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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Wednesday, February 26, 2003
2:20 PM

Here's something that didn't occur to me, from USS Clueless:

...the negotiations with Turkey continue to be a tangled mess, and it has finally dawned on me what I now think is the real point of them. I think that the reason we want a large contingent of troops in Turkey for a northern attack is so that our troops can then occupy Kurdistan and prevent Turkey from doing so. Given that such an assault would have to begin on Turkish soil, that obviously makes it a tricky diplomatic problem. Much of the publicity has been about monetary demands by Turkey (to be part of the "Coalition of the Billing"), but occasionally you see hints that the Turks are also demanding the right to send their own troops into northern Iraq once action begins, and I suspect that this may end up being the real bone of contention rather than the money. If there is Turkish involvement in the assault, it is politically necessary for us that we make sure it doesn't result in disaster for the Kurds, because it would make it so that for at least one segment of Iraq the situation post-war would actually get worse. That must be avoided, which is why elements of the 4th Infantry Division continue to twiddle their thumbs in ships off the coast of Turkey...

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