Western leftists think the CIA created al Qaeda by helping the mujahideen shoot down Russian helicopters. They’re wrong. The CIA program to arm anti-Soviet Afghan mujahideen with Stinger missiles saved lives.
The alliance has proved remarkably enduring, and rarely have Russia and Turkey enjoyed such a stretch of fruitful cooperation. But so much hinges on the personal relationship between Putin and Erdoğan. Not even they can change the brittle nature of a relationship between two powers that have been rivals for centuries.
Confidential contacts can be virtually anyone: politicians, diplomats, scientists, businessmen, engineers, and reporters. They have no state secrets to pass on, and the safest way of engaging them is in plain sight, under the guise of their everyday work.