Monday, June 11, 2007

Turkey and Kurdistan

M K Bhadrakumar at the Asia Times analyzes the current strategy of Turkey regarding the PKK, the Kurds in general and Iraq in the article Turkey not done with the Kurds.

I'll forgo my usual whining and complaining about the lack of this type of story in the US press, analysis made without blinding repeating the world view of unnamed administration officials is beyond them, so let us bless the silence, and read the Asia Times.

The view of the article is that an invasion is unlikely, at least at present. I'm sure that Turkey's annoyance level is relatively high from the current PKK offensive, but they have sense enough to not waste energy and manpower for difficult gains while risking offending the US. And while they remain opposed to an independent Iraqi Kurdistan (or semi-independent) there is good reason to wait and see what develops.

Despite the support of the US, and Kurdish cooperation with US military efforts, an independent Kurdistan, even with Kirkuk as a part, seems a dubious proposition to me, and possibly to the Turks.

Why dubious?

Kurdistan is landlocked, and would be dependent on its neighbors for everything but air transport. The neighbors would be: a hostile Iraq, a hostile Turkey, and a probably hostile Iran. Even if you've got the oil, how do you get it to market? The Kurds main allies now are the US and Israel. Both are far away and operating in their own interest. The US policy in this area is seemingly made by madmen and/or idiots, it changes with the wind and makes no sense, while Israel is not capable of doing more than backing up the US.

Turkey will not export Kurdish oil, the US wouldn't allow Iran to export Kurdish oil, so the only alternative is Iraq. So, Kurdish independence in dependent on a stable, friendly regime in Iraq, hardly a good bet at this time. I hope the Kurds don't overplay their hand here, and believe too much in US assurances. They're worth very little these days.


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