The human suffering and risks of escalation caused by the war in Ukraine are leading many observers to call for the U.S. and NATO to take any steps necessary to strike a deal with Russia for an immediate cease-fire. It is understandable to want to end the war. But calls for the West to do so in Ukraine’s stead are misplaced.
Last week, a dozen years after the start of the Arab Spring, Tunisia held a referendum that sealed the fate of its democratic experiment. The vote confirmed that the euphoria of those heady days—the ardent belief that change was on the horizon—was not enough to overcome the obstacles to democratization.
At the heart of Turkey’s cycles of escalation against real or imagined enemies at home and abroad are two core dynamics eroding the power structures Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has used to dominate Turkish politics for 20 years: economic mismanagement and the accelerating fragmentation of Erdogan’s electoral coalition.