No-fly zones have become a popular foreign policy tool over the past two decades, but they are rarely effective. In fact, no-fly zones are generally used for solving political rather than military–strategic problems.
Ankara is using its military presence in northern Syria to prevent Kurdish independence and have more of a say in a post-Assad future of the country. The problem is, its main allies, Iran and Russia, are pro-Assad.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was scheduled to visit Moscow this week. His trip has now been cancelled, partly because he wishes to intensify diplomatic pressure on Russia, but also because he is keen to persuade the new US administration about the virtues of foreign and security policy coordination.
It is tempting to draw immediate conclusions about the US response to the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime in Syria. However, the question is whether the launching of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air base constitutes Trump’s doctrine for interventions and foreign policy. This is somewhat hard to determine.
There is something about the way our opponents confront us, the way they combine different military and non-military measures in campaigns that have clear political objectives that we find really difficult to counter.