Trump has now made threats against Turkey, having tried to bluff Erdogan and failed, again, as Axios reports.
Unfortunately, Trump cannot erase a crisis of his own making with initiatives that will take weeks to implement while people die.
This raises more questions about conversations between Trump and Erdogan especially since Russia completed a new natural gas pipeline to Turkey.
More crappy deal-making by Individual-1, as Erdogan called Trump’s bluff … again.
The big picture: Trump would tell Erdoğan that if he wanted to invade Syria he would have to own whatever mess ensued, according to these sources. Erdoğan would have to take care of ISIS and manage international condemnation, trouble from Capitol Hill, and the quagmire with the Kurds. And when Trump put it in such stark terms to Erdoğan, the Turkish leader would demur. Until last Sunday, that is, when he told Trump he was moving ahead with the invasion of northern Syria.
- This time, Erdoğan called Trump's bluff, having waited for international forces to wipe out the ISIS caliphate.
- Erdoğan's decision — which the White House cleared the way for in its Sunday night announcement, alienating and blindsiding key allies including Republican lawmakers and the Christian right — has plunged the Middle East and Trump's political standing in Washington into crisis.
Too many things happening in the background.