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April 30, 2006

Comments

b

My impression was that Rice did put the gun to some Turkish heads on her recent visit.

"Either you help us with regime change in Iran or we will let the Kurds run lose."

The Turks would not help with Iran but would fight the Kurds. But it is not the first time the Cheney administration is reading them wrong.

John Robb

They are in a tough spot here. They are going to lose more than the US when this blows through.

bahadir

http://www.avsam.org/fpr
Foreign Press Review

dan

Fortunately, there is little chance of the strategy working - unless there's another "constitutional" coup in the US, the Bush administration, which is already in intensive care and may be fatally damaged by November, will be out of power in less than 3 years.

Turkey is looking at a 15-year time-line for EU accession, so "soon" is flexible in the current context - and its territorial integrity is non-negotiable anyway. Iran and Turkey have gamed this out and will cooperate on the tactical level to constrain Kurdish irredentism in the expectation that the US policy posture will collapse by mid-2009.

If the message that you're decoding is accurate, then the Bush administration is telling Turkey that if it doesn't help with Iran, then the US will let the Kurds loose on them, now as opposed to later, when, if the US strategy works, the Kurds will be even more powerful and far further down the line of their greater Kurdistan project. They may well have said this to them prior to the Iraq war too - but even with a $60 billion sweetener thrown in, the 4th ID still had to go in via Kuwait; US currency has debased considerably since then.

Quite how this sits with the US's treaty committments to Turkey is unclear - but it's not going to win the Bush administration any friends in Ankara; and they're pissed enough as is over the Bush administration's failures to deliver on basic promises re the PKK not using Iraqi Kurdistan as a base made back in 2002.

Whilst there has been some recent Kurdish separatist activity against Iran, it needs to be borne in mind that the bulk of resurgent PKK activity has actually been focussed on Turkey - this suggests that the policy is unstable and that unanticipated blowback effects are already occurring, or, you're reading the runes incorrectly. Quite why the Kurds should be attacking the "wrong" targets is unclear - it may have something to do with the fact that the Kurds have historically had far better relations with the Islamic government in Teheran than its counterparts in Baghdad, Ankara and Damascus, and that the separatist pressures are less acute than generally assumed - the PJK is far smaller and far less coherent than the PKK, and there has never been the same intensity of conflict as there was in both Iraq and Turkey in the past.

I'm assuming that you're not suggesting that the Bush administration is fomenting terrorist activity against a NATO ally as a means of coercion, although it strikes me as a perfectly plausible manouevre given the desperate straits that the Bush administration's regime change objectives now find themselves in.

b

I'm assuming that you're not suggesting that the Bush administration is fomenting terrorist activity against a NATO ally as a means of coercion, although it strikes me as a perfectly plausible manouevre given the desperate straits that the Bush administration's regime change objectives now find themselves in.

Operation Gladio
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gladio

b

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?c=JPArticle&cid=1145961254015&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
Turkey won't allow US to use its bases

"Turkey does not intend to allow the United States to launch an attack against Iran from the Inchirlik military base, Turkish news agencies reported Sunday.

Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul told the Dubai-based al-Bayan that he doubted the US would ultimately choose to take military action, as "Iran has its own strategic advantages."

Gul said that facilitating an attack against a neighboring country was "not an option," despite the US offer to build Turkey a nuclear reactor as a counterbalance to Iran's expanding nuclear facilities. "

John Robb

LOL. Greater Kurdistan here we come.

BTW: The idea that Turkey, given its treatment of the Kurds, is even being considered for EU membership is beyond me.

Federalist X

john: turkey is being considered for EU membership for many of the same reasons tom barnett's book is a best seller with Neocons in America... an unquenchable thirst to "set the world right".

this desire has an almost scary ability to ignore the factual record. here we go again.

b

"BTW: The idea that Turkey, given its treatment of the Kurds, is even being considered for EU membership is beyond me."

This EU guy thinks it is a good idea. Economical it makes great sense and the culture, which I know from some extensive travel there, is not as different as you might think.

The Kurd/Turkish problems can be solved, if the US keeps back from pushing for a Kurdish state. Now that is a big if.

Alex

If I was a Turkish spook, I'd arm the Kurds. Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer...and between you and Iraq.

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