The no boots on the ground approach gives rise to a new and ambiguous security strategy, which raises a number of questions and problems by virtue of becoming a structural element, even if for a limited period of time. By artificially postponing the inevitable confrontation with live conflicts and potential problem areas from the Caucasus to China, this perspective provides a false, albeit unsustainable, sense of relief to the international community.
Today, we are witnessing the rise of military forces unable to fight due to the deadlock in global institutions and, most notably, in the U.N. Security Council. As the global financial crisis evolved into economic turmoil after 2008, governments across the world have conveniently invested in a number of instruments just to avoid the conversation about the structural reasons behind the post-9/11 chaos. At times they concentrated on developing a security and political strategy with an exclusive focus on unmanned drones. When convenient, they relied on weak regional players to fight their proxy wars. When it comes to the Syrian war, however, the world has exhausted all arguments and excuses at the expense of the lives of several hundred thousand people. Today, the outcome does not fall short of complete savagery. The merger between the Syrian conflict and the chaos in Iraq has eliminated most ways to avoiding the cold facts – except, of course, media campaigns and intelligence operations to escape the truth. Especially over the past year, the number of media operations in the West about Syria and Iraq has reached new heights as a range of supposedly credible news outlets have evolved into operation centers to cover the costs of no boots on the ground. With regard to Turkey and the Syrian crisis, the aforementioned outlets assume a particularly noteworthy position.
Thus far, Ankara has developed a clear position on the Syrian conflict and refused to adopt short-term approaches in both Syria and Iraq. Instead, Ankara proposes to deal with the structural reasons behind the turmoil and form a safe zone to protect various groups on the ground, stop the massive inflow of refugees and put an end to the Bashar Assad regime's atrocities. In the absence of a macro-level perspective, the authorities argue, a range of operational objectives would simply not fit together. It's hardly possible to suggest that others do not share this view. A number of actors that engage Turkey regarding the crisis agree with almost all of its assessments and share most of its solutions. Putting these great ideas to work, however, has proven quite challenging – a point that experienced Western bureaucrats who served as special envoys over the past three and a half years have frequently raised themselves. Disagreements between governments have effectively led to the resignation of several officials.