Today's meeting with Bush will have left Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan with a sour taste. He wants concrete action - troops on the ground kind of concrete action - and all he's getting is intel assistance.
"The PKK is a terrorist organization. They're an enemy of Turkey, they're an enemy of Iraq and they're an enemy of the United States," Bush told reporters after his meeting with Erdogan.However, Jane's Defense is saying that bush has stalled long enough to buy some time:
"We talked about the need to have better intelligence sharing," Bush said. "In order to chase down people who murder people, you need good intelligence. We talked about the need for our militaries to stay in constant contact."
He added that Erdogan had strongly urged the United States to work with Iraqi leaders to cut off money flows to the Kurdish rebel group.
So far, Ankara has been disappointed by U.S. offers of assistance, saying they did not go far enough.
The Turkish military will view these measures as a useful start, but Ankara will continue to maintain the pressure for more extensive action. As far as the Turks are concerned, only the imminent threat of Turkish military action appears to have yielded results from Baghdad and Washington. Nevertheless, Turkey is reluctant to commence ground operations during the winter months - although air and special forces operations may well be undertaken - therefore, these measures, coupled with the maintenance of concerted diplomatic, military and economic pressure from Ankara, should at least forestall the threat of large-scale Turkish military operations until the snows begin to melt in March 2008.At which point, the whole song and dance will start all over again, because Bush has no intention of fighting the War On Terror (TM) in Kurdish Iraq - he needs the Kurds too much. Erdogan now knows how Karzai feels about Musharraf's game-playing on the Afghan border.