Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Classic Assymetry

Gareth Jenkins over at the Jamestown Foundation has a bit more on how the PKK operates:

Since its resumption of violence in June 2004 following a five year cease-fire, the PKK has conducted a two-front strategy: a rural insurgency in eastern Turkey and a bombing campaign in the western part of the country. The latter has focused primarily on economic targets, particularly Turkey's lucrative tourism industry.

The rural insurgency picks up every year during the spring, when the mountain passes between Iraqi Kurdistan and Turkey thaw out. It's still not clear whether a recent string of explosions in the West represents a surge in the group's terrorist activities. Both tactics put enormous pressure on the Turkish government to respond, even though cross-border incursions in the past have had little impact. At the same time, neither the terrorist attacks nor the insurgency represent an existential threat to Turkey.

Neither side can accomplish what it wants through armed conflict, and neither side is willing to accomodate the other at the negotiating table. Which means we'll be reading about this one for some time to come.

Posted by Judah in:  Turkey   

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