Thursday, October 18, 2007
Horn + Horn = Dilemma
Gareth Jenkins is the man to read when it comes to Turkey and the PKK. This article over at The Jamestown Foundation is no exception. Why would a Turkish incursion today be less successful than the already costly incursions of the 1990's? Because ten years ago the Peshmergas fought alongside the Turks, cutting off the PKK's lines of retreat in the face of the Turkish advance, whereas today they're mobilizing to fight alongside the PKK. What will a Turkish incursion look like if the army does eventually get the order to roll out? Ground attacks on the PKK forward bases along the Turkish border, air strikes followed by airborne special forces infiltrations on the main bases in Iraq's Qandril Mountains. How likely is a Turkish incursion? Hard to tell, but Jenkins suggests that a lot depends on the US giving a clear signal of just how they would respond. Turkey is convinced American forces will do nothing; the Kurds are convinced they'll intervene after the first engagement between Peshmerga and Turkish ground troops. They can't both be right.