Alp Sevimlisoy

Great Power Competition: Congress, the Senate and the President Must Act to Bolster Atlanticism Abroad Prior to the Midterms

The coinage of the phrase “great power competition” beckons one to an era where long standing established powers saw large portions of the world as an extension of their influence, hundreds, and if the Roman Empire and Carthaginians are to also be accounted for, thousands of years. Between the inception of hypersonic missiles now making the question of deterrence placement even more imperative vis-à-vis the ability to launch from one’s own nation and Belt & Road seeking to emulate a diluted ‘Marshall Plan-esque’ model, the main prize remains the same today as it was during the reign of Augustus, the hearts and minds of the populace, their allegiance, nowhere more so than the Mediterranean, the cradle of the original superpowers.

Long-standing established NATO membership in Southern Europe have rightly ensured that citizens from Southern Europe to notably within the Turkish Republic have integrated Atlanticism into their way of life, be it via joint and shared command structures ranging from Türkiye’s spearheading of VJTF (Very High Readiness Joint Task Force) last year to the continued bolstering of NATO’s nuclear deterrence via the invaluable base at Incirlik housing tactical nuclear capability, crucial even today in safeguarding our way of life more than half a century on. This Atlanticism is seen also in a widespread manner from commercial endeavors with US brands and goods being seen as superior to their Eurasianist counter parts such as low-quality Chinese and Russian items indicating both a consumer and distributor mentality that goes against the recent remarks by some that the People’s Republic of China is about to reach parity on the intelligible barometer known as the ‘Superpower Index’ colloquially. Society itself is also keen to see itself as in tune with the United States with citizens seeing the US as not a new partner rather, quite possibly, as the oldest partner of the Turkish nation, an aspect that the country that Turkey has held the most conflicts with, now known as the Russian Federation and that which has historically been a source of concern, the People’s Republic of China, could never become.

Atlanticism, usually held as a term reserved near exclusively within policy making corridors both lives and breathes across the borders of the Turkish Republic, Turks themselves see each other as standard bearers for both tradition with regard to Fatih as well as Süleyman the Magnificent who’s seal adorns the House Chamber in Washington as well as the distinct modernity and dignity of the nation state born from the ashes of the First World War under the tutelage of Atatürk, Father of the Turks. This Atlanticism, that keeps both our borders secure as part of the NATO alliance and provides cooperation between the populaces of member nations is our greatest strength whilst also being our most targeted sacrosanct shared attribute. The Chinese People’s Republic sees the Mediterranean as a region where via infrastructure transactions (as seen in Greece), can ‘hoist’ away the well-founded sympathies of both the citizenry and the state apparatus through a concoction of claims ranging from the US no longer being as active in said regions on the more timid side of the spectrum to outward coercion aimed at bringing already Pro-CCP members in existence within the Southern European periphery to the forefront by having them be the ‘front’ for so-called national development projects, the technique is not novel, formerly utilized by the Soviets, the Russian Federation which is a shadow of its former self by being righteously repelled via the celebrated efforts of the Ukrainian people in collaboration with hardware from allies such as the United States via HIMARS, the Republic of Turkey through Bayraktar drones and the UK with Brimstone missiles has shown that the Russian Federation is the starter course to a much more substantial, globally active and threatening China. The People’s Republic of China which sees the Mediterranean as a critical juncture of ‘Atlanticism’ must be countered also via the re-introduction of GLADIO, or in other words ‘Stay-Behind’ whereby akin to the Cold War, civilian-military clandestine structures were formed via the wider US partnership amongst member nations particularly in Southern Europe. These structures would aim to thwart both Pro-CCP and Pro-Russian Federation assets from either penetrating governments or governing themselves and also ensure that NATO member nations have enough internal strength to deter any aggressor should a situation that engulfs more countries as per Ukraine and potentially Taiwan in the future occurs. The Republic of Turkey, with an Armed Forces that is one of the most operationally capable and active within NATO is amply placed to be a founding participant of the novel GLADIO organization alongside other member nations with a key legacy as well as current capability with regard to ‘stay-behind’ such as the United States and the United Kingdom.

Congress, the Senate and the President, in unison the ‘life system’ of Atlanticism, are poised at the cusp of a role that is larger than simply governance of constituencies whilst approaching the Midterms, in 2022, with Great Power Competition now permeating many parts of the world to the degree where instead of cards being ‘re-shuffled’, eclipse the croupier being replaced instead, they are positioned to re-build Noah’s Ark, except in national security terms with the threat posed by the People’s Republic of China as well as the Russian Federation. This ark may house no animals on board though must hold instead a necessary and imperative assortment of F-35 multi-role jets, increase in the amount of shared nuclear deterrence and Patriot Missile Systems, the modern-day method to stand the flood that nears us day-by-day. Both the people of the Turkish Republic and the mutual strength that bring to the NATO alliance means that the above is the ‘arsenal of Atlanticism’ required to ensure that our lifestyle as citizens of NATO exists for decades and centuries more. Crucially, US Hypersonic weapons must be placed at İncirlik Air Base in other to counter the ‘posturing’ as per the Zircon Missile of the Russian Federation whereby with a view that their continuation shall be to complement NATO shared nuclear prowess subsequently as we move across this new era. This shall be of benefit to the national security of the Turkish Republic, the United States and the NATO alliance.

Atlanticism, a given we hold and accept when walking on First Street, is an active choice for many in the Mediterranean and for those living in the Turkish Republic, one which they chose out of their own volition, initially via the participation of Turkish forces during the Korean War, fighting side by side with the United States and today participating in continuous active operations involving the thwarting of Russian forces in Libya, security campaigns against extremists in Syria as well as direct support in Ukraine, all under the banner of a shared objective and desire, collective Atlanticism. Those keen on usurping the established rules based international order will be thwarted once again via the collective efforts of the United States as it recognizes that coming out of the pandemic, the biggest threat to the world remains the same, those intent on upending our very way of life, our freedom, and our dignity.

Alp Sevimlisoy is an internationally published geopolitical strategist & national security expert on NATO’s role within the Mediterranean, focusing on regional unionism and defense policy and a Millennium Fellow at the Atlantic Council headquartered in Washington, DC. Alp Sevimlisoy is also the CEO of his flagship private asset management corporation & hedge-fund headquartered in Istanbul. He has also published extensively on the role for a unified Mediterranean Command Structure within NATO. He has served as an advisory board member at Bayes Business School (formerly Cass Business School). Alp Sevimlisoy has been featured by Newsweek, the National Journal and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and the Centre for the National Interest (CFTNI). Alp Sevimlisoy’s editorials have been regularly published in the National Interest, The Hill and Israel Hayom.

Peter Woodard is an executive with a geopolitical focus on the moving parts within NATO and the potential for an expanded role within the region. He has spent considerable time consulting stakeholders in Mexico on its role in supporting Western initiatives including USMCA (formerly known as NAFTA). He has co-authored editorials focused on international affairs. Peter Woodard’s editorials have been regularly published in the National Interest, The Hill and Israel Hayom. Peter’s publications have been featured by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and the Centre for the National Interest (CFTNI).


Alp Sevimlisoy originally featured as per: Real Clear Defense