US policy on Israeli settlements changes direction

As stated by the US Secretary of State, regarding the legitimacy of Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory, marks a significant deviation of American foreign policy as it establishes and legitimizes a position in clear violation of international law. Despite the fact that the United States has taken care to declare that this new position does not constitute a precedent, in reality Washington creates the variation of a situation, which despite the Israeli violation, had been regulated in an official manner through international law and that the same department American state, through an official legal opinion, had considered valid since 1978. On that legal opinion the US country had based its foreign policy on the matter of the settlements of Tel Aviv in the territories that had been conquered by the 1967 conflict. political point of view is yet another ambiguous behavior of Trump, who fails to equip himself with the institutional character necessary to run a country and which denotes its absolute unreliability on the international level, as already demonstrated with the abandonment of the Kurdish allies. The intention of the US president is, without doubt, to favor Benjamin Netanyahu, a politician with whom Trump has many affinities, but who is in serious crisis after the last two elections, which have blocked the Israeli country. It is not known whether Trump’s move can actually help the former prime minister of Tel Aviv, while the criticism of the international community is certainly certain, with possible political and commercial repercussions, including on Israel, and the attitude of profound hostility of the Palestinian. On the other hand, to affirm that the settlement of the colonies does not represent an opposition to international law and, at the same time, to say that the USA does not intend to take a position on the status of the occupied territories, which is left to the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, represents a contradiction in terms, which denounces all the approximation and dilettantism of the American administration. It must be remembered that the Palestinian question, although associated with other international emergencies, remains central in the world diplomatic scenario and fundamental for regional balances; but this declaration helps to push back the two-state solution, which is probably feared by Washington. Perhaps the USA of Trump fear that an autonomous Palestinian state may represent a greater danger to Israel and American politics and thus remove this solution, supporting a state that breaks international law. This solution may be functional to the mandate of the current American president, that is, in the short term, but in the long run leaves a state of affairs that does not provide solutions and, immediately, pushes the Palestinians towards acts of violence and possible dangerous alliances for the regional balances. The address given to the question risks making things worse for the two sides, while American credibility is now definitively compromised and with the partiality expressed in the declaration in favor of the Israelis, the US places itself outside the peace process, because no longer impartial. One of the reasons for this change could be the electoral needs of Trump, who after the recent electoral defeats would try to recover the support of the influential US Jewish community, which, according to the polls, seems to favor the Democratic party. In any case, whatever the reason, the move to give legitimacy to the Israeli colonies sacrifices years of international prestige for American politics and confirms the doubts for an administration that is without a secure and certain address thanks to the absence of a project with a broad view on international dynamics and that moves sclerotic and functional only to the needs of the moment. With these characteristics the role of the first world power can be sustained only by military and economic capacity, but only with these characteristics does the USA adapt to China and lose credibility and prestige, essential qualities for being the most important global subject.

Considerations on the Atlantic Alliance

It has now become a question of the real need of the Atlantic Alliance; until a few decades earlier this question was typical of far-left circles, but now the reasons for the opportunity of a transatlantic alliance, with these features seem to come less and less every day. This involves different reasoning, influenced by the emergence of too many variables that can influence opinion on the subject. Trump’s tendency to want to break away from a vision of defense where the western part is central, turns out to be a very well-known thing, but the American elections are very close, however to wait for such a long period without thinking a reorganization could be very deleterious for the Europe; in fact the possible, but not certain re-election of the current US president, must not become a factor capable of delaying a decision that is undoubtedly necessary. Certainly the time to re-discuss and eventually rethink the alliance must not be short: the Atlantic Alliance ensures a more than positive functioning, above all in military terms, but certainly less satisfactory as regards relations between states and common decisions. At this moment, the issue of the withdrawal of the American military from the Kurdish areas on the border with Turkey appears to be central, leaving loyal and above all fundamental allies to the Islamic State, at the mercy of a member of the Alliance, which has proved repeatedly unreliable. The fundamental question is that the withdrawal of a force operating in a theater of war of common interest has not been decided with the allies, but independently by Washington. Certainly this is not enough to undermine a multi-year alliance on which the very idea of the West was founded, but this represents yet another important sign of a situation that seems increasingly deteriorated. The question is that the operation of the Alliance should have repercussions on all its members, instead the majority shareholder, the USA, too much condition its aims. If Trump’s requests for greater financial participation can be corrected, there should be an equally correct attitude in relations with the European Union as an international institution and cornerstone of the alliance, on the contrary the US administration has set a policy of division between member states, which denotes the unreliability of the main ally. On the European front, the French president is the one who most urges for European military independence, achievable with the establishment of an autonomous force and the unity of continental foreign policy. Indeed these are the two necessary presuppositions, but French activism could induce some suspicion for the probable will of an intention to exercise the French supremacy in European ambit. Germany, the only country that can exercise continental leadership, is experiencing a period of uncertainty, due to the decline of Chancellor Merkel and an uncertain foreign policy direction, also due to internal tensions and the slowdown of the economy. The factor that could erase suspicions about the real French intentions is that of Paris’s willingness to share its atomic bomb at the community level. France is the only continental nuclear power, due to the choice, made in the second half of the fifties of the last century, to proceed individually, rather than together with Italy and Germany, in the construction of the atomic bomb. Now a common European army, in order to have a consistent geopolitical weight, has a completely different consistency if it can dispose, at the deterrent level, of the nuclear weapon. However, it is also necessary to make considerations on the perimeter of a common European military force, in fact we could think of a reduced involvement on the basis of the conviction of Brussels membership, currently, in fact, the Eastern European states do not seem to present that sharing necessary European values and this leads to the reasoning of a re-discussion of the standards of access to the Union or solutions of the European type at different speeds to be applied not only on economic issues, but also to political and military ones. As we can see, the construction of the alternative to the Atlantic Alliance, although necessary, presents several question marks, which will have to be solved if we want to arrive at a positive solution, which allows the Union to play an autonomous and important role in international politics .

What future for the Atlantic Alliance?

The declarations of the French president on the Atlantic Alliance have highlighted a discomfort that goes beyond the territory of Paris on the American behavior, very variable, towards the strategies of the Alliance and their functionality. The arrival of Trump has brought about a new American vision of Europe, understood as a global power not functional to American interests. It is not a mystery that the American president has practiced a divisive tactic within the states of the Union to favor a fragmentation in order to deal with individual states, to obtain a more advantageous relationship of power for Washington, compared to the common force that the whole Union can put in place. The interest of the US president is principal
economically, but this reveals a weakness of vision both in the short and the long term, because it leaves out the importance of the European ally, as a whole, both as a diplomatic ally and as a military ally. From this last point of view the report is cracked by the accusation, not without obvious reasons, of the European flattening on the preponderant contribution provided by the Americans in the overall Atlantic defense system. The US considerations clearly speak of European financial contributions not considered by the United States, but if this could be judged correct in an alliance framework with coinciding aims, Trump’s policy can now offer reasonable justifications for little contributions convinced. Failure to comply with the Iranian nuclear agreement, the flattening of the alliance with Saudi Arabia, a country deemed unreliable due to its behavior regarding the Islamic State, the too permissive policy granted to Israel on the expansion of settlements in the Palestinian territories , the tolerance left to Turkish behavior, the abandonment of Kurdish fighters and the aforementioned attempts to divide the Union, have made the United States an increasingly unreliable partner, which has made it necessary to accelerate the direction towards European military autonomy, among other things, a new topic of confrontation with the White House. Considering all these reasons, the declarations coming from the Elysée assume a different value, because they are framed by concrete negative factors that feed a sense of uneasiness that is difficult to agree with. The question whether the Atlantic Alliance still makes sense takes on a concrete meaning, which goes beyond mere provocation. Also because from the normative and organizational point of view the Alliance appears immobile in the face of the most serious recent case: the American behavior in abandoning the Kurdish allies, fundamental for the action against the caliphate, considered of fundamental strategic importance for the protection itself Europe. Hand in hand the too much freedom left to the Turks, who have repeatedly blackmailed Europe, and who have also proved to be unreliable allies for the equivocal relations held with the Sunni Islamic militias and with those of the caliphate. There is also a non secondary issue which is represented by the authoritarian turn taken by Ankara and which constitutes a further element of doubt on the real advantage of having the Turkish country among the members of the Atlantic Alliance. The French president rightly wonders about article five of the Atlantic treaty, which forces alliance members to intervene in defense of the attack that is being attacked; but can those that the Turks consider attacks by the Kurds be part of the treaty casuistry? Beyond these considerations, this is evident is that in a military alliance delegitimized by the majority shareholder, the European Union cannot face the challenges that the new scenarios impose: the increase of China’s power and the Russian claims to recite again a role of great power and the same American attitude, require a new and different degree of autonomy of Europe, capable of becoming self-sufficient in terms of defense, through a different military approach and that of international politics, with a more incisive diplomatic action . All these considerations lead to questioning legitimately about the fate of the Atlantic Alliance and its role as a supplier to the new challenges, even if it will be necessary to wait for the direction to take based on the next US presidential elections: if the tenant of the White House will be the even, perhaps, a European dissociation will be desirable, although always in a framework of alliance with the United States, although interpreted differently it is certainly more autonomous. The challenge, necessary, will be to reach this capacity in a relatively short time.

Republican defeats worry Trump

Although some polls have indicated that Trump, at the national level, collects a 56% percentage on the possibility of being re-elected US president, recent federal competitions have recorded heavy defeats for the Republican party. In three federal elections the president’s party won only in Missisippi, where the Democrats presented a candidate with positions very similar to those of the Republicans, being against abortion and in favor of arms. On the contrary, the result of Kentucky and Virginia, where the Democratic Party has achieved significant and even symbolic victories, because it has interrupted a long republican dominance. According to the analysts, the victories have been obtained due to the ability of the Democrats to face concrete issues for the life of the citizens, in fact the health, the problem of the spread of weapons and the remuneration related to the minimum wage, were the central themes that characterized the electoral campaign in the states where Trump’s party lost. The defeat in the Missisippi is indicative of how the democratic electorate responds negatively to the call to the polls if to represent them there is a candidate more sensitive to the themes of the opposing party. This is due to the greater distance between the two parties, due to the polarization of the American political scene, a consequence of which was the very election of Trump. Victories in the states of Kentucky and Virginia can demonstrate, with all the limitations of a state lesson compared to a presidential one, that the democratic voter is sensitive not only to concrete issues, but also to the value of the candidate, who must demonstrate a certain reliability. This confirms why Clinton was defeated: as identified as the representative of power groups opposed to the demands of the voters of that political party. A relevant fact is represented by the social areas, which were decisive for the democratic victory, those suburban and affluent areas, which are considered decisive for determining the affirmation in the presidential elections. Clearly the vote in three states is not a totally indicative sample, but it can begin to provide signals about voting intentions for next year. On the other hand it was the same Trump who had defined an ugly signal of a possible defeat in Kentucky, then punctually arrived, even if with a minimum gap between the two candidates. At this stage the White House tenant seems to identify the state elections almost as a survey on himself, as shown by the personal commitment, especially in those states where he had achieved the best results against Clinton, to preserve that electoral tank that contributed in a determined way to the final result. In fact, Trump campaigned in Kentucky, where he had a 30% advantage over Clinton and in Missisippi where he had obtained 18% more votes. In the state of Virginia, in contrast to where he had lost the presidential election, the US president did not campaign. The next appointment in Louisiana, where he had won with a percentage higher than 20%, will see Trump again engaged directly in an electoral campaign, which promises to be difficult because the polls give the Democrats the edge. These first results have brought a moderate advantage among the democrats, however making some forecasts appears very complicated, above all for the experience of the last electoral competition, when Trump won against every forecast. However, it seems indisputable that the current moment is not the most favorable for the president in office: in addition to the election results, there is concern about the possible impeachement procedure due to the case of the alleged pressures made by the Ukrainian government to investigate the son of the democratic candidate Biden ; this could affect future actions of Trump and the perception of voters about his re-election.

Iran contravenes the Vienna agreement

The unilateral withdrawal from the agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue by the US has caused the economic sanctions to which Tehran is subjected and which have caused the aggravation of an economic crisis already underway in the Iranian country. The reasons for the agreement, opposed by the American right, the strength of Obama’s foreign policy, lay in controlling Iran’s nuclear progress and in the desire to establish a more relaxed climate between the two countries, through the economic improvement of the Shiite country . The advent of Trump in the maximum US position has subverted this scheme: the new White House policy has opposed the agreement until the withdrawal, claiming to bring within the terms of the agreement the limitation of ballistic projects concerning Iranian rockets. This is partly due to Washington’s rapprochement with Ryad and Tel Aviv, which continue to see Iran as the main enemy. For Saudi Arabia it is a question of countering Iran’s regional ambitions, while for Israel the problem is the threat that Tehran brings to the Israeli borders, through the Shiite militias present in Lebanon. In this framework of alliances the USA, with the current president, have chosen not to keep their word given by undermining their international credibility, even in front of the other signatories of the agreement: European Union, Russia, China, France, United Kingdom United and Germany. The Iranian attitude, if we limit ourselves to an analysis that concerns only the matter of the agreement, has been, until now, a tough diplomatic challenge to the United States and, in part, also to the other signatories of the agreement, which , according to Tehran, they have not done enough to keep Washington underwritten. However, despite the Iranian economy has suffered serious damage from the oil embargo to which it was subjected, Iran has so far not contravened what was signed in the 2015 agreement. On the contrary, the decision of these days marks a change in attitude Iranian about the treatment of uranium, which can also prefigure uses beyond the civil ones. Tehran speaks of a reversible decision at any time, if the US will ease the pressure on the ban on the sale of oil to which Iran is subjected. The first intention of the Iranian government is to put pressure on the signatory countries of the agreement, so that they can get out of the passivity with which they accepted the American decision. It must be remembered that Washington also exerted pressure on companies in the signatory countries, especially European ones, with the explicit prohibition of trading with Iran, forcing companies in these countries to renounce already signed commercial agreements, on pain of disqualification from the market US. If we look at the issue from a broader point of view, the Iranian decision risks triggering nuclear proliferation in the region, creating the conditions that the treaty had to avert. The most immediate risk is that Saudi Arabia tries to become a nuclear power as opposed to Iran, in a situation of strong contrast between the two countries, with Ryad that has proved to be totally unreliable towards the same American allies, especially for the management of the question of the Islamic State. Of the European countries, for now, only France has spoken, accusing Iran of not respecting the Vienna agreement, however, even if dangerous, the Iranian decision can be understandable in the face of the unilateral American withdrawal and the immobility of the others signatory countries, which tacitly did not oppose the White House. Moscow’s position is different, as it has taken a sympathetic attitude towards Tehran, considered a victim of American behavior. Moscow can take advantage of the irresponsible American position in the regional framework to its advantage, even if for the moment in a not too accentuated way, because it could favor nuclear proliferation. The Iranian move forces Washington to respond: if the White House accentuates the sanctions Tehran will feel authorized to proceed with the enrichment of uranium, opening up to a series of negative developments in the diplomatic scenario, vice versa a more inclined attitude to negotiation could open more positive developments also beyond the perimeter of the regional area. For Trump a new challenge on the eve of the presidential renewal campaign.

The German legal action, against two Syrian torturers, can be an example for Europe

In Germany, the establishment of a trial against two Syrian torturers could become a revolutionary practice for judging crimes against humanity, even if committed outside national borders. Even in other European nations, such as France and Austria, preliminary investigations have been opened against Syrian crimes, but the peculiarity of the German system can allow a process that is announced as a novelty. In Germany the judicial system does not require that the victim of a crime or the suspect have German nationality, as a condition for the legal action to take place. The conditions for these circumstances to occur are due to the German willingness to host Syrian refugees fleeing the war and Assad’s bloody regime; but, although the majority of Syrian immigrants were victims of repression, exponents of the Damascus government were also welcomed on German soil. In particular, two Syrian secret service officials, who have declared to have deserted and for this reason have requested hospitality from Germany. However the two have been recognized by several refugees who have denounced the repressive activity consisting of arbitrary incarcerations and particularly violent acts of torture, conducted since the early stages of the Syrian uprising, which then turned into a civil war. The number of opponents who would have been tortured with the complicity of the two defendants seems to be very high, there is talk of a few thousand people, enough to justify the indictment for crimes against humanity. Germany, in addition to the case of the two suspects that should lead to a historical trial, is also investigating 27 other officials of the Syrian regime for similar reasons, while Sweden would be 25 proceedings in progress, in Austria 24 and also Norway would be preparing to open one. The scope of this act appears to be very relevant, especially if extended to other EU countries by means of a directive to be transposed into national legislation. Europe could thus play a leading role in the defense of civil rights in a practical manner and with concrete effects, overcoming the numerous declarations of intent to which nothing was ever followed and which made the action of Brussels ineffective. The fields of application of such an understanding could put Europe at the forefront in the fight against arbitrary abuses against human rights and in their non-compliance; however, there is a need for convinced action by European states as a whole: Syria is now a subject that seems to be more easily vulnerable, because it does not have such economic bargaining power as to condition the current German action and in the future a potential European action or individual states of the Union. The principle with which the German judiciary moves could also be applied for example to Saudi Arabia, for repression in Yemen or China, for the management of the Uyghur issue, Chinese Muslims, or even for Turkey, a member of the ‘Atlantic Alliance, for the Kurdish question. The reflection, evidently, must be articulated on distinct but contiguous plans: the first is of a nature, in fact, of international politics, because the possible convictions of members of countries more relevant than the Syrian one, could trigger diplomatic reprisals; the second is part of the more practical management of any convicts and the actual legitimacy of such sentences, certainly not from the moral point of view but from the legal point of view, moreover the custody of the condemned or otherwise the execution of the sentence seem to be a subject susceptible to contrast with the countries of origin of the people found guilty, which could trigger retaliation against citizens of the countries that issued the sentences. These arguments also put the German action in a different perspective, which is a duty against Syrian officials, but which would probably have been more cautious towards citizens of other countries. The fact remains that for Europe, taking inspiration from Germany, it could be an opportunity not to be missed to finally be able to exercise a leading role on the diplomatic stage, also in consideration of the changed international conditions, which see the United States, the main European ally , in search of a progressive isolation, which requires new structures and greater independence of action and direction from the European Union.

Risk of attacks after the death of the Islamic state leader

According to the president of the United States, with the death of the leader of the Islamic State, the world should be safer; however, the international scenario appears to be a concern for the possible reprisals and retaliations of the Caliphate. In western countries the level of alert is among the highest, precisely because of the fear of attacks that could avenge the head of the Islamic State, killed in the American raid. In fact, if a classic military response seems unlikely, due to the defeat on the field of caliphate forces, the possibility of attacks is assessed very seriously. The tactic of the Islamic State, which developed in parallel with the military garrison of the occupied territory, was to promote an internationalization of the jihad to export it outside the confines of the caliphate and, at the same time, to simplify the methods of terrorist action and facilitating the identification with the soldiers of the Islamic State. We have witnessed terrorist modalities, which outside of custom, have used improper weapons as instruments to offend and, therefore, more readily available than traditional or explosive weapons. Furthermore, the propaganda from the caliphate has encouraged the recruitment a posteriori, allowing anyone who had committed a terrorist act in the name of the jihad to be recognized as a soldier of the Islamic State. For all these reasons the level of attention is high, precisely because the danger of hostile acts coming from individuals, and therefore impossible to prevent with the normal intelligence action, is a possible consequent emotional reaction to the killing of leaders of the caliphate. Even the words in no way sober and in the slightest taste of the American president could favor resentment against Westerners, intended as a goal of revenge. The danger of individual actions is considered higher than an action coming directly from the caliphate, thanks to more information available on the structure of the Islamic State, understood as official training and not in a broader sense, including also unofficial and unknown adherents ; also because, in this phase, the caliphate could privilege an action that has as immediate objective the safety of the organization, with respect to the retaliation. From the international point of view the action that led to the elimination of the caliphate leader was coordinated with the participation of military forces also in conflict with each other, as in the case of Turks and Kurds, both publicly thanked by Trump. In addition to the Syrian Kurds also the Iranians and precisely the Turks say they have collaborated with US forces; in particular, the foreign minister of Ankara underlined that the Turkish role was important for the success of the operation. The official statements of the representative of the Turkish government, coinciding with the operations against the Kurds, seem to aim at obtaining international recognition at a time of almost unanimous condemnation of the diplomatic audience. Another reason may be the search for an accreditation, above all American, in the confrontation that Turkey has carried out with Syria and which needs support in a moment of confrontation with Assad’s forces intervened in the framework of the new alliance with the Kurds. It should also be remembered that the area of operations against the leader of the caliphate and where the spokesman of the Islamic State also died falls within a territory presided over by the Islamist Syrian militias, which are supported by Turkey, especially in its anti-Kurdish function. What the Turkish foreign minister declared and remarked could also be an attempt not to credit Ankara with protecting the Islamic state terrorists, which Turkey favored and used against Assad and the Kurdish militias.

The evolution of the Syrian crisis

The evolution of the crisis of the Kurdish territories in Syria, caused by Turkey, highlights, as has been expected, the growth of Russia’s role in the area. The new alliance between Kurds and Syrians brought Assad’s troops to the ground, dangerously close to the Turkish soldiers; formally the armed forces of Damascus are operating on their territory, while the army of Ankara has invaded a foreign territory, without, however, declaring war. The Turkish president presented the operation as a battle against terrorism and the need to relocate Syrian refugees, present in large numbers in Turkey and badly endured by Turkish citizens. The growing nationalism in the Turkish country and, precisely the will to bring back the Syrian refugees to their homeland, has determined the approval of the population and the political forces of Turkey, which support the Turkish president with a percentage of 75% of the citizens. This success favors an even greater intransigence of the Ankara government to pursue its goals, regardless of American sanctions and European warnings. In this dangerous scenario, Moscow plays a decisive role in avoiding the possibility of the widening of the conflict on a regional scale. The Russian troops have occupied the bases left free by American soldiers and, in fact, are among the Turkish and Syrian soldiers; it must not be forgotten, however, that the Russian presence is not neutral, but must be seen in the alliance with Damascus, an alliance that allowed Assad to remain in power. The Syrian dictator, however, no longer seems an autonomous subject, like before the Syrian uprisings, but a head of state now too dependent on Moscow. Putin, in addition to international prestige, continues to pursue his strategy for presence on the Mediterranean and in the Middle East, with the ever increasing possibility of increasing his specific weight in the international arena. The Kurds, in order to avoid a massacre, have agreed to ally with Syria, knowing that Damascus is not a reliable ally, which will almost certainly reduce the autonomy of the Syrian Kurdish region. On the other hand, deaths among civilians are already numerous and the number of people forced to leave their places of residence is estimated at around 190,000 people, of whom 70,000 are believed to be minors. Turkey, therefore, is causing a new humanitarian disaster in these areas, which follows those caused by the Islamic state and of which Ankara was probably complicit. Faced with these abuses, the international community appears divided and uncertain about the answers to be given and once again Trump’s ineptitude stands out in international theater. Even Europe offers a painful image, immobile in its deviation and uncertainty, while the United Nations presents the usual initiatives with no results, once again highlighting their inadequacy and uselessness. To counter Ankara it was enough to leave the American soldiers in their place in Syria, but even without this presence it would be sufficient to subject Turkey to a regime of sanctions such as that applied to North Korea or Iran; if these solutions are not adopted it is only because we are dealing with the usual conflicting interests of the political actors involved in the region and also on a global scale. Beyond these considerations there is the real danger of the escape of the terrorists of the caliphate, until now kept in Kurdish prisons: among them there are also numerous foreign fighters ready to return to their countries of origin, including many Europeans, with a wealth of knowledge military learned in the field and easily usable in potential attacks. This must be framed in a broader discourse that includes the rebirth of the Islamic State, which has been prevented for now by large-scale military actions and, for this very reason, forced to demonstrate its strength with actions outside the Middle Eastern territories. The Turkish responsibilities are evident and, if the international community will not be able to go beyond the facade declarations, other dictators will be ready to defend their interests without any fear: this crisis can be an opportunity to restore the right through diplomatic pressure, but only if at least most of the nations will be able to overcome their differences: a difficult requirement to materialize.

Turkey’s intervention in Syria and its international consequences

The story of the Syrian Kurds highlights several factors in the development of international relations, not only in the Middle East area but on a global level. On the reasons of Turkey, the intention to recover the internal satisfaction, compromised by the poor performance of the economy and, together, try to resolve the issue of Syrian refugees, now badly endured in the Turkish country, transferring them to the territory stolen from the Kurds and resolving so two goals with one action. The consequences for Ankara can become too expensive for the goals set. Turkish isolation on the diplomatic scene is an inevitable factor, even if there is no unity of purpose between Europe and the USA, the action of Turkey will provoke a censorship that is difficult to make. On the economic side, it is unlikely that Trump will be able to avoid sanctions in Ankara, both because he promised them and because he will have to satisfy the sectors of the American administration that are against withdrawing from Kurdish areas in Syria. The Kurds, to avoid a massacre, of soldiers, but also of civilians, are forced to change allies after the US betrayal. Putin, in these cases, is usually skilled at exploiting the opportunities that the international scene gives him: the vacuum left by the Americans represents an opportunity for Russia to act alongside Assad, whose help was directly sought by the Kurds. But the American move, in addition to favoring Damascus and Moscow, can only favor Iran, which has always been on the side of the Syrians and the Kurds themselves, with whom it has fought side by side against the Islamic State. Moreover the Turkish invasion is favoring the liberation of the terrorists of the caliphate controlled by the Kurds, feeding the fears of a recovery of the Islamic State; what better reason to justify the entry on the scene by Syria, whose territory has been invaded by a foreign force, from Russia and Iran if not to fight the rebirth of the caliphate troops. According to some analysts, Trump’s move would have been carried out to undermine the relationship between Moscow and Ankara, whose relations are very relaxed, so as to favor the supply of military systems by the Russians to an army of the Atlantic Alliance, which is always condemned by the White House. Until now the foreign policy of the American president has been a mixture of improvisation and incompetence and it seems very difficult that on his own he has succeeded in developing such a strategy, a strategy that could hardly have been suggested to him by an administration, especially the military side, which has the alliance with the Kurds is always held in high regard. In any case, the US has abandoned the Kurds, probably for an electoral calculation, according to the theorem that domestic politics is more important than foreign policy: an assumption that cannot be valid for the main world power. What will be the consequences of a possible armed confrontation between the Turkish forces and those of the bloc consisting of Russia, Iran and Syria? The risk of a regional war is very substantial, but the possible involvement of the Atlantic Alliance within a contest that, hypothetically could see it alongside the aggressors of its Kurdish allies, is equally serious. Certainly it is a remote hypothesis, but one that makes us reflect on the real need to maintain Ankara within an alliance in which it is now a member that seems not to share the reasons for joining. Fortunately, Turkey has not entered the European Union and with these behaviors has put an end to every remaining possibility of entering it; these assumptions, supported by other evidence of infidelity, should induce the Atlantic Pact to decree its expulsion. This is because we are not facing a two-way relationship as between the USA and Saudi Arabia or between the USA and Pakistan, where Washington continues to maintain alliances for its exclusive interests even against the evidence of the incorrect behavior of its allies, but because the Pact Atlantic covers a vast audience of countries which, by now, has divergent interests with Washington. If the United States wants to come out stronger from this affair, it will have to put at the center of its action not the particular interests, but the general ones, based on the common interest and on the principles: first of all to respect the allies, because the one made to the Kurds can potentially be repeated with any other ally.

The new revolts repetition of the Arab springs?

The demonstrations against the governments that are taking place in the Middle East and North Africa may suggest a sort of re-edition of the Arab springs. What distinguished the revolts that began in 2011 was a difficult economic situation, combined with the desire to demonstrate against undemocratic regimes; especially this second factor led, especially in Western democracies, but not only, to believe that the ruling classes were ready for these forms of state, ruling classes produced by all the social strata present in the countries involved in the protests. This was not the case: what followed the Arab springs did not stabilize the economies, which remained in the same difficulty, but, above all, did not create the conditions for a transition to states where democracy became the shared instrument for the management of state power . Of the democratic rites it has only survived and only in a first phase, the electoral passage, often disregarded or that has destined to the power anti-democratic forces, that have provoked shots, state, even military. Except for the Tunisian case, all the Arab springs failed to meet Western expectations and did not create the conditions for an improvement in the lives of the populations involved. The current revolts seem to arise for the same reasons as those of eight years before: a serious condition of the economy, high corruption and profoundly anti-liberal methods of government. The groups participating in these demonstrations are characterized by a lower classical political commitment, understood as participation or belonging to party forms, but are apolitical and characterized by forms of populism conditioned by religious elements, therefore influenced by the Islamic religion, most often of matrix Sunni. The religious factor was fundamental in 2011, because in societies crossed by protests, often any form of association was forbidden and religious groups, even outside the law, had filled this social void with a direct commitment, especially towards the most disadvantaged welfare states. Even now the importance of religion remains the most important aspect, but it must be understood as a flow of thought with the greatest specific weight, with respect to possible, when there are political parties, also less and less important in favor of movements, as often happens also in Europe. However, the sensitivity of Middle Eastern and North African populations to democracy was not favored, nor by a long historical process, nor was it able to grow in these few years due to massive repression. These revolts are viewed with detachment from Western countries, which seek to exploit contingent situations to their advantage, rather than offer support, because they recall the harmful effects of their interventions of previous years (see the Libyan example). We must also recognize that, although it is of a different type, populism has already demonstrated considerable capacity for advancement in Western democracies, bringing instability and less certainty of the democratic process to places where these practices were by now established. This factor, added to the disappointment of the expectations of eleven years ago, has generated a detachment that has created a cultural and political void in the countries where the demonstrations are more frequent. This absence can be filled not only by the Islamic religion, but also by external agents where democracy is absent and have great financial resources. It is a certainty that China and Russia will maintain relations with both dictators and insurgents, thanks to greater political adaptability with certainly not democratic regimes. If this is taken for granted in relations with non-democratic governments, this capacity is often exercised also with the protagonist movements of the revolts, or part of them, thanks to the great flexibility that allows the fact of being non-democratic regimes. Certainly this is done in a way that is functional to one’s interests and almost always thinking about economic returns. This, however, poses a great dilemma for the West: if the US has inaugurated a withdrawal policy within its own borders, Europe has not shown itself ready to replace them, taken by surprise by Trump’s unexpected arrival. For China and Russia, but also for Iran or Turkey, it will succeed in influencing the less stable countries it seems much easier than in the past and this can only mean a distancing of the enlargement of the democratic ideal, increasingly confined to the fence of the rich countries.