SEST-715 Turkey and the Levant
Fall for 2017-2018
Doyle, Paula
Turkey's unique geography, war-tested military and counterterrorism prowess, and deep subject matter expertise regarding her Levant neighbors can enable or severely limit the ability of the United States to project power and sustainable security arrangements across the Levant and the broader Middle East. An enduring and effective alliance with Turkey is in the national interest of the United States and our closest allies. She will play a significant role in shaping and enforcing lasting peace accords and interoperable cross-border counterterrorism efforts in the Levant for decades to come.

As the Trump Administration settles in, the US has an urgent opportunity - arguably an obligation - to re-shape our Turkish alliance with a joint focus on stabilizing the Levant region. Doing so will require a sound understanding of our past alliance efforts, identification of productive intersections of mutual national interest, a willingness to incorporate of all available American tools of state craft, an accelerated pace of patient but firm negotiations, and strategic resolve.

This course will provide students with a strong understanding of key events and factors that have shaped and influenced Turkey's relationships with and approaches to the United States, Iraq, Syria, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Lebanon, and Jordan - and will touch on Iran, Cyprus, the European Union, and Russia. By the end of the course, students will be conversant in Ottoman and Turkish Republic policies that have worked and failed, and how the Trump Administration might leverage these lessons in formulating realistic policy options going forward.

Students will evaluate a wide range of foreign policy, intelligence and military challenges the US Government has overcome, rationalized, and neglected with this NATO ally over the past century. The course will encourage students to test their knowledge and theories in class, and will prepare them to weigh tactical versus strategic outcomes when asked to consider the future of US-Turkish bilateral relations, Turkey's role in the NATO alliance, and realistic options for sustainable peace in Turkey's very troubled Levant region.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None

Course syllabi
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Fall '17: Doyle P (file download)
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