Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Turkey out of Iraq, Part 2: more serious bungling by the US Administration?: "The United States managed to pressure and cajole Turkey into agreeing to send troops to Iraq on Oct. 7, when the Turkish parliament approved a 1-year deployment. The decision, which cost America about $8.5 billion in loans and the Turkish government considerable political capital, was watched with alarm in Iraq. The Iraqi Governing Council's collective and firm stance against Turkish troops has stopped a deployment. On Nov. 5, the president of the council, Osman Faruk Logoglu, said: 'The question of sending Turkish troops is closed.'

"Still, America's gyrations are worrisome. The original plan of sending Turkish troops reflects poor U.S. strategizing. And though Iraqi opposition was a foregone conclusion, America apparently offered Turkey handsome incentives to approve the sending of troops. The plan was so advanced it appeared the United States was going to shrug off Iraqi concerns. But the Bush administration recently did an about-face and said there would be no Turkish deployment without Iraqi approval – a move which bitterly embarrassed Ankara."

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