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Turkey is the problem this time of year

Posted By Rachel Alexander On October 28, 2007 at 11:43 pm

As the U.S. strains to support the fledgling Iraqi government, countering internal battles as well as threats from Iran in the east and Syria in the west, another threat is emerging, Turkey from the north. And like Afghanistan in the past, the players involved have switched roles. The Kurds, who were gassed in massive numbers by Saddam Hussein, are now the aggressors. Specifically, the PKK, a Marxist-nationalist group of Kurds considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. and European Union. The PKK has launched attacks inside Turkey, killing police and military with mines and bombs. Turkey has begun attacking back, although its strikes have not yet crossed the boundary into Iraq.

So far the U.S. hasn't interfered with the PKK, not wanting to create further instability within Iraq. But it hasn't denounced Turkey either. Turkey is a democracy, an asset to the U.S. in the Middle East. The reason the PKK is attacking Turkey is because it doesn't like Kurds being assimilated into a democracy, the PKK believes they should be a separate nation.

Fortunately, the solution may lie with Turkey itself, and will not involve more U.S. manpower. A few surgical strikes by Turkey on the PKK's military operations could quell the uprising, like Israel's targeted strikes did to Hezbollah in Lebanon last year. But it would probably need to happen before the next U.S. presidential election. If Hillary Clinton is elected, she has said she intends to leave U.S troops in Iraq beyond the current mission to protect the Kurds. What she means by "protect" however will probably benefit the PKK, which hurts Turkey and could spur a revolt of its Kurdish population.

Article printed from The Loft: http://www.gopusa.com/theloft

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