Monday, December 17, 2007
As much as anything else, Turkey's latest airstrikes on PKK camps or Kurdish villages (depending on who you believe) demonstrate why any country relying on air power as their primary method of counterinsurgency is asking for trouble. This is doubly true when the targets are inaccessible mountain locations where it's difficult to get independent verification of one's claims.
It also violated the principle component of what made the working arrangement to deal with the PKK acceptable to everyone involved, namely reasonable deniability. Targeted precision raids based on American intelligence are one thing. Attention-grabbing strikes comprised of twenty to fifty F-16s sent out in waves up to 100 km into Iraqi territory are quite another. Especially when Iraqi airspace is guaranteed by America. (Note to the American ambassador to Turkey who issued a statement denying that Ankara got an American go-ahead: The idea of deniability does not mean denying things that are obviously undeniable. It's means doing things in such a way that a denial seems at least somewhat plausible.)
According to The New Anatolian, Ankara plans on doing this all winter long. Good grief.