Friday, March 25, 2005

Talking Turkey

From Austin Bay:

The huge NATO airbase complex at Incirlik, Turkey, played a key role in the Cold War, in the Persian Gulf War, and in enforcing the northern “no-fly zone” against Saddam.

Now it’s being prepared to provide logistical support for potential “operations” to the east. The article says Afghanistan and Iraq. But other nations may read this quote from Defense News in different ways– peacekeeping requires logistical support (eg, the UN faces a huge logistics burden when it deploys 10,000 peacekeepers to Sudan later this year). Iran will read it as a building military threat. Kyrgyzstan may see it as either a peacekeeping lifeline– or the launchpad for western troops. Syria is only “slightly east” of Adana (more south, actually).

What the report means is that Turkey and the US are preparing “operational options.” It also says the contretemps –wrought by Turkey’s refusal to allow US troops to base out of Turkey in the March 2003 attack on Saddam– is now history.

Assuming this report is accurate, this is most excellent news — and further evidence of the pro-democracy momentum being generated by the Bush doctrine, his re-election, and the "tough love" diplomacy of Condi Rice.

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