Could a problem “diplomats” failed to address a century ago lead to the dissolution of NATO, a redrawing of the Middle East and World War III? Turkey’s invasion of Syria on Jan. 20 and Turkey dictator Recep Erdogan’s threats may do that.

When Britain’s Mark Sykes and France’s Francois Georges-Picot prepared a new world order in 1916, one without the Ottoman Empire, they did so with French and British interests at heart. The people who had lived in the land for thousands of years were ignored. One thing the colonists wanted was a Kurdistan.

The West considers the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the YPG, “terrorist groups” with ties to the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a decades-long fight in Turkey.

Erdogan says his plans are to push east and commit a 21st Century genocide on the Kurds. The Turk leader said his forces will push to the border with Iraq “until no terrorists [Kurds] are left,” the Associated Press reported on Jan. 27.

About 60 miles east of Afrin sits Manbij, where Americans and Kurds are stationed. U.S. State Department Secretary Rex Tillerson said a 30,000-strong border force of primarily Kurdish fighters would be trained and deployed in Manbij on Jan. 18. Two days later Erdogan invaded.

Bring it

A Pentagon spokesman said U.S. troops in Manbij are prepared to defend themselves this week. The United States has air coverage over all of its troops “so we're always prepared to defend ourselves, whether it's from ISIS or any other threat." He reaffirmed U.S.

support for the YPG fighters who make up the backbone of the SDF. The Trump administration has continued to provide weapons, training, and air support to SDF troops over Turkey's protests. Many YPG fighters changed the group’s name to SDF at the urging of the United States in July.

Turkey continues to demand that Washington stop its support of the Kurds and withdraw from Syria in the meantime.

Washington warned Ankara to limit its activities to Afrin. Russia quietly withdrew its troops from Afrin prior to Turkey’s invasion. Syria’s only reaction has been rhetorical.

Blame America?

“A five-year-old child could have figured out that Turkey wasn’t going to sit-back and let the U.S, establish a Kurdish state on its border without putting up a fight,” said Mike Whitney in an essay published online in the Unz Review on Jan.

27. Whitney’s thesis is that the United States has lost the respect of Turkey, Syria, Russia and Iran.

The author thinks those countries and Hezbollah will create a new coalition committed to preserving the principles of national sovereignty, self-determination and non-intervention. Think George Washington’s farewell address. Washington wants to redraw borders and prop up its handpicked leaders.