Kadir Üstün

Kadir Üstün

Kadir Ustun is the Executive Director of the SETA Foundation in Washington, DC.
Ending the Confusion over U S Withdrawal from Syria

Ending the Confusion over U.S. Withdrawal from Syria

March 20, 2019
Without admitting a policy failure, the U.S. will not be able to achieve meaningful cooperation with Turkey. That will neither accomplish security and stability on the ground nor help achieve U.S. policy goals in northern Syria.
Is the US Going to Withdraw from Syria or Not

Is the US Going to Withdraw from Syria or Not?

March 1, 2019
The U.S. administration has been persuaded to leave a residual U.S. force (400 soldiers), which would certainly make SDF happier than a sudden and full U.S. withdrawal. This is where the Turkish public opinion will be uneasy once again about the U.S. strategy. Leaving a residual force can easily look like the U.S. is more preoccupied with protecting the SDF forces rather than with precluding the return of Daesh.
A Safe Zone in Northern Syria is a Must for

A Safe Zone in Northern Syria is a Must for Turkey

February 13, 2019
If the U.S. and Turkey can work together on establishing a safe zone in northern Syria with the goal of achieving stability and security, it would go a long way in repairing years of mutual distrust.  
Protecting the YPG Should not be a Goal of the

Protecting the YPG Should not be a Goal of the US Withdrawal

February 6, 2019
Some argue that the U.S. should not abandon their allies on the ground and leave them to their fate, which would amount to a “betrayal of the Kurds.” This line of thinking makes a couple of flawed assumptions starting with equating the PKK’s Syrian affiliate the YPG with Syrian Kurds in general.
Taking Stock of the Syria Withdrawal Decision

Taking Stock of the Syria Withdrawal Decision

January 23, 2019
The Syria withdrawal decision is criticized on many fronts but most critics complain more about the style and timing than the substance of it. More importantly, they have failed to propose a realistic policy goal that justifies an indefinite U.S. presence.
Another Bumpy Week in US-Turkey Relations

Another Bumpy Week in US-Turkey Relations

January 15, 2019
The continued U.S. insistence on the use of the general category “Kurds” to describe the YPG forces in northern Syria is a major irritant for Turkey and a seemingly deliberate effort to legitimize the PKK.
US-Turkey Cooperation in Syria Requires Serious Strategy

US-Turkey Cooperation in Syria Requires Serious Strategy

January 7, 2019
Going forward, the central question will remain the same: what is the U.S. strategy in Syria? With or without U.S. troop presence on the ground, what is the main goal?
Can the US have its Cake and Eat it too

Can the US have its Cake and Eat it too in Syria?

December 11, 2018
The U.S. balancing act between supporting the PYD and providing reassurances to Turkey to be able to cooperate on the resolution of the Syrian conflict is not an easy one.
The G20 Summit A Lack of Leadership and Purpose

The G20 Summit: A Lack of Leadership and Purpose

December 4, 2018
Today, what we are seeing is the increasing irrelevance and greater provincialization of multilateral institutions that are supposed to provide comprehensive global solutions. This reality promises further uncertainty and instability around the world, which is already faced with challenges no single nation can solve on its own.
Walking Through the Minefields in the US-Turkey Relationship

Walking Through the Minefields in the US-Turkey Relationship

November 21, 2018
The U.S.-Turkey relationship is going through interesting times, as both allies are willing to work through their differences despite serious disagreements over a host of issues.