The Asian European Bridge: A Strategic Estimate of Turkey Following Operation Iraqi Freedom
Author(s)Belmain, Eugene R., II
Contributor(s)ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
KeywordsGovernment and Political Science
*UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT
IRAQ FREEDOM OPERATION
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AbstractOf all the consequences of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) possibly the least expected was the stress on US-Turkish relations caused by Turkey's refusal to allow U.S. troops to traverse or operate from Turkish territory. Prior to the 1 March 2003, vote in the Turkish Parliament, the US had won approval to enhance the military facility infrastructure within Turkey with the aim of using the refurbished facilities from which to stage military operations. Furthermore, the US, to this point, consistently highlighted Turkey as its model of choice for emerging Islamic democracies. In this case, however, it was those same democratic processes, namely the popular expression of the Turkish people through their parliamentary representatives, which seemed to prevent the US from attaining its political and military objectives within the region. The strain on the US-Turkish relationship caused by the events of OIF raises significant questions about the strength of the two countries' strategic partnership. This thesis aims to examine the continued and future viability of the US-Turkish strategic partnership and answer the question: Is Turkey still a key US strategic partner in the European-Asian region following Turkish refusal for US forces to traverse or conduct operations out of Turkish territory during OIF?