A quick glance around the world and we can see that it is one big mess. There is a massive ebola outbreak, a flourishing illicit arms trade and of course, ISIS. ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIL, depending on who you ask, has caused some headaches in the national security community.
Some of the bright minds in Washington have thought about bringing in NATO allies to combat ISIS. This is interesting because the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are all economically interdependent on each other and going to war may not be in each states interest. War is a costly activity and has the potential to disrupt trade. The Middle East has a lot of trade that passes through it, namely fossil fuels and minerals.
There are currently only a few members of NATO really pushing for more action to be taken against ISIS and those members are the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Italy. These states are all economically interdependent and happen to be major powers in the NATO region. This influences the level of cooperation that they maintain with each other because it is in their interest to cooperate militarily with their trade partners.
One member of NATO that is causing the U.S. led coalition against ISIS some trouble is Turkey. Turkey has been caught up in their own goals for the ISIS crisis. They want to see the Kurds out of the way and they want to have Assad eliminated. The Kurds have a separatist movement along the border of Turkey and have been a nuisance to the Turkish government for years. Turkey has also formed an oil dependency on ISIS, where they are buying large quantities of black market oil from the organization. This should really make Western leaders consider where the loyalties of its “allies” actually lie. We will have to wait and see how the economic situation between ISIS and Turkey plays out.
What do you think of Turkeys dependency on ISIS oil? Will this have an affect on the attitudes of the other NATO members? Does this have the potential to create bigger issues in the future?