Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Thursday | March 13, 2003

Turkey driving a hard bargain

CW was that new Turkish PM, upon taking control of the government this week, would facilitate the deployment of US forces in Turkey. However, the reality has only gotten worse for Bush: not only is Erdogan driving a tougher bargain, but he's refusing to allow the US of Turkish airbases without parliamentary approval.

Despite the acceleration of U.S. military preparations elsewhere, Turkey's leaders appear to be in no hurry to schedule a new vote in parliament on the U.S deployment or use of airspace. They say they are confident that the United States will wait for them because an invasion of Iraq without Turkey's help would be riskier, take longer and result in more casualties.


Turkey's reluctance to grant the United States permission to use its airspace is particularly problematic for the Pentagon, which had counted on using scores of warplanes based at Incirlik air base in southern Turkey and on aircraft carriers in the eastern Mediterranean to hit Iraqi targets. Without the use of Turkish airspace, Pentagon officials would have to consider using the more provocative route of flying over Israel and Jordan.

And of course, the story has the obligatory noting how US threats against Turkey have backfired and hardened opposition to the US deployment.

Yet more proof that rank amateurs are running the show.

Posted March 13, 2003 06:48 AM | Comments (7)


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