Published On: Mon, Dec 18th, 2017

Article: Will Trump’s first National Security Strategy include bad news for Turkey? (HDN)

After almost a year in office, U.S. President Donald Trump will unveil his first National Security Strategy (NSS) on Dec. 18. It may be full of bad news for Turkey.

We learned something about the forthcoming release of the document from a key official who actually put it together with his team, national security adviser General H.R. McMaster. In a speech in Washington last week at a London-based think tank, McMaster called the 70-page document a “dramatic rethinking of American foreign policy from previous decades.

The speech stirred controversy in Turkey, as McMaster referred to the role of Turkey and Qatar in “sponsoring radical Islamist ideology.

“We didn’t pay enough attention to how this is being advanced through charities, madrassas and other social organizations. It is now done more by Qatar and by Turkey,” McMaster said, according to The National, an English language daily published in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

After a vocal protest from the Turkish Foreign Ministry, McMaster issued a statement in which he voiced his firm belief in a strong alliance with Turkey, saying he was actually talking about doing more with Turkey to cut financing for those who promote hate and violence.

But it is hard to believe that McMaster’s views were misrepresented in the initial reports. Indeed, he is not the only key player in the Trump administration who has major concerns about the Turkish government’s alleged ties to radical Islamists. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in his testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Relations back in June, said there are “elements of the Muslim Brotherhood” that have become part of governments, pointing out parliaments in Bahrain and Turkey as examples. Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon, in an interview with the Saudi-owned Asharq Al-Awsat, even claimed that Turkey is “more dangerous than Iran.”

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Trump’s National Security Strategy is bad news for Turkey

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