Sunday, June 03, 2007

I've been under a rock

I haven't been as diligent about following the news these last couple months, but I couldn't help but to notice an AP story that mentions a Turkish military build up on Iraq's northern border. A group of Kurds has been using the north of Iraq to stage terrorist attacks in Turkey, so they have some legitimate concern. There are some troubling details, though.

In the past when the Turks would invade northern Iraq, they'd fight along side the local population against this troublesome group, the PKK. Since the US invasion the rhetoric has changed, though. They blame all Kurds for harboring terrorists. I'd have to think that if they invaded now, it would be different than in the past. The Turkish government is rightly concerned that the war in Iraq has destabilized it to the point that Kurdistan may eventually become an independent, rival state. My concern is that they'll wish to invade and establish a permanent presence there, interfering in local Kurdish politics enough to prevent any sort of movement for statehood.

Al-Maliki has warned the Turks not to intervene, but he's powerless to stop it. Iraq's security forces can't even secure Iraq, much less the remote northern frontier. Robert Gates has warned the Turks, too, saying that the US has aided Turkey in dealing with the problem on their own soil, but if the Turks believe that the problem has to be solved on Iraq's soil, their solution is going to be a military one. We probably can't convince them not to. You may remember that Turkey refused Bush Administration requests to stage part of the the 2003 invasion from their bases. I can't remember for sure, but I don't even think we got flyover rights in spite of what was rumored to be a very generous foreign aid quid pro quo.

This is a very dangerous situation and one to keep an eye on.

Labels: , ,


Blogger Debaser said...

Heard a piece on All Things Considered this afternoon, and this isn't going away. The Turks say they have 140,000 troops ready to enter Northern Iraq.

This is a problem, of course, given the alliance between the Kurds and US. There was some quid pro quo in getting them to join the Iraqi government.

This may get pretty intense. Certainly the Administration can somehow bribe the Turks to hold off? I'm not sure what it would take.

Tue Jul 10, 12:35:00 AM 2007  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home