Skip to comments.U.S. General: Iraq Attack to Succeed Without Turkey
Posted on 03/03/2003 8:21:34 AM PST by areafiftyone
STUTTGART, Germany (Reuters) - A top U.S. military official said on Monday a possible war in Iraq would be successful even without a northern front after the Turkish parliament blocked U.S. troops from deploying in Turkey.
"I don't think it's absolutely a showstopper in terms of whether you have a northern front or not," said Gen. James L. Jones, the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, and the Commander of the United States European Command.
"We're going to be successful regardless of what we're limited to," he told a news conference at EUCOM headquarters in the southwestern German town of Stuttgart.
"But to have a presence in the northern part of Iraq -- we would definitely have an advantage, and they would have to pay more attention to the North."
In a setback to U.S. plans for a "northern front" against Iraq, and clouding President Bush's efforts to build international support for a potential war, Turkey's parliament on Saturday narrowly rejected a motion to allow as many as 62,000 U.S. troops to be deployed in Turkey.
The United States is consulting with Turkey on future steps after the decision, a U.S. official said on Sunday.
Jones said the U.S. military was waiting to see what would be accomplished on the issue through diplomatic channels.
"We will have to wait and see how the diplomatic dialogue resolves itself," he said.
The deployment would have been accompanied by a multibillion dollar U.S. aid package under a deal negotiated by the United States and the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Gul.
Jones said current plans to evaluate the U.S. military's base structure in Europe were still at the conception stage, but any base movements would not be connected to differences of opinion between Germany and the United States over Iraq.
"There's no list out there of what might be closed," said Jones, who assumed his current position in January.
European media reports have suggested recently that the United States was considering closing some German bases to "punish" Berlin for its anti-war stance, but Washington has denied any such motivation.
Jones declined to comment on which countries could be possible new homes for U.S. bases. But he said he has asked for a meeting with Russian colleagues to discuss the possibility of stationing troops in Eastern Europe.
The U.S. military was faced with the new challenge of protecting its bases in Germany when forces are deployed elsewhere, Jones said.
"We know that terrorists can strike anywhere," he said. "Force protection is very, very much part and parcel of anything that we do."
Germany currently has 950 soldiers protecting U.S. military bases in the country, where 70,000 of the nearly 110,000 U.S. troops in Europe are stationed. Jones said the U.S. military was grateful for Germany's assistance.
I'd like to see some "revised" numbers a year from now...
It won't be a heavy force, but then again, since the Iraqi's seem to be moving a heavy division further south that may not be much of a problem.
That pretty much sums up the entire Iraq episode from beginning to end. And it's why we've had so many slips and stumbles. It's time (past time, actually) to change the equation, change the facts on the ground. Pursuing the diplomatic front is fighting on ground of the enemy's choosing.
Actually, it was narrowly passed, then rejected by the leader of the Parliament. Small difference, but then again, I'm not the "reporter"...
TURKEY to US (after seeing the effect on their economy): We made a mistake on Saturday. We would be glad to host your troops for your offer of $30 billion...
US to TURKEY: Glad to hear it. We'll give you $5 billion.
There are 30 million Kurds in parts of Turkey, Iran, and Iraq. Cobbling them into a viable country will be difficult but is now on the list where, before Turkey backed out, it wasn't. "FREE OCCUPIED KURDISTAN!!"
The real worry is what the terrorists will do in response, and whether the US is ready for that kind of ugliness, either towards our troops there, or even here at home... are we ready politically, emotionally, and psychologically? (I'd guess no on all three counts.)
On a side note: Is anyone else getting sick and tired of the State Department constantly being blamed for the actions of others? First, the Bush administration is blamed for the irrational greed of Jaques and Gerhardt. Then some publications took a stab at digging up some blame for Colin Powell's failure to convince the leaders of terrorist enabling or appeasing nations in the Security Council of the need to forcably disarm Saddam, though they really had to stretch the limits of imagination. And THEN it's the Bush administration's fault a Canadian MP publically called Americans 'b@stards' whom she hates. Now State's being blamed for the Turkish parlaiment's apparent cutting off of it's financial nose to appease the radicals.
I wouldn't get to worried about this, and beside, Turkey may have another vote on this and it may get passed.
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