New chaos in Middle East

US President Donald Trump on Monday imposed sanctions on Turkey, raising tariffs on Turkish steel up to 50 percent and halted negotiations over a $100 billion trade deal with Turkey. Trump was believed to acquiesce to Turkey’s attacks on Kurdish forces after he announced the withdrawal of the last 1,000 US troops from northern Syria. However, after Turkey’s attacks had been opposed internationally, Washington imposed sanctions in a hurry. The self-contradictory moves of the US were widely criticized. Washington’s adjustment of policies in service of its own interests has ignited drastic changes in the Middle East. To sanction Turkey seemed more like a tactic – the Turkish lira devalued less than one percent against the US dollar, while the lira slid to a record low in August 2018 after the US announced it would sanction the country.
People around the world are saying that being a US ally is far less beneficial on security. The Kurds have fought alongside US troops against the Islamic State (ISIS), but have been abandoned by the US easily. What a lesson. The latest US sanctions on Turkey are also widely regarded as a manifestation of an unstable US policy. The sanctions were more like a move to deal with international public opinion rather than a declaration to defend justice and sovereignty. The White House could change its policy again someday. Many people don’t believe the sanctions on Turkey will last long. Turkey’s attacks on Kurdish forces have stirred the Middle East. But Turkey is being widely criticized for violating Syria’s sovereignty. Turkey’s target is the Kurds who have contributed a lot in fighting ISIS. Ankara is not convincing to label the Kurdish fighters as terrorists.
Another absurdity the turbulence in the Middle East has showcased is the mutability of US policy due to the country’s selfishness. The US is a superpower with irreplaceable influence in the Middle East. However, opportunism can be seen in US moves, which is preferred by small countries. As for northern Syria from where the US cannot substantially benefit from, it will fly the coop regardless of possible serious consequences. Instead of solving the problem, the US is increasingly creating a problem for the world. It is hoped the US can reflect upon itself. As a superpower with far-reaching interests, the US will benefit the most from a benign world order.