TURKEY, THE OTHER FRANCE: The new Turkish government is trying to hold the US up for a few billion dollars more than we’re willing to pay in exchange for permission to use our bases in Turkey to stage operations into northern Iraq. Several pieces in today’s NYT report that the denial of Turkish bases would be a serious obstacle, forcing the US to rely on lighter forces than we would otherwise prefer and to stage most of our ground operations from Kuwait rather than having a two-front attack.

This is the same Turkey that’s ostensibly a NATO ally and that wants to be admitted to the EU. The same Turkey that most of Europe is reluctant to see armed and which took major US pressure to secure air defense assets for last week. If they want to play hardball, we can do the same. We could, for example, remind them that if there are no US forces in the north, it might be hard to restrain the Kurds from consolidating their hold in southern Turkey.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.