tv Inside Story Al Jazeera November 30, 2015 11:30pm-12:01am EST
thanks. >> good to see you. >> i'm antonio mora, thank you for joining us. for more news go to aljazeera.com. swar ray suarez is up next with "inside story". ♪ z >> the united states has run thousands of air strikes in syria and iraq. france and russia are now in the war. nato member turkey is involved up to its eye teeth, but as he saw in the russian jet shootdown, not always with the same priorities as its assumed allies. stop me when you think we have
reached something that sounds like world war 3.0. it's the inside story. ♪ welcome to "inside story." i'm ray suarez. no, i'm not suggesting that this conflict is as extensive or threatening as the total war fought in every corner of the globe in world war ii. but when the list of combatants in iraq and syria is as long as this, it makes both the war on the ground and diplomacy at the bargaining table extremely complex. exhibit a, turkey's recent shootdown of a russian military jet in the skies over syria.
turkey says it warned the jet repeatedly. russia denies that took place. turkey has refused to apologize, russia has laid on economic sanctions. al jazeera america claimed responsibility for the paris attacks. france is fighting back hard. >> we would like to see russia concentrating its efforts to fight our common enemy isil. >> an unconventional war with an unusual enemy. nato says russia is targeting syrian rebels other than isil. in an effort to prop up syrian president bashar al-assad. some of those rebels are receiving military support from
the u.s. and its allies. >> i would like to see russia playing a constructive role in syria, and fighting isil. >> last week, turkey used american-made f-16 fighter jets to shoot down a russian war plain that turkey says it briefly violated its air space. >> the protection of our air space, land border is not only a right, but a duty for my government. and no turkish prime minister or president or authority will apologize because of committing -- because of protecting our border. >> reporter: shortly after the jet crashed a russian helicopter was destroi -- destroyed. their weapon of choice an
american-made tow missile. another russian pilot was killed in that attack. in the wake of the deadly isil-linked attacks in paris, france is adding a new cloud to the fog of war, french air strikes reigning down on isil fighters in iraq, something iraqi leaders fear may be too little too late. >> the world took too long to react against daesh and al-qaeda. in 2012 i said we were in a third world war, in iraq we're depending yourselves, and the entire world. >> now as the body of the russian pilot killed last week is returned to his homeland, tensions are nearing cold war levels. a ship was escorted past turkey on monday, while turkish leaders insist russia is a friend, not a
foe. >> we will approach very calmly, we will not escalate the tension. we will never do anything which will be seen negatively by russian people, russian people is a friendly people to turkish people. >> word war 3.0 this time on the program. we'll begin with ambassador, professor of the practice of international relations at harvard university, and former u.s. ambassador to nato. ambassador burns how do you do a negotiation if a negotiated end to the conflict is your desire when there as many war aims delegations? >> well, it is certainly an extraordinarily complex situation in syria, and the fact the civil war in syria has bled out into lebanon, iraq, jordan, and turkey, and now into europe with the flow of refugees there.
and i any negotiations rarely succeed when the parties to the conflict believe that by fighting they can chive their aims. negotiations almost always have beater chance when the -- the protagonists, the people fighting understand that fighting cannot get them to the place that they want to be. we saw that in the bosnian civil war 20 years ago. it took four and a half years to end that war, until the leaders of the countries decided by -- diplomacy they would be much better positioned to gain the objectives they had in sight. i don't think we're there in syria now. diplomacy is not going to success until the assad government and many of the fighting groups decide it is in table.
>> syria is not a tiny country, but it is not huge either. having that many armed forces deployed, doesn't each additional fighting force add a level of chance that something is going to go wrong, going to go really badly? >> it certainly does. when you only had the syrian government and the u.s.-lead coalition, say most of the last year and a half, sharing that strategic air space, then of course it was possible -- it was possible to keep fighters out of harm's way, but when the russian federation entered, when russia began flying air operations, it was quickly apparent that they weren't sharing their flight plans with the united states. they had transgressed turkey's border before. there had been repeated warnings, public and private to the russians to stop that behavior, and they didn't.
so it's a small space, you have several different factions sharing that space which you need right now, diplomatically, following the shootdown by the turks of the russian aircraft, is you need more communication between the turkish, russian, american air forces flying so that people understand where the other jets are going to be, and you can deconflict as they say in the military. >> let's talk about nato. president francois hollande is talking to nato partners in europe and on the american continent, is there a collective defense trigger that can be pulled because of the isil attacks in paris? >> well, there could have been. when the french were attacked by the islamic state in paris and those despicable terrorist attacks france could have asked nato to invoke article 5. it has only been invoked once before in history.
i was the american ambassador on #/11, and on the following day, the united states requested that the nato forces invoke article 5, and that meant all of the nato nations agreed to fight with the united states. all of the countries went to afghanistan to conduct that operation. the friend. decided not to invoke article 5 after the paris attacks. the french have had a more ambivalent relationship with nato than most of the other members. they may have decided it may be easier to form a coalition, if it wasn't a nato coalition. because of the russian antipathy to nato. so you have arab countries, turkey, and really a separate
coalition, very small of russian, iran, and hezbollah, and they are fighting on behalf of the syrian government. to preserve that government. they cannot be fully a part of the u.s.-lead coalition, until they make the necessary decision that at some point the assad government is a big part of the problem, and assad is going to have to leave power at some point for syria to be brought back into a peaceful state. >> turkey for a long time was the second largest army in nato. does it seem to be fighting the same war that the united states and france is? >> i think the turks have -- in part the turks want to see the departure of the assad government as do the united states and france, but the turks at times seem more concerned by the prospect of kurdish nationalism, and that could come about through the power of the syrian fighting
groupings, and also the iraqi kurds, and the increasing autonomy of the iraqi kurds from the government in baghdad. the turks seem to fear that the power of those kurdish groups presents a greater long-term threat to them than isil. and that's why they bombed the kurds a few months ago. this makes the sheer complexity of these overlapping rivalries which are ethnic, religious, historic rivalries, returning to the middle east, and it's complicating, frankly, efforts to try to end this war in syria. >> ambassador burns. is the conflict in syria and iraq reaching a level of international involvement that creates more common cause, more unity of purpose, more in the
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>> i feel like we're making an impact. >> let's do it. >> techknow, where technology meets humanity. you are watching "inside story." i'm i'm ray suarez. we're looking at the increasing complexity of putting isil out of business. russia has forcefully inserted itself into the conflict. france is upping its commitment to pounding isil. the domestic conversation in the united states increasingly involvement. and isil leaders and fighters have infiltrated into libya in a big way. joining us now robert manning and peter wilson. peter wilson, at what point does
this become kind of intractable because the war aims, the desired outcomes as i was discussing with ambassador burns irreconcilable. >> i think we haven't come to grips with the fact that basically the modern state of syria and iraq no longer exist, and the real issue here is what is our war aims and what is satisfaction, and i don't think we have a coherent view or one that is viable, for example, the call that we're going to reconstitute a democratic transitional government in syria, for example, i think is fantasy. and i also think frankly ultimately the idea that you are going to reconstitute an iraqi government in light of events is also very problematic. too much blood has been spilled too much violence. we are talking about a scenario which youal looted to, which is
this is looking more and more like the outcome of yugoslavia. >> but there is not a bilateral conflict. there are so many combatants involved. do you agree with peter wilson that when the smoke clears if it ever does, iraq and syria are no longer valuable state. >> there may be countries called iraq and syria within their current borders, how they are constituted inside will be very different. i think the best case outcome i could come up with for syria, would be a partition like we did in yugoslavia. and in some kind of very loose federation. i would say that's the best case. i wouldn't put the mortgage on that, either. >> but russia just got involved. just inserted its troops and is making its presence known there. if they are not ready to count tennance that for instance, a
devolved syria, can you negotiate that around the table? >> i think we're a long way from any settlement. what russia cares about is selling weapons -- they have had a 50-year relationship with the assad family, selling weapons and getting access to military facilities, and if you have a state that had that part of the country that they would have their naval base, i think they would be willing to live with that. i think putin has taken on more than he bargained for. we're already seeing -- docket forget russia has 20 million muslims and they are starting to trickle into syria, and i wouldn't be surprised if you saw conflict renewed in russia. he has a really bullseye on his back as far as the entire shoeny world is concerned. >> does every additional armed
force on the ground -- it is really math as much as diplomacy, just create that much more level of complexity. >> you referred to a metaphor that maybe this is the beginning of world war 3. i would argue we have already fought world ward 3, it was the cold war. but this looks more like the spanish civil war, where you had big outside powers, and you saw one side eventually prevailing. what are the war aims of russia and iran. do they really believe by this type of intervention that they cannot only defeat the rebels, but defeat isis and reconstitute syria under their control? >> let's pick up there when we come back. are the desired and even
♪ welcome back to "inside story." i'm ray suarez. with the increased involvement of russia and france, with turkey shooting down a russian jet and facing russian economic retaliation, with isil increasing its involvement in libya, we're reviewing the bidding diplomatically a long list of countries have a long list of reasons why they are involved in the struggle against isil, to topple bashar al-assad, to return western iraq to baghdad's control. if you look at the war aims of
iran, the u.s., russia, france, is there any future that looks acceptable? or is this just a recipe for a longer and more inclusive war. peter and robert are still with me. let's pick up with peter left us off. can iran and russia go home if assad looks like he is out of the picture? >> well, i think rule one of diplomacy is you can't expect to win at the negotiating table when you can't run on the battlefield. they have soldiers coming through in body bags. >> do they have a government that is sensitive in that regard in >> not in the way that we consider it, but i think there is some tension-bolding on that. so you have that, and i think the u.s. has a problem, because
if this is our war, we can't win. this war has to be owned by the neighboring arab countries, and so far they have got every other objective except going after isil. and so if -- if that doesn't change, i don't see how the u.s. wants. >> have we demanded as table stakes for being there enough from the persian gulf states and saudi arabia? >> well, again, as we have been discussing, there are these conflicting objectives. saudi arabia clearly wants the assad regime demolished, and the war aims may be in the context of the civil war as unlimited as what might be the iranian russian war aims, so that makes it very difficult to come to an agreement. we have a situation right now where president hollande talks
about simultaneously developing a closer working relationship with russia to defeat isil, on the other hand saying i'm going to give additional support to the non-isis rebels. the non-isis rebels just blew up a russian helicopter. so what is going on here? and again, it comes back down to ask yourself from the united states's point of view, what is our strategic objectives in the region in what is satisfaction? not victory as the neocons call for or decisive military action. the question is, is there an outcome that is ultimately going to have to be policed by the great powers. >> is there? >> i think the first thing that has to happen is the people fighting on the ground have to reach a point of exhaustion.
that's usually one way wars end. >> you would have thought that would have passed already. the cities are rubble. the people -- millions are displaced. >> maybe they have a higher tolerance for pain than we think. but that's .1. and i think, if -- you know, between them -- look at the militaries of saudi arabia and the gulf states, egypt, jordan, saudi arabia, you have 5 million men under arms. if they put 50,000 on the ground, they could get rid of isis, but as peter was saying the saudis care more about that iran and they are preoccupied with it, and everybody -- you know, turkey -- erdogan anyway cares about the kurds. so everybody has different objectives and to have a real coalition you have to have a clear and concise objective. and we don't see that.
in confrontations large and small, you'll hear the old saw, you can't beat something with nothing. across the arab world and many countries far from the front lines, but homes to large numbers of muslim young men, nurturing dreams of bringing back pride, sovereignty, purity, and power to muslims carries strong appeal. reaching out through the internet, new media specialists deliver a narrative of loss, defeat in occupation, and promises young men and woman that all is not lost. get yourself here, and we'll build a new islamic state that don't let us down. beating something with nothing comes in when we talk about syria after the war, what kind of country will take the place of a now blood-soaked territory, covered in ruined apartment buildings, smashed marketplaces, schools in rubble. the guns could fall silent tomorrow and syria, with assad
or without him, be need breath-taking levels of international aid even to come close to the gdp it enjoyed before the arab spring. will the country's bombing syria now always move aggressively to rebuild her? will the young men be ready to rebuild a country they helped destroy, or be a dysfunctional syria also become a petri dish where disappointment, anger and insult help write the opening chapters of the next insurgency. figuring out how to fight isil has proved so costly and time consuming that destroying syria in the meantime has only made the eventually work of recovery that much harder. i'm ray suarez. and that's the inside story. ♪
the votes are in. burkina faso picks a former prime minister as the country's new leader welcome to al jazeera. coming up in the next half hour, pope francis warns world leaders that the world is heading to suicide if action is not taken to stop climate change. war of words. russia accuses turkey of downing its fighter jet to protect i.s.i.l.'s oil supply. >> china's currency gets a boost as it joins