Turkey's purchase of the S-400 and the broader turn to Russia cannot be ascribed primarily to Erdogan’s supposed erraticism, still less to his Islamist orientation or any ideology aside from mainstream Turkish nationalism.
Since the worsening of relations with the West in 2014, the Kremlin has increasingly adopted a “mobilization state” approach, turning to any available foreign-policy levers. Gangsters are no exception.
Three authors draw on field work and other research to assess the motives, prospects and threats linked to Central Asian jihadists, including the thousands who joined Islamic State and other violent extremists in the Middle East.
Ankara’s Afrin offensive has exposed Moscow’s vulnerabilities in Syria and hurt Russia’s chances for casting itself as the lead player in clinching a peace deal. But it also opens a new door for tactical U.S.-Russian cooperation to keep the peace in northern Syria.