TURKISH HELP?

WaPo has the news:

Turkey’s government on Monday voted to ask Parliament to send soldiers to Iraq, a move that could ease the burden of U.S. operations there and help mend frayed relations with Washington.

If Parliament agrees, Turkey would become the first predominantly Muslim nation to contribute troops to U.S.-led coalition. But many lawmakers reject the idea of sending troops to aid reconstruction after the ouster of Saddam Hussein — particularly when they opposed the war that ousted him.

Hoping to win over critics, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was to address members of his party Tuesday ahead of a Parliament vote that could come as soon as later that day.

Government spokesman Cemil Cicek would not disclose how many soldiers the government hoped to send, but officials have said the United States requested about 10,000. The number “will be assessed according to needs,” Cicek said.

The United States also has been seeking soldiers from India, Pakistan and South Korea to bolster 130,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. Turkey is NATO’s only Muslim member, and Washington is keen to see troops from Muslim countries in an Iraq peacekeeping mission.

Granting that Turkey’s Government wanted to allow us to stage a front there but was frustrated in its efforts by the Parliament, this is still encouraging.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.