography, destiny of which is shaped by ethnic and sectarian conflicts. Volatile borders. Volatile alliances.

In other words, the Middle East itself is a well of strategy. Namely, no matter what you wish or aim for, it is a geography which leaves you strategy-deprived through daily, weekly or monthly tactics at most, without giving you a chance to understand where it is going.

However, this deprivation will be your end; let’s not exaggerate, it will result in a huge waste of time and energy at best.

It is not clear how many wars, internal conflicts, civil wars, exiles, power and regime switches have occurred in the history of the region… If you list what history has witnessed it will be several pages long. That is why, thinking that that territories will stay as they are for a long time with one decision, three-day war, two maneuvers means knowing nothing about tactic, strategy and the Middle East. Especially since it is almost guaranteed that those who look at what is happening from the eyes of their own sect, ethnic prejudice and judgments are mistaken.

The period of Turkey’s late Prime Minister Menderes were the years when whoever woke up early staged a coup in Syria and Iraq and it is well known that the prime minister said “This is not Syria or Iraq” when the rumors that there would be a coup in Turkey too were loud. The rest is known.

Fortunately, Turkey united and sent the most recent one of the coup attempts bravely to the dumpster of history. While doing this, it intimidated those who want to try this for a long time; the answer that people gave meant that: “Those who try must know what they will face.”

However, the enormity which jumped out from those neighboring countries on to us, which were overturned in the 1950s, unfortunately repeated itself again and again later. The topic of this article is not coups and possibilities; what it wants to point at is that Adnan Menderes said “This is not Syria or Iraq.”

At times when Istanbul or Ankara was the capital, this was the opinion of those who lived in Anatolia about the territories which started to define our agenda too much. That the late Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu told cameras on the very critical days of Feb. 28 that “Turkey cannot become Iran or Algeria and we will not allow it to become Syria, either” was in fact a very good summary. Not only for those days. It will be much more meaningful to think about this sentence in the context of all history.

In brief, what has happened, aftershocks and actions and reactions enter the class of tactic. In order to think that all of these belong to a strategy, vision, aim and purpose; the results of monthly or yearly changes should not push for the opposite of discourse and actions; on the contrary, they should complement spoken words and taken actions. Is it so?

In summary, the aim of such a long and theoretical article with a title which is reminiscent of a book title is whether our current policies will progress on a path which will allow us to have friendly, brotherly, allied, historical, cultural, social and economic relations at a high level with nations in the Middle East where cards will fall into place tomorrow.

And another aim is what countries they will compare us to in this big world like in the memories that I conveyed from Menderes or Yazıcıoğlu.

And whether such a possibility is realistic, rationalist and probable.


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