How Will United States-Russia Balance of Power Challenges Impact on NATO Alliance and Southern Flank Ally Turkey?


“We are all the losers if we move into a new Cold War, new arms race. So, we must try our utmost to find that balance between being firm, predictable, delivering credible attempts of defence, but at the same time trying to develop a better relationship with Russia including arms control and political dialogue with Russia.“...

“We are all the losers if we move into a new Cold War, new arms race. So, we must try our utmost to find that balance between being firm, predictable, delivering credible attempts of defence, but at the same time trying to develop a better relationship with Russia including arms control and political dialogue with Russia.“

NATO Secretary General


NATO alliance is the strongest military security organization of our day. On the other hand, the competition on the power balance between Russia and USA reflects on NATO and European security, impacting Euro-Atlantic security negatively. This new arms race is escalating the threat parameter through nuclear armaments and ballistic missiles. While Russia is exploiting the differences between the NATO and USA which arose during the Trump administration, it is also allying with China in order to set up a counter in the Baltic- Black Sea-Mediterranean axis. On the other hand, Turkey setting out to obtain S-400 missiles from Russia and stepping up with the energy cooperation has been criticized by the NATO and USA. The arms aid as provided by USA to PYD and PKK in Syria is increasing, with the U.S. Senate’s suspension of the delivery of the F-35 missiles and further application economic sanctions are causing major fractions.

In 1991, just after the collapse of the former Soviet Union, the first good news was the fall of the Berlin Wall, which caused tectonic shifts in the European security architecture in the ideological conflict between Western capitalism and Soviet communism. Thus, NATO enlarged the areas in which it operated on, which had been previously designated by the Warsaw Pact, even when Yeltsin had suggested that Russia might someday become a NATO member.

The second news was bad news: such dramatic changes caused the NATO-Russia relations to fell into a state of deep in crisis since 2008 Georgia War. The 2014 Ukraine Crisis, the ongoing deployment of Russian military force in Syrian Civil War and the allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential vote further exacerbated the relations. Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea especially led to a hybrid warfare with “Little Green Men’’, with the US deploying ballistic missile defence shields in NATO territory thwarting hope for a new “reset“ policy initiative in US-Russian relations.

In this article, we shall try to answer some sophisticated key questions which cannot be easily and definitely answered: How can NATO and Russia rebuild a new and constructive relationship in light of recent developments? Can U.S. and Russia look for and find new ways to reestablish ties? Why do these two superpowers need to prevent engaging in a dangerous arms race through testing strategic interests such as nuclear disarmament treaties in order to resolve policy differences? Can Turkey improve and normalize relations while keeping up with U.S. sanctions but also keep on cooperating with Russia? How will NATO and U.S. respond if Turkey operates S-400 missiles?

1. Russia Federation-US Confrontation in the 21st Century

In relation to the broad framework described above, the American national security strategy is being redrawn by the Trump administration. The new approach US is maintaining designates Russia and China as threats of risk, and as a result, it could be said that there are plans to reorganize the military force. Unfortunately, the foreign and defensive policy makers in the U.S. claim that their country’s role being that of a unique global leader. The U.S. sees itself as a global leader and a champion of liberal values. Trump’s foreign policy is drifting from the new look. He has publicly revealed his critical ‘America First’ policy shaped with 2017 National Security Strategy-(NSS); National Defence Strategy (NDS), and still describes the U.S. as “the world’s lone superpower,“ including “preserving peace through strength“ as one of the policy’s four pillars. Pentagon sees Russia as a threat and calls Russia a ‘revisionist power’ while the National Defence Strategy proclaims the U.S. is in ‘strategic competition’ with the Kremlin.1 On the other hand, Russia identifies several developments, including NATO expanding towards its borders and developing a missile shield project, the political instability and civil wars which began with the Colour Revolutions and further escalated with the Arab Spring, as a West-backed intervention and a threat of security. The priorities in this document can be enlisted as follows;

1. The Colour Revolutions and Corruption are the most importantthreats for the Russian Federation,
2. Chemical and Biological Weaponry Threats,
3. NATO’s enlargement exceeding beyond the border,
4. The Coup d’état Administration in Ukraine creating an image of anti-Russia,
5. Two Conditions for Opposition Against Nuclear,
6. Information War,
7. Military Power Usage,
8. The Danger of Economic Stability and
9. The Plans for Economic Recovery (Örmeci & Kısacık, 2018, pp. 249-251).

In terms of NATO and EU, the 2016 Russian Federation National Security Strategy has set forth the following evaluations;

It is taken from TASAM Publishing's book named “New World Architecture Of Economy and Security“
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Continents ( 5 Fields )
 Contents ( 453 ) Actiivities ( 217 )
Africa 0 144
Asia 0 229
Europe 0 38
Latin America & Carribean 0 34
North America 0 8
Regions ( 4 Fields )
 Contents ( 173 ) Actiivities ( 51 )
Balkans 0 93
Middle East 0 59
Black Sea and Caucasus 0 16
Mediterranean 0 5
Identity Fields ( 2 Fields )
 Contents ( 175 ) Actiivities ( 71 )
Islamic World 0 146
Turkish World 0 29
Turkey ( 1 Fields )
 Contents ( 210 ) Actiivities ( 54 )
Turkey 0 210

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