This Is The Way The World Ends (Scenario Planning)

James Rogers jamesr@best.com
Mon, 17 Mar 2003 16:35:03 -0800


>=20
> That's entirely plausible.  In fact, my own scenario=20
> (Turkey/Iran/Syria=20
> vs. U.S. / etc.) is rather outside the box.  The only thing=20
> that makes=20
> the latter (mine) even remotely plausible is that T/I/S share an=20
> interest in keeping an independent Kurdistan from forming, while the=20
> U.S. has split motivations:  we don't want a Kurdistan either=20
> and we've=20
> promised the Turks to help prevent it, but we also don't want=20
> Turkey in=20
> northern Iraq.  I'd say we marginally prefer fighting the Turks than=20
> giving up northern Iraq, and that kind of fight might force the=20
> speculated alliance.


There are a number of considerations that make this highly unlikely.  =
First
is the odd relationship the Turkish military has with the Turkish
government.  As a formidable institution, the Turkish military has very =
old
and strong ties with the US military and the US government.  The Turkish
parliament panders to its population, but the Turkish military panders =
to
neither parliament nor the population.  The Turkish military is strongly =
in
favor of fully supporting the US, it was the parliament that waffled, =
and
most of what I am hearing out of Turkey suggests that the Turkish =
military
is helping the US military do what it needs to do to the extent they can
without the approval of the parliament.  The Turkish military fighting =
the
US military would be as odd and unreal as the US military fighting the =
UK
military (ancient history notwithstanding).

That said, Turkey is definitely nervous about Kurdistan though they do =
not
appear to have any interest in getting involved in that region either.  =
The
compromise between the various factions in the region appears to be a
10-mile deep security buffer at the border of Iraq that Turkey may =
patrol to
assuage the fears of the Turkish parliament until such time as a sane =
and
stable government system is put into place post-Baath.

The US is involved with something with the Syrian government, but I =
don't
know what.

Iran will stay out of Iraq primarily because they are nervous about the =
US
and their own internal problems.  My read based on the current activity =
in
Iran is that the government there feels that if they play nice, stay =
quiet,
and keep things low key in their own country, not only will they be able =
to
maintain some semblence of their current government, but the US will =
work
with them in an amicable manner.  Iran has its own problems that have
nothing to do with the US, and it seems to me that there is a view =
within
the Iranian government that following Pakistan's example with =
Musharraf's
government may be the safest and most productive pathway for them.  =
Their
internal pressure has been putting them on a course towards moderation, =
and
this external pressure is only encouraging that shift.

So no, I don't think that a T/I/S alliance is in the offing and I don't =
see
it as particularly beneficial to those players in the region.  I don't =
think
there will an independent Kurdistan state because of serious political
difficulties but who knows how that will work out.  Like in Africa,
tribalism is an underlying roadblock to building a state that actually =
works
well.

=20
> Those particular players are notoriously shifty anyway;  I=20
> wouldn't be=20
> surprised by anything, particularly given the political unrest and=20
> instability in Turkey and Iran right now.


Turkey is not unstable; I'm not really sure what would give you that =
idea.
Iran isn't entirely stable, but it is more of a problem internal to Iran
rather than an instability that would manifest itself outward.

=20
Cheers,

-James Rogers
 jamesr@best.com
=20