Monday, March 3
Turkish impasse forces US rethink
BBC News, March 3, 2003
Turkey's failure to agree to US troop deployment has meant a top-level rethink about war plans, Washington's top general in Europe has confirmed.
But General James L Jones insisted that the war plans would not be derailed by the Turkish impasse.
US plans to base 62,000 troops in Turkey, to open a northern front in any war against Iraq, were thrown into chaos on Saturday when the Turkish parliament failed to endorse the plan.
Further talks between US diplomats and Turkish officials continued on Monday, but with little sign of progress,...
Turkish PM Abdullah Gul said on Monday no decision had been taken on reintroducing the motion, which has already been approved by the cabinet.
Analysts believe the vote will be delayed until a crucial by-election this weekend, in which ruling party leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan is standing.
A government reshuffle could then follow, possibly delaying a new vote for at least two or three weeks, a parliamentary source told the AFP news agency.
Despite the Turkish chaos, General Jones played down the significance of the possible loss of a northern front.
"Any military planner would like to have options," said General Jones, "but I don't think it will be a show-stopper."
US media reports spoke of a Plan B under preparation