Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Decent Turkish outcome?

Lord knows I've been critical of the Bush administration on foreign policy, but this time it might have done something fairly well. If this Newsweek story is accurate, they've worked intensively behind the scenes to defuse the potentially dangerous situation along the Turkish-northern-Iraqi border, where the PKK guerrillas have been staging raids into Turkey from Kurdish northern Iraq, killing about 40 Turks over the last month. Turkish prime minister Recep Erdogan has been under pressure to invade and take out the PKK, but he understands it could be destabilizing and could stir up Turkey's 14 million Kurds.

Apparently here's the deal. Bush has declared the PKK an official enemy and promised actionable intelligence to Turkey. The Kurdish regional government managed to broker a deal to get 8 kidnapped Turkish soldiers returned, but says it can't take out the PKK in the rugged mountains. So all will look the other way if Turkey does small-scale "hot pursuit" cross-border incursions, and Turkey agrees not to launch a large-scale invasion unless the small-scale doesn't do any good.

Not perfect, but maybe not so bad. It could fall apart, but it's worth giving it a chance. Hat-tip to Dan for pointing this out; most news stories were nowhere near so helpful.

No comments: