Bordering on Terrorism: Turkey’s Syria Policy and the Rise of the Islamic State

December 19, 2014
8:30 am -

Event Description

Southeastern Turkey has become a hub for terror finance, arms smuggling, illegal oil sales, and the flow of fighters to extremist groups in Syria including the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra. Ankara has made explicit that it supports the arming of Syrian rebels, although whether Ankara is directly assisting jihadist groups remains unclear.

Nevertheless, Turkey’s reluctance to cooperate with the international coalition acting against the Islamic State has undermined domestic stability, threatened the country’s economy and placed it on a collision course with the United States. Should Washington, therefore, seek to persuade Ankara to confront extremism at home and its neighborhood? And if Turkey refuses, should there be implications for its NATO membership?

Please join FDD for a timely conversation with Tony Badran, Jamie Dettmer, and Jonathan Schanzer.

David S. Jackson is a veteran journalist and former U.S. government official. He spent 23 years as a correspondent and bureau chief for Time Magazine covering a wide range of stories in the U.S. and abroad. Since his first assignment as a foreign correspondent covering the 1978-1979 revolution in Iran (including an interview in France with Ayatollah Khomeini), he has reported from dozens of countries around the world. In September 2001, Jackson began a career in public service, working out of the Pentagon to create and run a new website for the Defense Department to provide the public with news and information about the war against terrorism. He later was appointed as the 26th Director of the Voice of America. In 2008, Jackson went to the State Department as a Senior Advisor for Communications/Public Affairs Specialist in the Bureau of European & Eurasian Affairs. He then was selected as the Director of Defense Media Activity at the Defense Department. In 2012-2013, he was Executive Editor of The Washington Times.

Tony Badran is a Research Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. His research focuses on Lebanon, Syria and Hezbollah, including U.S. policy towards Lebanon and Syria; Syrian foreign policy, with a focus on its regional relations and its ties to militant non-state actors and terrorist groups. Born and raised in Lebanon, Mr. Badran also specializes in Lebanese affairs, including the military history of the Lebanese civil war, and has written extensively on Hezbollah. Mr. Badran has testified on Syria before the House of Representatives and the European Parliament and speaks frequently at leading policy research institutes. Mr. Badran’s writings appear regularly in a range of publications including the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, and The Weekly Standard. He also writes a weekly commentary for NOW Lebanon, a news site that covers the Middle East, with a focus on Lebanese and Syrian affairs.

Jamie Dettmer is a journalist and broadcaster with Voice of America and The Daily Beast. He has had a prolific journalism career, reporting on the Middle East, U.S. politics, national security, international affairs, political economy and (more recently) Ukraine. Mr. Dettmer has been a foreign correspondent on every continent, and has run bureaus in Washington, Moscow, Kuwait City, and Belfast. He has published widely in the domestic and international press, and is a frequent commentator on CNN and other television outlets.

Jonathan Schanzer is the Vice President for Research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Dr. Schanzer worked as a terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he played an integral role in the designation of numerous terrorist financiers. A former research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, he has published numerous books, including State of Failure: Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Unmaking of the Palestinian State and Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine. Dr. Schanzer has testified before Congress and publishes widely in the American and international media.


Syria Turkey