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Adventures with the CIA in Turkey: Interview with Philip Giraldi

In the following exclusive interview, Balkanalysis.com Director Christopher Deliso speaks with Philip Giraldi, a former CIA deputy chief of base in Turkey. Through the interview, readers get a first-hand introduction to the cloak-and-dagger reality of undercover work in one of the world’s most important strategic areas. Iranian assassinations, Turkish eavesdropping and other eye-opening stories allow the reader an intimate inside look into the shadowy, high-stakes game of international espionage.

Mr. Giraldi’s biography and career information are provided after the interview.

Christopher Deliso: First of all, please share some background information about your mission. What exactly was your position in Turkey? For how long were you stationed there?

Philip Giraldi: I served as deputy chief of base of Istanbul from 1986 to 1989. In the CIA, a station is in the capital city, Ankara, in this case, and is subordinate to the Embassy. All other field elements in any given country are called bases.

CD: Right. But I would imagine that as “bases’ go, Istanbul was a fairly important one, no? What were you tasked with doing, primarily?

PG: Istanbul was the largest CIA base in Europe when I was there. Since the Cold War was still going on, most officers were involved in monitoring the Soviet Navy, which had to pass through the Bosporus to get into the Mediterranean.

Intelligence Gathering in Turkey: a “Highly Sensitive’ Operation

PG: We thus paid a lot of attention to the other intelligence agencies operating in Istanbul, most notably the Russians and the Egyptians, both of whom had managed to penetrate the Turkish intelligence services, something that we had been unable to do-

CD:: Really! A Muslim state like Egypt is understandable, but how did the Soviets manage to get inside? And on that note, were there any dramatic Cold War showdowns that you saw?

PG: Re. the Russians in Turkey, there were no dramatic incidents because the Turks were all over their diplomats through surveillance and monitoring. How they managed to penetrate Turkish intelligence I never quite understood, though I assume it was an ideological “fellow traveler” who had volunteered his services. It is my understanding that the Turks never discovered who the miscreant was.

As for the CIA, we did not do much on Turkish internal affairs, leaving that to the US Embassy’s political officers.

CD: Why? Was spying on the Turks out of the question, or too difficult or what?

PG: The CIA did not make much of an effort to develop good sources among Turks because it was extremely perilous to do so, both in terms of US broader equities and because the Turks were very aggressive in a counter-intelligence sense.

CD: That’s interesting- and a little surprising, since Turkey is a very important country for the US. By “broader US equities,’ do you mean diplomatic relations?

PG: Turkey was a key player in NATO and it was therefore considered to be highly sensitive from an intelligence viewpoint. To run an operation to recruit a Turkish official would require coordination at the highest level, because of the potential for serious blowback were it to be discovered.

CD: So are you saying that the CIA did not even try to recruit any Turkish officials?

PG: I knew of only one senior Turkish official who was on the payroll and he was not actually recruited — he volunteered in exchange for lots of money. He was met carefully outside of Turkey by an officer whose identity was not known to the Turks.

CD: I don’t suppose you are at liberty to identify that official?

PG: Honestly, I never knew his name or his job. It was very strictly “need to know’ information, solely for higher-ups.

CD: So there was no formal or tacit agreement between the two governments to not spy on one another, being NATO allies and so on?

PG: There was no agreement between the US and Turkey that we would not spy on each other- I believe that only Britain enjoys that status. Indeed, the Turks did spy very actively on our diplomatic missions, mostly through co-opting the local employees who worked there.

Life under Surveillance

CD: So combining this with your statement that “the Turks were very aggressive in a counter-intelligence sense”- how did this affect you and your colleagues?

PG: Embassy officers who were known or suspected to be CIA were surveilled whenever they went out, had their phones tapped, and their apartments were bugged.

My apartment had microphones in the table lamps, for example, and everything I said on the phone was taped and analyzed. I was routinely surveilled when I went out to lunch, sometimes by teams of as many as one dozen surveillants using cars and radios.

CD: That sounds stressful. How did you handle yourself, under the circumstances?

PG: When your apartment is bugged as mine was, you just talk normally and never ever talk about work.

CD: Would it have been foolhardy to remove those devices?

PG: If you remove the microphones, they would just put more in- in the end, it’s better to know where they are than to have to guess.

CD: Did you ever try to deceive them by speaking nonsense, or code, or things that would send them on a wild goose chase?

PG: No- you don’t play games with them, because then they really get mad and come after you with everything. And you don’t want that.

Persian Assassins and a Foiled Plot

CD: So if you did not work on recruiting Turkish officials, what were some of your other focuses?

PG: Well, what we did do was a great deal of work on international terrorism, often working closely with the Turks. In fact, I worked almost exclusively against terrorism-mostly Iranian.

The Iranians and Libyans were the big terrorism players in those days. The attacks were all state-sponsored. For example, the Iranian regime would send hit teams of Pasdaran (Revolutionary Guards) to Turkey and Western Europe when they wanted to kill critics and political opponents.

CD: How did the CIA do against this threat? Were you able to stop them?

PG: We were reasonably successful, but the Iranians in particular were very good and often were able to identify and assassinate our agents.

CD: Wow! Are you saying that roving teams of Iranians were able to go around eliminating CIA officers?

PG: Not exactly- when I say “agents’ I mean in the broad sense of the definition- these were sources of information who were Iranians, not Americans.

CD: Do you have any specific names or examples?

PG: I don’t recall their names, but if you were to go back to the late 1980s and search in papers like the IHT, as well as the European press, you would find some names of Iranian dissidents who were assassinated in Turkey. These were people who were providing information to the US Embassy and CIA station in Ankara.

Later, after my time in Turkey, the Iranians also rolled up at least two large groups of CIA-recruited agents who were reporting with invisible writing from inside Iran, one in around 1991, and one about ten years later.

This was also reported in the international press. The arrested agents were tortured to death. The first group was exposed when a CIA clerk sent letters to all of the agents all at the same time, from the same mailbox, and all in the same handwriting- the Iranians picked up on it immediately and arrested the whole group of nineteen.

CD: What a disaster? Was there any agency political fallout because of this fiasco?

PG: No- nobody in CIA was punished for the egregious “error in judgment,” and the chief of the field element responsible was, in fact, promoted.

CD: If we speak about underlying causes, how do you explain the Iranian government’s ability to identify and eliminate CIA-associated Iranians?

PG: They were very successful, first of all because Turkey was the door into Europe; it was the only country bordering Iran that did not require Iranians to have visas to enter. It also harbored a very large Iranian expatriate community.

CD: Was the Turkish government unable to stop their assassins? Or were they allowing them to take out your agents for some reason?

PG: No, they weren’t “allowing’ them, but in a sense they had to tolerate them. The Turkish police and intelligence service were very active against the Iranians, but the problem was beyond their capabilities. Hit teams would cross the border, travel to Ankara or Istanbul, kill someone, and be back across the border by the next day. The Turkish government did not make waves about it, because Turkey was very dependent on Iranian oil at that time.

CD: Can you point out any specific successes on the anti-terror front during your time in Istanbul?

PG: While I was in Turkey, we did manage to thwart one terrorist operation, in which two Libyan agents were preparing to bomb a wedding at the US airbase in Ankara. We stopped the attack before it happened, fortunately.

Another successful operation that I recall, dramatic in a different way, again involved a Libyan agent. He produced the doctor who had appeared on television with Moammar Gadhafi, after President Reagan bombed Tripoli. The doctor was holding what appeared to be the body of a young girl, claimed to be Gadafi’s daughter who was reportedly killed in the attack.

According to the doctor, Gadhafi had no daughter and the whole thing was staged. It was one of those rare instances where the report had immediate impact, going to Reagan and to Margaret Thatcher directly.

CD: Were you aware of any connections between Iranian terrorist groups in the Balkans, and/or Turkish intelligence and Balkan Muslim groups, Bosniaks, Albanians, etc? For example, some reports have claimed that the nascent Kosovo Albanian militant movement was nurtured in Turkey, with the assistance of MIT in the 1980’s.

PG: We were aware that MIT was meddling in the Balkans in support of local Muslims. This was somewhat of a legacy of the Ottoman Empire. However, as far as I know, we never had any more precise details regarding the MIT activities in the Balkans.

CD: Now, with the Cold War long gone and a totally different power dynamic in effect, do you think that the CIA preoccupations of your time have now changed- and that they now do do more on Turkish internal affairs?

PG: I assume CIA is now doing more reporting on Turkey, but I don’t know that for a fact. It would be a very tough target and considered very sensitive if it were to be exposed, so I don’t think there is much likelihood that much is going on.

Thoughts on the Sibel Edmonds Case

CD: Let’s speak for a moment regarding the case of former FBI translator and whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. Your summary of the case in the American Conservative was rated the best such one so far by Sibel herself. How much of what she has disclosed can be verified independently?

PG: I have not attempted to corroborate Sibel’s story as I have no resources to do so. And it would appear that the government gag order she is under precludes the type of confirmation that would be desirable.

CD: Can you elaborate at all on the role of neocon and other actors mentioned in your article, who were allegedly involved with illegal arms sales and more, such as Doug Feith, Richard Perle, Eric Edelman, Steven Solarz and Marc Grossman?

PG: As my article stated, the preoccupation with Turkey of the key neocons named is curious indeed. It is plausibly explained by their interest in Israel and their connections to the weapons industry in the US, Turkey, and in Israel.

I can recall Solarz showing up in Turkey in 1986 after he left Congress, and the connection with Perle and Feith in particular is well documented. I don’t know if the illicit arms sales are still going on, but I would suspect they are. Weapons dealing is big business and there are many players in it.

CD: You also mention Turkey and false end user certificates in association with illegal proliferation to dangerous states. Was this something you were involved with monitoring when in the CIA? What about special teams like the Brewster Jennings outfit? Did they operate or have a predecessor working with you at the time?

PG: I have no inside information on CIA or US government monitoring of arms sales to third parties a la the work of Brewster Jennings. When I was in Turkey, I was not aware of any US government interest in such matters and there was no non-proliferation staff at headquarters.

CD: The exact period in which you were in Turkey, 1986-1989, was important for the Pakistani nuclear program. Did you have any awareness of the oft-attested Turkish-Pakistani cooperation in this regard?

PG: I don’t know anything about Turkey-Pakistan re. proliferation- I suspect the [CIA] station did not have any interest in it at that time.

The Future of US-Turkey Covert Relations

CD: Many observers, and most pointedly the neocons, have declared that there has been a breakdown in relations with Turkey since the invasion of Iraq and the Turkish refusal of a northern attack route for the US. How bad are things really?

PG: I certainly know that the relationship is regarded as cool and that the Turks are extremely mistrustful of the United States, primarily due to our failure to suppress PKK activity in northern Iraq. The neocons, of course, would like to see Turkey join in a new crusade against Syria and Iran, but that is not about to happen.

CD: So has the CIA’s intelligence-sharing cooperation with Turkey also suffered because of this chill?

Intelligence cooperation with Turkey has always been so-so. They share information only when it is completely in their interest to do so, not otherwise.

CD: So is Turkey now being categorized at the policy-making level as more of a hostile power than a friend? If so, Will the US be able to win back Turkish trust?

PG: Turks really dislike the US because of the mess in Iraq and the impending mess that our unquestioning support of Israel means for the region. And the Turkish government has reflected that antipathy. If you want to change the perception, you have to change the policy. Not likely to happen, is it?

CD: Indeed. But, speaking pragmatically, do you think the CIA has sought to reach out more to allies such as Greece, Cyprus, Georgia or Bulgaria, for example, to make up for any information deficit that may have occurred since 2003?

PG: I don’t know, but anyway it wouldn’t matter substantially. The Greek, Bulgarian, Cypriot, and Georgian intelligence services are no substitute for Turkey, which is both geographically and culturally pivotal to our ability to monitor developments in Iran and elsewhere.

CD: What can you say about how the current Israeli war in Lebanon will affect the traditional Israeli-Turkish alliance?

PG: Well, concerning the impact of [what is happening now in] Lebanon, you must be aware of the fact that the so-called “friendly” relationship between the two countries is very narrowly focused. It is largely the Turkish Army’s General Staff that keeps the relationship going, because it provides access to US military assistance and weapons that would otherwise be embargoed.

The Turkish public and the government, on the other hand, are rather ambivalent, if not hostile, to the relationship. And they are now very angry about the attacks on fellow Muslims in Lebanon.

CD: After you left the CIA base in Turkey in 1989, have you continued to keep in touch and to visit the country?

PG: Yes- since 1989, I have visited Turkey frequently and have good friends there. My most recent trip was a year ago. I follow Turkish political and security developments closely.

CD: Mr. Giraldi, thanks very much for your time and insights. Much appreciated!

PG: Thank you- my pleasure.

……………………….

Philip Giraldi served as a staff officer in the Central Intelligence Agency for sixteen years, culminating in his selection as Chief of Base in Barcelona from 1989 to 1992. He was designated the Agency’s senior officer for Olympic Games support, and was named official liaison to the Spanish Security and Intelligence services. During the lead-up to the Games, he also expanded his liaison activities through contacts with the Security Services of a number of European, Asian, and Latin American countries. Working closely with the Barcelona Olympics Security Committee, Phil helped develop the overall Olympics security plan and became the principal briefing officer on security preparations for the United States Government.

Prior to Barcelona, Phil specialized in intelligence collection and counter-terrorism operations throughout the Middle East and Europe, often working in coordination with the local government security services. In Istanbul, he successfully worked against a number of Middle Eastern terrorist targets. In Hamburg, he developed information on illegal technology sales in Western Europe. In Rome, he ran operations focused on economic espionage and counter-terrorism.

Since 1992, Phil has been engaged in security consulting for a number of Fortune 500 corporate clients. He is the founder and President of San Marco International, an international security consultancy, and is also a partner in Cannistraro Associates of McLean, Virginia.

Over the past four years, he has specialized in post-September 11th issues for his clients and has also done contract work for the United States government. Phil has been designated by the General Accounting Office as an expert on the impact of illegal immigration on terrorism. As a counter-terrorism expert, he has been brought in to assist the Port Authority of the City of New York in its planning, has assisted the United Nations security organization, and has helped develop a security training program for the United States Merchant Marine. He has conducted security surveys at a number of international airports and ports in Latin America and Asia.

Phil was one of the first American civilians to travel to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban, and he has assisted multinational corporations in the upgrade of their security at overseas sites to help them comply with the Patriot Act. Prior to September 11th, he specialized in international risk assessments and “due diligence” investigations. In many cases, his investigations have developed information that led to corporate decisions not to go ahead with planned overseas joint ventures. To meet the needs of clients, he has traveled extensively, most particularly in Latin America, south Asia, and Europe, and has built up a world-wide network of working-level contacts in the security, political, and economic sectors.

Phil is a recognized authority on international security and counterterrorism issues. He appears frequently on National Public Radio and is a Contributing Editor who writes a regular column called “Deep Background” on terrorism, intelligence, and security issues for The American Conservative magazine. He has written op-ed pieces for the Hearst Newspaper chain, has appeared on “Good Morning America,” MSNBC, and local affiliates of ABC television. Phil has been a keynote speaker at the Petroleum Industry Security Council annual meeting. He has been interviewed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the British Broadcasting Corporation, FOX News, 60 Minutes, and Court TV. He also prepares and edits a nationally syndicated subscription service newsletter on September 11th issues for corporate clients.

Phil was awarded an MA and PhD from the University of London in European History, and also holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from the University of Chicago. He speaks Spanish, Italian, German, and Turkish.

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US-Turkey Nuclear Cooperation: What Does It Mean for Turkey?

By Mehmet Kalyoncu

The Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement between the United States and Turkey, signed by the two sides on July 26, 2000, has recently been ratified by the Turkish government. The agreement rightly and by definition prohibits Turkey from exploiting the cooperation for any purposes which would directly or indirectly help her develop military nuclear capabilities, which is something that both parties would seemingly agree upon.

However, beyond limiting Turkey’s prospective nuclear capabilities to civilian purposes, the agreement seems to aim at bringing even Turkey’s civilian nuclear projects under US control. As such, for the United States, the US-Turkish Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement is a diplomatic triumph whereas, for Turkey, it seems to be nothing more than self-shackling, and a voided attempt at developing even civilian nuclear capabilities.

A Critical Analysis of the Agreement: What it means for Turkey

The US-Turkey Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement is essentially an affirmation of both countries’ support for the objectives of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and for the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). As such, the agreement prohibits Turkey from using any nuclear capability it might develop for military purposes and directly or indirectly assisting any other country to develop military nuclear capabilities. However, while it should be equally binding on the United States too, apparently it will not be so.

The Bush Administration has recently passed a resolution in Congress which will enable it to sell nuclear technology, material and equipment to India for the construction of 22 new nuclear reactors, eight of which will be exempt from the IAEA inspection and are likely to be used for military purposes. Therefore, the nuclear civilian cooperation agreement and the so-called affirmation of support for the IAEA objectives constitute simply a pretext to enable the US to increase its influence on Turkey’s prospective nuclear projects and to grant itself the legitimacy to interfere.

Moreover, the benefits of the agreement seem to be rather rhetorical than substantial. The agreement suggests that the parties can collaborate in research and development toward civilian purposes, design educational and staff exchange programs, and co-organize workshops and conferences. Yet, it prohibits the transfer of critical nuclear technology between the parties, or in more practical terms, prohibits the transfer of the critical nuclear technology from the United States to Turkey. Similarly, the agreement imposes a limit to the amount of nuclear material that Turkey can obtain from the US. That is, Turkey cannot obtain the necessary quantity of nuclear material to run its nuclear reactors efficiently, but rather only as much as the amount determined in the agreement.

In addition, the agreement consists of conditions regarding the storage, re-transfer, re-processing and enrichment of the nuclear materials that are likely to complicate or even stall future nuclear cooperation between the US and Turkey. First, the plutonium, uranium 233 and/or enriched uranium produced from the nuclear materials transferred or to be transferred, or through the use of these nuclear materials can be stored in only where both parties agree upon.

The biggest challenge to satisfying this condition would be to bring not only the US and Turkish government, but also the Turkish public opinion into equilibrium. Second, Turkey will not be able to sell third parties any material and/or equipment which it produces by using the nuclear material and/or equipment transferred via this agreement, without American approval. Third, the nuclear materials produced through either direct or indirect use of the nuclear material transferred via this agreement will not be re-processed unless the both parties agree. Finally, the uranium transferred or produced via the material or equipment that has been transferred will not be enriched unless both the US and Turkey agree.

Even though the statements in the agreement frequently repeat the phrase “unless both parties agree,” since there are only two involved parties, it practically means “unless the United States agrees or allows Turkey to.” That is, Turkey may follow any policy regarding the storage, re-transfer, re-processing and enrichment of the transferred nuclear material only if the United States allows her to do so.

The wording of the agreement is particularly important given past experience of US-Turkish relations. The agreement states that the United States will try to provide the nuclear fuel on time, which is necessary for Turkey’s prospective nuclear reactors to run efficiently, economically, securely, and continuously. In other words, the failure to provide the necessary fuel to the reactors on time or the possible disruptions in its supply will cause the very nuclear reactors to run inefficiently, uneconomically, insecurely, and disruptively. No need to mention that the discontinuity of the nuclear fuel supply will simply turn the nuclear reactors into useless constructions dangerous for both human health and the natural environment.

The critical word in this section of the agreement is that the US will try to deliver on this promise of nuclear fuel supply. Interestingly enough, the former-Chief of General Staff I. Hakki Karadayi opposed the AKP government’s envisioned support to the United States by reminding that Dick Cheney, when US Secretary of Defense, promised that the United States would try to compensate for Turkey’s economic losses because of the First Gulf War, during the Ozal government. Karadayi noted that the promised compensation never came through.

For the Turks, One Thing to Cheer About

At the least, there is still one thing for Turkey to cheer about with this agreement. As far as the information revealed to the media suggests, the agreement does not prohibit Turkey from developing similar civilian nuclear partnerships with other countries, and does not confine Turkey to purchasing the necessary nuclear technology, fuel, material and equipment only from the United States. Therefore, Turkey may still seek other suppliers who are willing to be more accommodating in their interactions with Turkey.

Such suppliers could possibly be France, Canada, or closer to home, Russia and Israel. Developing such diversified supply channels would also comply with the United States’ practice, in that it has already cemented civilian nuclear cooperation agreements with 47 countries, and is now about to sign one with Russia.

Indeed, the Bush Administration has recently embarked on negotiations with Russia, which could eventually lead to a nuclear civilian cooperation agreement between the two countries. The idea of the US-Russian nuclear cooperation initiative has received harsh criticism from both Republican and Democratic congressmen, most notably from Arizona’s Republican Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who views the initiative as a reward for bad behavior on the part of Moscow and as assisting the restoration of autocracy in Russia.

However, administration officials have stressed the beneficial aspects of the deal. Nicholas Burns, the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, suggests that working with Russia on a civilian nuclear cooperation is in the American national interest since Russia has proven itself a key player in negotiations with Iran. Similarly, with the recently renewed US-Indian nuclear partnership, the Bush administration claims to have aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. The only problem with the initiative seems to be that it is likely to help India develop nuclear weapons instead.

Actual practice has shown that the so-called “civil nuclear cooperation agreements’ do not necessarily curb the proliferation of nuclear weapons, despite their stated intent to do so. Rather, the parties to such agreement view them simply as a means for pursuing their national interests. Depending on how you define them, civil nuclear agreements may well yield to developing military nuclear capabilities as well. The only thing that involved parties must be careful about is how the other side perceives the agreement and accordingly words its conditions.

The Looming Iran Crisis and US-Turkish Relations: Options for the AKP Government

By Mehmet Kalyoncu

Given the similarities in the nature of the defined threat, the US-led invasion of Saddam Hussein’s allegedly nuclear-aspiring Iraq and a possible US-led action against Ahmedinejad’s nuclear Iran might seem likely to have similar ramifications for Turkey strategically.

If the AKP government fails to work something out with the Bush administration during a possible nuclear Iran crisis, the Turkish government could be depicted as an impediment to action against the imminent threat posed by a fundamentalist Iranian state. In that case, Turkey would seem to be siding with radical Islamist Iran against the probable democratic alliance of the West. Thus the way the AKP government handles a possible Iran crisis, in relation to its special relationship with America, will greatly influence the public’s view of the AK Party- and hence its future fate in office.

The Upcoming Iran Crisis: What can be Expected?

In accordance with the historical pattern of US-Turkish relations, the Bush administration is likely to insist on getting its way in dealing with the Iranian nuclear crisis, and set specific limitations for Turkey’s involvement. Journalist Seymour Hersh hints at the resolute position of the Bush administration for action by quoting a senior Pentagon advisor: “this White House believes that the only way to solve the problem is to change the power structure in Iran, and that means war” (Seymour Hersh, “The Iran Plans: Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb?” The New Yorker, 04/17/2006).

When and if Ahmedinejad declares that Iran has built its first nuclear weapon and accordingly becomes more reckless with both the US and Israel, the Bush administration is likely to rightly expect Turkey to become more cooperative with American policies for handling a nuclear Iran. While the government might have been somehow excused for its uncooperative attitude before the war against Saddam’s Iraq, when in February 2003 it refused to allow US soldiers to launch an invasion from southeastern Turkey, Iran is a different story. It is hard to imagine any excuse that could legitimate Turkey’s reluctance to go by US policies, were an authoritarian and nuclear Iran looming just over the southeastern border.

However, pursuing its multilateral approach to international crises, the AK government is likely to look first to the UN Security Council, and in the case of any military confrontation, to prefer a joint NATO action against the nuclear Iran, rather than a unilateral American assault. This is where the dˆšÃ‰Â¬Â©jˆšÃ‰Â¬Â° vu will start.

A Difficult Decision to Make

The AKP government will then have to choose between two options: First, it may go along with the US and stand against Iran- a country which the majority of the AK party constituency considers courageous to have stood up for its right to a civil nuclear program, in the face of intimidation from the most powerful countries on earth. Second, the Turkish ruling party may aspire to assume a mediator role which neither the US nor Iran would accept. Or third, it may seek to mobilize the multilateral mechanisms as it did before the US-Iraqi operation and hope for a joint-NATO action against Iran. In the case of either of the latter options, the AK Party will be reinforcing its own constructed image, that is, of a seemingly reformed party with a hidden Islamist agenda, as Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy puts it. After all, how dare the AK government slow down the response against the imminent threat posed by the nuclear Iran? The argument will most probably run like this: “If the AKP government does not cooperate with the US even against the nuclear radical Islamist Iran, when will it do so?”

What Should the AKP Government Do?

There are several initiatives which the Turkish side could undertake in Washington which would ameliorate its position and relationship with the Bush administration. First would involve a shift from indirect to direct diplomacy: instead of sending its layman advisors to certain think-tank institutions in Washington D.C., in order to sense the mood within the Bush administration; the AKP government should seek to intensify direct exchanges between the TBMM Foreign Relations Commission and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as well as the House Committee on International Relations. Through these exchanges, the AKP government should increase the channels of communication with the Bush administration. It should target specific congress members on the House International Relations Committee, such as Robert Wexler (D-FL), Dan Burton (R-IN), Ed Whitfield (R-KY), and Joe Wilson (R-SC), all of whom have been active in the Congressional Turkish Caucus.

Similarly, instead of seeking to influence the atmosphere in the Congress through lobbying firms, the AK government should directly work with the members of the US Congressional Turkish Caucus, which is one of the largest such caucuses (69 members), as well as with the Congressional Study Group on Turkey. In order not to run the risk of miscommunication with the Bush administration, the AK government should strictly use the TBMM deputies instead of lobbyists for that job. In this vein, mutual visits between the parties could be increased; an example of these was Rep. Wexler’s recent visit. The AK government could also benefit from the wisdom of experienced diplomats such as Sukru Elekdag, Onur Oymen and Inal Batu in this new direct diplomacy, even though they are not AKP members.

Third, the government should be prepared for bargaining: Turkey should make sure early on the price for its active cooperation with American action against the nuclear Iran. That is, it should outline what Turkey can do for the US, if the US helps Turkey eradicate the PKK both in southeastern Turkey and in northern Iraq, as well as what arrangements Turkey would need in order to secure itself against Iran in the post-operation period. Similarly, the AKP government should try to secure the full support of the US for Turkey’s temporary UN Security Council membership in 2009-2010.

Fourth, The AKP government must be clear and concise on its position- to realize and communicate to its constituency the very fact that Turkey has had seemingly stable relations with Iran since 1637, not because the two are friendly Muslim neighbors but because Turkey has never dared to seek its interests beyond its eastern frontier, nor has had much interest in looking eastward in terms of the most important international relations. Therefore, the fact that Iran has not engaged in a visible conflict with Turkey so far does not necessarily mean that the nuclear Iran will not do so either. And they might want to refer to Iran’s support for the PKK and radical Islamist groups in Turkey.

Similarly, the AKP government should communicate its position clearly to Iran, long before push comes to shove. It should let both the Iranian public and the Ahmedinejad government know that it is not Turkey’s responsibility to maintain the security of Iran, and that hence Turkey will naturally have to cooperate with its long-time strategic partner (the US), unless Iran compromises.

The fate of the AKP government and its chance for a second term in office depend greatly on its ability to reach an understanding with the Bush administration in advance of the upcoming nuclear Iran crisis. Otherwise, once the crisis reaches a boiling point, the Bush administration may well simply coerce a hesitant Turkish government into cooperation on its own terms.

Since the AKP government is likely to seek a NATO joint action against Iran, if America calls for war, in such a case it will have to do some quick and difficult decision-making; there is a big difference between the weak, WMD-less Iraq of Saddam Hussein in early 2003, and a much larger and militarily powerful state such as Iran, which will perhaps by then be a real nuclear operator.

Any failure to keep on the front foot diplomatically speaking will reinforce the West’s constructed image of the AKP government as the “so-called reformed party with a hidden Islamic agenda.” In order to avoid such an unfavorable result, the AKP government should increase the channels of communication with the Bush administration. It should also be prepared to undertake an epic round of bargaining with the US regarding the conditions for its support against Iran, while making its position clear and concise, both to its own constituency and to the Iranian government and people. Otherwise, no one in the AKP government will have an answer for the feared question of “If Turkey does not cooperate with the US and the West even against an imminent nuclear threat posed by a radical Islamist state, when will it do so?”

Mehmet Kalyoncu is a graduate student at Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies and frequent contributor to Balkanalysis.com.

New US Ambassador Brings a Breath of Fresh Air, But Challenges Loom

By Christopher Deliso

A quiet but noticeable improvement in the Macedonian opinion of American diplomacy can be detected these days in Skopje. It is a result of the changing of the guard that occurred last fall, when new US Ambassador Gillian Milovanovic finally arrived in Skopje.

Her predecessor, Lawrence Butler, had made himself unpopular through various gaffes and minor scandals. Butler seemed rude and patronizing to many Macedonians. Despite his good knowledge of their language, he often made derogatory, offhand remarks about everything from the quality of Macedonia’s food to that of its helicopters. He was summarily shipped off to Sarajevo to crunch numbers as the assistant to the UN’s Bosnian viceroy, Paddy Ashdown- thus flushed entirely from the US system.For once, it seems that the State Department is trying to learn from its mistakes. Earlier this year, Ambassador Milovanovic pointedly stated that she intended to assume a less visible public presence than did Butler, who had been in the habit of popping up on Macedonian TV screens frequently with one decree or another. In an interview with Utrinski Vesnik on March 13, the new ambassador spoke openly on this issue:

“there are a couple of things: first and foremost, I am not Larry Butler, I am Gillian Milovanovic… I came here believing that Macedonia, if it is a couple of years away from starting EU negotiations, maybe less, if it’s a couple years away from getting an invitation to NATO as we all hope, than it is a country that doesn’t need me standing out and making a bunch of declarations all the time.”

Of course, the ambassador qualified this by saying that Butler’s brusqueness “probably was very much needed three or four years ago.” In fairness to him, Butler did preside over a very trying time in Macedonia and one which was filled with potential political minefields, as the country emerged shakily from the 2001 war.

However, under Butler’s watch many things were done, and none of them were pretty. From 2002’s heavy-handed election interventionism and empowerment of terrorists into politicians, to punishing innocent businessmen like Blagoja Samakoski for the crime of successfully competing with American industry and relocating the American embassy to the historic hill of Kale despite widespread protest, Butler turned out to be a cynical and divisive force in a small but disgruntled country.

However, the US got its way with the new embassy, as was to be expected, and Butler’s replacement officially inaugurated it on March 22.

American ambassadors are all but invincible to pressure from average local citizens, which is why they are so happy to speak with them. But it’s another thing when they enrage the paymasters back home. So despite everything else, it was ironically something relatively trivial – the gay billboards fiasco – that torpedoed Butler. A scandal broke out in January 2004 when it was claimed that the US Embassy was supporting a billboard campaign in Skopje praising the homosexual lifestyle. The news did not go down particularly well with the folks back home at the National Prayer Breakfast.

An important test of Ambassador Milovanovic’s diplomatic dexterity came with last week’s televised interview – her first since arriving in Macedonia – for Skopje’s Kanal 5 TV. Despite some difficult and persistent interrogating, Ambassador Milovanovic remained patiently good-natured, and sought to reassure viewers about why the US feels optimistic about the country’s future.

But Who Will Mark the Border?

For example, when asked to address the controversial topic of the Macedonia-Kosovo border demarcation, the ambassador went beyond the expected diplomatic fluff and actually offered a meaningful answer to a question that has not been articulated very well in the past.

Macedonians are justifiably worried about the border issue, because Kosovo Albanians constantly complain that the 2001 border demarcation between Macedonia and Yugoslavia is illegal, as they were not consulted in deciding it. The Albanians have fanned the flames by laying claim to 2,500 hectares of Macedonian territory, near Tanusevci and the strategic fortress hilltop of Kodra Fura, which has commanding views south to Skopje and north as far as that militarized monstrosity with a Burger King too, America’s Camp Bondsteel.

Obviously, army control of this wooded ridge is of vital importance for Macedonia’s national security. Since many believe that independence for Kosovo Albanians will only whet their thirst for annexing such strategic areas, the Macedonian media has become obsessed with the topic of border demarcation, and whether it will be conducted before or after the final status of Kosovo is decided.

The major irritant of government-speak lately has been the propensity for officials to speak of the border issue as merely a “technical” one. However, this has not been defined. Is “technical’ understood in the same way by Prime Minister Buckovski as it is by his Kosovar counterpart, war crimes suspect Agim Ceku, or as it is by a Tanusevsi village farmer? If not, what can we expect to happen?

In this context, Ambassador Milovanovic provided an interesting response when asked to define the meaning of the word “technical’ insofar as the border issue goes. She handled the topic tactfully, making the first plausible explanation that we have yet heard. The ambassador defined the technicians as being “presumably cartographers… people who deal with questions like how you take a line on the map and figure out where the border is. These are the people who will figure this out… not the U.S. Embassy, and frankly, not any of the political leadership either.”

She went on to state, optimistically, that the whole issue has been blown out of proportion:

“this has been turned into a problem, when in fact it is a good thing. All of the omens are good. There is a future plan to demarcate the border in a technical manner, and everyone should actually be pleased about that instead of worrying about what is the angle here and there. I think this is going to work out fine for Macedonia, in the way it wanted.”

The Deciders

It is reassuring to hear such words, even if most Macedonians believe in their heart of hearts that the Kosovo threat can never be entirely discounted. Indeed, it has to be remembered that in July 2003, Albanian peasants in the border village of Debelde forced the mighty United Nations to stop its plans to build a border crossing in the vicinity.

This reaction was also seen two months earlier in Macedonia, when Albanians in Vejce prevented bereaved Macedonians from visiting the scene of where their soldiers were killed by a cowardly terrorist attack in the 2001 war. It was highly revealing to see the representatives of the most powerful nations on earth humiliated by a handful of peasants. Butler was forced to beg them for free passage- to no avail.

Therefore, when Ambassador Milovanovic states that “not any of the political leadership” will decide about border demarcation, she may turn out to be right- but in an unwanted way. It is highly likely that local Albanians will openly resist any agreement short of their maximal demands, since the ultimate goal for these border-dwellers is to be merged with Kosovo, or at least be allowed borderless transit without being encumbered by identity documents or police.

In fact, A1 TV reported on Friday from the border of Tanusevci, and the strategic mountaintop of Kodra Fura, interviewing local Albanians who left no doubt where they think they are living already: Kosovo.

“Kodra Fura is on Kopiljaca, where is located the highest point. This since forever has been Kosovo land and it still is,” said one local.

“This land is Kosovo,” reaffirmed another skull-capped farmer. “Half of the villages of Mijak and Debalde lie in Macedonia. And if Pristina and Skopje make a deal on this, we will not accept this decision.”

All these local realities considered, it is clear that Ambassador Milovanovic will have to rely on her proven poise in the future. With Kosovo chafing at the bit and Montenegro set to take the suicidal plunge by declaring independence, it looks likely to be a wild ride in the months ahead, and arguably the most challenging diplomatic assignment for any US ambassador in Macedonia since 2001. Cool heads are needed at this historic moment, when more can go wrong on more frontiers in the Balkans than perhaps at any time since the 1990’s.

Hot Spots and Terrorism: Understated Threats, or Non-Existent?

It is always a difficult issue for diplomats to decide when to be discreet and when to be truthful, even if the latter means sounding the alarm to understated threats. One criticism that could thus be made of the new ambassador is her glossing over of terrorist threats. In a March 3, 2006 interview with Radio Free Europe, the ambassador was asked whether any “radical forces” or “extremist forces” continue to exist in or around Macedonia, forces that might “endanger the stability of Macedonia, or the region around Macedonia.”

The ambassador managed to escape from the tough question by linking any hot spots with the usual election intimidation tactics seen in villages, without however identifying them, merely noting that “elections can get excitable, and people can get excitable.”

That very minor threat aside, considering the massive amount of data streaming in daily about armed groups (ethnic, Islamist or otherwise) that pose significant threats to Balkan security, Ambassador Milovanovic’s statement that the US is “not aware of any particular threats in this region” strains credulity. Yet since testimony from numerous American officers in neighboring Kosovo, for example, indicates that the Islamic extremist threat is being dealt with only sluggishly, we are left uncertain as to whether the ambassador’s extraordinary statement is informed by careful discretion or perhaps by a counterterrorism force that may be asleep at the wheel while heading for that proverbial highway on-ramp.

An Election without Foreign Interference?

All in all, however, the ambassador’s first televised performance left little room for criticism. She was soft-spoken and sensible, conveyed poise and above all expressed optimism about the country and its future. While diplomacy should never be reduced to a mere popularity contest, it seems that Ambassador Milovanovic is benefiting simply by not being, as she said, Larry Butler.

So far, she seems to be better liked by Macedonians than were either he or his predecessor, the bullying Mike Einik. Future events, not entirely up to any single person to decide, will show whether Milovanovic can capture the affections of Macedonians as did former ambassador Christopher Hill, who was rewarded for his service by being promoted to the top job in Poland and then South Korea.

However, Milovanovic’s statements of conviction do have an uncanny resemblance to those espoused by Hill. Speaking in 2004 of the disastrously heavy-handed style of US diplomacy over the past few years, the former Macedonian ambassador noted:

“we need to figure out a way to calm down this notion that we are missionaries out there making the world in our image. Americans have got to start speaking with a softer voice, whether you’re right or left. To some extent, we’ve been shrill. The bigger you are, the softer you should speak.”

This is the sort of sentiment that Ambassador Milovanovic seems to have brought with her to Skopje, if the recent interviews are anything to go by. And indeed, when speaking about the upcoming parliamentary elections in last week’s interview, the new ambassador reiterated her previous intimations of a new policy of non-interference: “it is not up to us [America] to be picking and choosing who should be in government and who should not.”

This non-interventionism is such a revolutionary concept that readers might be forgiven for not actually believing it is possible. But if the powers-that-oversee genuinely mean it and intend to follow it this time around, then no one will be able to blame the American ambassador for whatever the results of the election turn out to be- something that can only be productive for both sides in the long run.

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Botched Kosovo Intervention Dims Hopes for Peace

By Christopher Deliso*

Averting a humanitarian catastrophe was NATO’s stated justification for bombing Serbia and its Kosovo province in 1999. But initial successes quickly succumbed to the reverse ethnic cleansing of more than 200,000 Serbs and other minorities by Albanian militants.

Now, despite seven years of U.N. policing and donor largess, Kosovo’s remaining minorities still live in fear, and the economy and infrastructure remain in shambles.

Behind their facade of optimism, Western leaders negotiating Kosovo’s future status are panicking. Realizing that Albanians will violently contest any continued affiliation with Serbia, they believe independence alone can ensure peace. Yet Kosovo is a classic quagmire, one with ominous repercussions for peace.

Deciding Kosovo’s rightful ownership is difficult. It pits two peoples, and two hallowed principles, against each another. Albanians – 90 percent of the population – invoke self-determination to justify independence. Yet Serbian cultural legacy goes back seven centuries in Kosovo, which was only independent when Adolf Hitler’s Albanian allies briefly enjoyed their Nazi puppet state. Further, U.N. Resolution 1244 in 1999 affirmed Yugoslav sovereignty.

Kosovo’s independence will be conditional, promises the West, on its treatment of minorities. Yet nothing can realistically enforce compliance.

If the Albanians continue intimidating Serbs, penalizing them by delaying NATO or European Union accession will have little impact; an advanced Balkan candidate, Macedonia, won’t enter NATO before 2008, or the EU before 2013.

A well-informed international official predicts remaining Serbs will flee within 10 years of Kosovo’s independence. So by the time Kosovo gets anywhere near NATO or EU accession, the minority issue will be moot.

Albanian attacks against Serbs still occur amid an atmosphere of a siege mentality. If the last Serbs are expelled, Belgrade’s remaining argument for possession will vanish. Its first argument, for cultural heritage, no longer applies because since 1999, over 100 Orthodox churches, some 700 years old, have been damaged or destroyed by Albanians – thus eliminating Kosovo’s most lucrative tourist attractions.

Further, the United Nations dismayed Kosovo’s minorities by making a man who once terrorized them prime minister. Albanian war veteran Agim Ceku, whose name was removed from Interpol’s wanted list after fierce U.N. lobbying, is accused of widespread atrocities while serving in Croatia’s military and while leading the Kosovo Liberation Army in 1999.

Mr. Ceku’s close associate and another veteran, Ramush Haradinaj, was indicted by the Hague Tribunal. Nevertheless, Mr. Haradinaj is now free to participate in Kosovo politics though he’s technically an indicted war criminal awaiting trial.

Such privileged treatment reveals the fatal flaw of the U.N. mission.

Canadian police Detective Stu Kellock, who headed the U.N. Regional Serious Crimes Unit in 2000 and 2001, says investigations implicating Albanian politicians or their associates were routinely blocked. The orders came directly from Washington, London and Brussels. Mr. Ceku and Mr. Haradinaj control Kosovo’s militant factions and are considered heroes by Albanians.

An anxious United Nations continually has sought to stay on their good side through appeasement.

Independence is a mere panacea for Kosovo’s Albanians. They will remain poor. Erstwhile Albanian refugee workers – Kosovo’s real breadwinners – will be sent home by European governments sensitive to popular anti-immigrant sentiments. Minorities will flee as nationalist militants remobilize to purge Serbs and annex Albanian-inhabited areas of Macedonia and Montenegro.

Bosnian Serbs, as well as Bosnian Muslims in Serbia’s Sandjak region, also could demand self-determination.

Alarmingly, the West has no Plan B for ensuring Balkan peace. Plan A – open borders through eventual NATO and EU membership for all – is far off and ignores the anti-expansion sentiment among EU electorates. Membership may never arrive. The Balkans might well drift aimlessly.

In early 1999, Kosovo was a brutal but contained local conflict, relegated to villages. Botched Western intervention has made it a potential precedent for multiregional warfare.

€šÃ„¶€šÃ„¶€šÃ„¶€šÃ„¶€šÃ„¶€šÃ„¶€šÃ„¶€šÃ„¶

*This article was originally published by the Baltimore Sun on May 10, 2006.

Botched Kosovo Intervention Dims Hopes for Peace

By Christopher Deliso

Averting a humanitarian catastrophe was NATO’s stated justification for bombing Serbia and its Kosovo province in 1999. But initial successes quickly succumbed to the reverse ethnic cleansing of more than 200,000 Serbs and other minorities by Albanian militants.

Now, despite seven years of U.N. policing and donor largess, Kosovo’s remaining minorities still live in fear, and the economy and infrastructure remain in shambles.

Behind their facade of optimism, Western leaders negotiating Kosovo’s future status are panicking. Realizing that Albanians will violently contest any continued affiliation with Serbia, they believe independence alone can ensure peace. Yet Kosovo is a classic quagmire, one with ominous repercussions for peace.

Deciding Kosovo’s rightful ownership is difficult. It pits two peoples, and two hallowed principles, against each another. Albanians – 90 percent of the population – invoke self-determination to justify independence. Yet Serbian cultural legacy goes back seven centuries in Kosovo, which was only independent when Adolf Hitler’s Albanian allies briefly enjoyed their Nazi puppet state. Further, U.N. Resolution 1244 in 1999 affirmed Yugoslav sovereignty.

Kosovo’s independence will be conditional, promises the West, on its treatment of minorities. Yet nothing can realistically enforce compliance. If the Albanians continue intimidating Serbs, penalizing them by delaying NATO or European Union accession will have little impact; an advanced Balkan candidate, Macedonia, won’t enter NATO before 2008, or the EU before 2013.

A well-informed international official predicts remaining Serbs will flee within 10 years of Kosovo’s independence. So by the time Kosovo gets anywhere near NATO or EU accession, the minority issue will be moot.

Albanian attacks against Serbs still occur amid an atmosphere of a siege mentality. If the last Serbs are expelled, Belgrade’s remaining argument for possession will vanish. Its first argument, for cultural heritage, no longer applies because since 1999, over 100 Orthodox churches, some 700 years old, have been damaged or destroyed by Albanians – thus eliminating Kosovo’s most lucrative tourist attractions.

Further, the United Nations dismayed Kosovo’s minorities by making a man who once terrorized them prime minister. Albanian war veteran Agim Ceku, whose name was removed from Interpol’s wanted list after fierce U.N. lobbying, is accused of widespread atrocities while serving in Croatia’s military and while leading the Kosovo Liberation Army in 1999.

Mr. Ceku’s close associate and another veteran, Ramush Haradinaj, was indicted by the Hague Tribunal. Nevertheless, Mr. Haradinaj is now free to participate in Kosovo politics though he’s technically an indicted war criminal awaiting trial.

Such privileged treatment reveals the fatal flaw of the U.N. mission. Canadian police Detective Stu Kellock, who headed the U.N. Regional Serious Crimes Unit in 2000 and 2001, says investigations implicating Albanian politicians or their associates were routinely blocked. The orders came directly from Washington, London and Brussels. Mr. Ceku and Mr. Haradinaj control Kosovo’s militant factions and are considered heroes by Albanians. An anxious United Nations continually has sought to stay on their good side through appeasement.

Independence is a mere panacea for Kosovo’s Albanians. They will remain poor. Erstwhile Albanian refugee workers – Kosovo’s real breadwinners – will be sent home by European governments sensitive to popular anti-immigrant sentiments. Minorities will flee as nationalist militants remobilize to purge Serbs and annex Albanian-inhabited areas of Macedonia and Montenegro.

Bosnian Serbs, as well as Bosnian Muslims in Serbia’s Sandjak region, also could demand self-determination.

Alarmingly, the West has no Plan B for ensuring Balkan peace. Plan A – open borders through eventual NATO and EU membership for all – is far off and ignores the anti-expansion sentiment among EU electorates. Membership may never arrive. The Balkans might well drift aimlessly.

In early 1999, Kosovo was a brutal but contained local conflict, relegated to villages. Botched Western intervention has made it a potential precedent for multiregional warfare.

……………………

*This article was originally published by the Baltimore Sun on May 10, 2006.

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Reflections on Milosevic

By David Binder

No Serbian leader had such renown since the time of Prince Lazar and Tsar Dusan. No Yugoslav except Tito had such international recognition. One must concede that to Slobodan Milosevic and, at the end of his days he appeared to relish that prominence immensely – the sole reminder of his years in power over the shredded country he left behind.

But keep in mind, his notoriety was manufactured largely outside of Serbia, outside of the larger Yugoslav frame, by adversaries who became enemies slavering over his final defeats and rejoicing in his incarceration.

“Butcher of the Balkans!” (who was it that coined that ludicrous epithet reminiscent of World War I or World War II propaganda?) “He was a monster!” trumpeted Richard Holbrooke adding, “Sometimes monsters make the biggest impact on history. Hitler, Stalin. And such is the case with this gentleman.”

Note the sly addition of “this gentleman” – because Holbrooke, the failed diplomat, had not merely shaken the putatively bloody hand of the monster, he had also smoked fine cigars and drunk excellent whisky with him, again and again.Wesley Clark, the failed general – the U.S. Army retired him after his troubled stint as NATO commander – faintly echoed Holbrooke calling Milosevic a “petty Hitler.”

Why such preposterous exaggeration? Because it provided a venomous rationale justifying the United States and its allies to subject Milosevic’s Serbia first to severe sanctions and then to bombs, rockets and uranium-laced munitions. Of parallel importance, it elevated Madeleine Albright, Bill Clinton, the Holbrookes and the Clarks to the status of giant-killers.

No wonder that the Hague Tribunal’s chief prosecutor bemoaned the death of Milosevic. Without such a star-quality defendant in her dock, Carla del Ponte would have a hard time generating attention and publicity for what for many if not most has become a tiresome expenditure of resources and time. Amid the Milosevic post-mortem frenzy and with the logic of a Hollywood producer, she told anyone who would listen that it was now more important than ever to bring the fugitive General Ratko Mladic and his political collaborator Radovan Karadzic to trial.

The first time I reported about Milosevic was in autumn 1987 when he politicked his way to the top of the Serbian Communist party and began to manipulate the media through his adjutants. A Belgrade colleague told me how Milosevic had brutally threatened Azem Vlasi, the Kosovo leader, using vulgarities about the Albanian’s mother. Vlasi replied: “I do not say that about your mother, but I do not forget what you said about my mother.” As soon as he could Milosevic had Vlasi, the one Albanian who might have preserved Kosovo for Yugoslavia, thrown in jail.

In 1988 I sought an interview with Milosevic. I got only as far as Mihailo Crnobrnja, at the time his adviser on economic policy, who said he had a strong impression Milosevic was striving to assume the mantle of Tito. “That is his ambition,” Crnobrnja emphasized.

In following years I asked six times for an interview with Milosevic. He never replied. The only time I encountered him was in January 1993 when I followed Cyrus Vance, the international mediator, to the Federal Executive Building in New Belgrade. Milosevic shook hands with us journalists, but he declined to answer questions.

Another snapshot from 1993: I was strolling on a Washington street with P.J. Nichols, a State Department Yugoslavia specialist and one of the principal architects of the punishing economic sanctions instituted against Serbia. We talked about the Yugoslav wars.

All at once, his eyes glistening with missionary zeal, Nichols put a hand on my elbow and declared: “I have a vision! A vision of a worker from Rakovica, who grabs a pistol and goes up and shoots Milosevic!” I shook my head: “You’ve got that wrong, P.J. The workers in Rakovica are some of Milosevic’s strongest supporters!”

Now in looking back on the astounding career of a provincial politician who now ranks as one of the 20th century’s leading villains, I remind myself of what he was and what he wasn’t.

Milosevic did conduct himself as a petty despot.

His actions turned Serbia into a kind of prison.

By action here and inaction there he fostered massive corruption at the state level and below, some of which is still flourishing.

He also left Serbia behind in a condition of economic and political weakness unmatched since the Ottoman conquest and occupation.

But he did not himself start four Balkan wars.

He did not strive for a “Greater Serbia.”

He did not play a part in the massacres around Srebrenica.

He did not mastermind the expulsion of Albanians from Kosovo.

Nor could the Hague prosecution, with all the time and all the resources at its disposal, have proven any of those charges.

So what will the judgment of history be on Slobodan Milosevic?

It took Sidney B. Fay, an American historian, a decade after the end of World War I to demonstrate exhaustively and definitively that Germany did not by itself precipitate World War I, with his The Origins of The World War. But that was much too late to prevent crippling reparations and other punitive actions by the victorious entente powers, or their deadly impact on postwar German politics.

But I suspect it will take historians much, much longer to redress the current one-sided version of the true causes of the wars of Yugoslavia and the real nature of Slobodan Milosevic’s part in them.

………………………….

David Binder (born 1931) was a correspondent for The New York Times from 1961 until 2004. He specialized in coverage of central and eastern Europe, based in Berlin, Belgrade and Bonn. The current piece was published in Belgrade’s Politika on March 22, 2006.

The Indictment of a People

By Robert Leifels*

The politicians and intellectuals have missed the boat regarding the death of former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt and label their Wall Street Opening Bell-like screaming as a rush to judgment. It is quite natural for them to worship at the shrine of the perceived beauty of their own words; a need to sell newspapers and so on. After all, a scorpion can’t help himself for being what he is. But the “judgment” they blabber on about was already passed down years ago. I know because I witnessed it while it was happening.Mr. Milosevic, according to Western law, was to be considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Yet he was found dead before his case was finished. So one can say that according to the rule of law, when Milosevic died he was innocent.

All the journalists who heralded the trumpet of freedom and democracy in denying this condition have therefore forgotten this basic principle of Western law. And the Hague judges too have most certainly lost their way in their quest for self-glorification. Mr. Milosevic’ corpse wasn’t even through rigor mortis yet when the Bench declared he was “probably” going to be found guilty anyway. In America, such a statement made by a sitting judge would be grounds for a mistrial, were the defendant alive.

Respect for the System

Throughout twenty years of service as a New York City police officer, I and my colleagues were constantly under scrutiny. Sometimes oversight verging on the fanatical, we thought, was enforced to ensure that the power of law enforcement entrusted to us and those we served with was not abused. It is well known that power unchecked will lead to abuse, and the truism that “absolute power corrupts absolutely” can apply to anyone in a position of power, not just to high politicians. Most of the time, the feeling of being under a microscope was unpleasant and it was resented. But fundamentally, such oversight was a good thing; there were indeed times when justice did prevail and “the system worked.”

On the other side of things, one individual I once arrested for robbery was swiftly bought before a judge, and soon after pleaded guilty and was sentenced. About a year later, it was discovered during a hearing that the defendant had given a false name – in fact, he had given the name of his brother! It is standard procedure to record the name of the arrested defendant on all documents as given by the defendant. Fingerprints are then sent through channels to state record offices and to the F.B.I. If there are any other names found for the defendant during this process then they will be added as A.K.A.’s, “Also Known As.”

In this matter nothing of the sort was discovered. However, during the hearing it was proven that this guilty defendant who had a long record had managed to slip through the cracks in the system, and was doing time using his brother’s name. His brother was attending college during this time, and had never had any brushes with the law. So when he graduated he would have had, unbeknownst to him, a felony record. Imagine the nightmare he would have lived through, trying to prove he hadn’t been in prison!

“Business is Business”

Tempered by my years on the force, inspired by my deep love of “the American Way,” I ended up working in Bosnia in 1997, as a Police Monitor with the International Police Task Force. There I performed my duties as a professional police officer and walked and rode my “beat.” The first thing one learns as a young beat officer in New York is not to take sides. For many reasons it is just bad business. One can think what one likes, but as the wise old saying goes, “business is business.”

I soon learned, however, that in the Balkans fairness and objectivity had no place. I was labeled by some unscrupulous sorts as a “Serb lover.” OK, your honor. I found the Serbian people to be, by and large, good and honest people. Even though this observation did not affect my conduct, I guess I have to plead guilty. “Order in the Court!”

I soon found that the American rule of law and supposed adherence to a sense of fairness that I was accustomed to were not respected in the Balkans, because of the preordained policy “from above” that we were supposed to honor. It was this policy from the UN bosses, the Western governments, that most hampered our efforts to be fair. After three years in Bosnia and Croatia, I came to realize that those vaunted ideals will not even get the chance to be buried in some “mass grave,” as they never were even living on the side of the International Community in the first place.

A Provocation

There were numerous occasions during my time in the Balkans upon which this was driven home. Here is one example.

One night while patrolling the Zone of Separation between the Bosnian Federation and the Republika Srpska, it was made quite evident that the UN believed the Serbs were to be punished at every instance available, while Bosniaks were not to be touched. The latter knew this, and they took advantage of the situation to launch provocations against the Serbs. If there was no reaction, they would at least get to enjoy a good and malicious laugh, but if there was a reaction, it would become an international incident that the Bosnian Muslims could hold up to the world as yet another example of Serb aggression.

Such a scenario could have materialized on that night, except for the notable restraint of the Serb police supervisor. In the first moment, two Bosniak police confronted RS police on the International Entity Border Line, spouting numerous insults. It was quite evident that the Muslim police were drunk. It was also quite evident that the RS police were not. According to anyone’s conception of basic police procedure, officers are not to be inebriated while on the beat.

Furthermore, the Dayton Agreement stipulated that local police were only to patrol the ZOS accompanied by International Police Task Force (IPTF) officers. The Bosniak police were, however, by themselves, whereas the RS police were accompanied by officers, in this case myself and another IPTF monitor.

Being clearly in violation of the Dayton Agreement, the intoxicated Bosnian Federation police were ordered out of the ZOS. Yet they refused. In fact, they responded insolently by using obscene language and actually put one foot over the accepted line of separation in defiance. To the Bosnian Serb supervisor’s credit he ordered his men to leave the area rather than take the bait.

However, by morning the reality that I had seen during the night had been twisted completely. The IPTF commander informed the Zvornik Station Commander that he was infuriated, having learned that RS police had provoked an incident during the night. Who could have made such a story up? And how could it have found such a credulous audience, willing to pass judgment before having verified the facts?

Fortunately, once the commander read my official report attesting to the clear violation of Dayton by Bosnian Federation police, he dropped the whole matter. Later, during my patrol, the RS supervisor mentioned above told me that he was glad I saw first-hand the incident and the tactics that he said were commonly used by the Bosnian Federation Muslim officers. Little by little, one provocation would lead to another, until finally the Serbs would be put into a situation where they had to defend themselves. Then the media and International Community entities would use the provoked incident as more “evidence’ of the Serbian propensity for evil.

Haunting Memories

The murder of radio and television personnel in Belgrade during the 1999 NATO bombing remains in my mind, and it will never go away. I watched Serbian television and I saw the announcers and broadcasters visibly shaken while speaking. I learned that they were asking Wesley Clark and NATO not to kill them while they were trying to do their job and report the news. A few days later they were blown to bits for the crime of freedom of speech. They were just working people, like you or I, though to Wesley Clark they were part of the Serbian military machine and a legitimate target. It was not the first time that NATO had bombed a Serbian media outlet, as readers of Richard Holbrooke’s self-satisfied memoir know.

My ancestors fought in several wars to defend our American values and way of life. I devoted twenty years of service to upholding the rule of law, while trying to make a better and safer New York for all of its citizens. In recent years, however, American power has been misused, at radical variance from our values, employed to run Serbian families out of their homes by the hundreds of thousands. Almost everyday, Serbs and non-Albanian Kosovars are dying at the hands of thugs protected by NATO and KFOR. In winter, the elderly die from an enforced lack of heating in Kosovo enclaves. Now that Kosovo appears headed for independence, the situation is only going to get worse.

Sixty years ago, my father fought against the Nazis, only for his son to witness the extermination of the Serbs – once America’s best Balkan ally in the fight against the Nazis. Now America is helping to ensure the ethnic cleansing of the Serbs, which means rewarding the still militant descendents of the very people who fought against America, on the side of fascism, committing untold atrocities in the process. The US and the EU are accomplishing something right now that even Hitler could not.

The way it appears, my country might just as well be formally converted to fundamentalist Islam. Collectively, the United States had already beheaded an entire people.

……………………………

*56 year-old Robert Leifels is a former Marine who served as a Lieutenant in the New York City Police Department for twenty years, from 1973-1993. He worked as a Police Monitor in the International Police Task Force, both with the United Nations and the OSCE, from June 1997-April 2000 in Bosnia and Croatia. The mission included an assignment as Operations Officer in the Zvornik region in 1997, which included Srebrenica.

Mr. Leifels is currently residing in Ukraine, where he is researching Russian Martial Arts as practiced in that country.

Hague Judge Silences Bin Laden Bosnia Testimony, as NATO’s Claims Questioned

(Balkanalysis.com Research Service)- Judge Patrick Robinson immediately shut down a Western journalist on the Hague Tribunal witness stand last week, when she disclosed having seen Osama bin Laden waltz into the office of late Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic in November 1994.

Just as veteran British journalist Eve-Ann Prentice, who covered the Yugoslav conflicts for the Guardian and the Times told of the famous OBL, Prosecutor Geoffrey Nice objected, and the judge “cut off the testimony immediately declaring it “irrelevant,'” according to the defense’s recap of a devastating day of testimony.

However, considering that the defendant, former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic was trying to make a case that the Bosnian Serbs were fighting because Izetbegovic wanted to create an Islamic state that would not be particularly tolerant of Serbs, it would seem that this “explosive” mention of his connection with the world’s most wanted man would in fact be quite relevant.

According to the report, while Prentice was waiting in Izetbegovic’s foyer for an interview she, and a journalist from Germany’s Der Speigel, “saw Osama bin Laden being escorted into Izetbegovic’s office… needless to say this evidence did not sit well with the tribunal.”

Prentice was by no means the first to make the bin Laden-Bosnia connection. Izetbegovic’s plans for making Bosnia an Islamic state were long known, and the fact that there was a strong foreign mujahedin presence in Bosnia, would both indicate that her squelched testimony was highly relevant indeed.

However, as in all the other tribunals designed to bolster the Official Truth established by government interests – not least of all the 9/11 Commission – evidence such as hers is blotted out immediately or blocked in advance.

And vitally, the mass media has lost interest too, now that the “good news” has stopped flowing in like it used to, when the prosecution against Milosevic had the momentum. Since the former Yugoslav president has taken the offensive, however, Western media coverage has stopped altogether, expect for the occasional report fearing that his various illnesses might interfere with “justice” being done.

However, though the big media did not cover the testimony, the pro-intervention IWPR at least had to react to the damaging testimony. In a recent article, it cited Prentice’s impartiality- and then proceeded to act as a mouthpiece for the prosecution, stenographing Mr. Nice’s use of quotes from Prentice’s own book to show that even she was aware of Serbian evils.

But the IWPR didn’t mention bin Laden, nor various other important details that emerged from Prentice’s most damaging testimony, on the Kosovo conflict. Unlike the Western journalists who were merely waiting on the Macedonian border to hear the after-the-fact (or fiction) testimony of refugees, she was actually in Kosovo. In fact, owing to her proximity to the depleted uranium bombs NATO was dropping all around her, Prentice later became ill with cancer.

Having interviewed hundreds of ordinary Albanians, Roma and Turks during the war, Prentice’s first-hand fieldwork suggested that many of the Albanian refugees were forced to leave their homes not by the Serbian army but by the KLA- which cynically hoped to provoke Western outrage at an allegedly Serb-caused refugee crisis. It worked.

Prentice’s first-hand experience also contradicted the Official Truth on a number of other fronts. While the Hague prosecution accused the Serbs of bombings in Gnjilane, Istok (Dubrava Prison), Orohovac, and Meja, she stated that NATO bombing raids were responsible. “In the case of Meja… Ms. Prentice spoke to several victims in the hospital and they told her that NATO had bombed them. While she was in Gnjilane she did not see any evidence of the deliberate burning of shops and houses alleged by the indictment. All she saw was the destruction caused by NATO.”

Further, “the indictment says that Serbian troops forced the Albanian population to leave Prizren from March 28th onwards. But Ms. Prentice said that there were a lot of Albanians in Prizren while she was there in May.”

The disinterest of Western leaders in the full reality of the wars in Yugoslavia reappeared with one telling vignette. When speaking about Bosnia, Prentice spoke of a visit to Pale, where “she was surprised to find that a large number of non-Serb refugees were being given shelter there. Before she actually visited Bosnia she had believed what the rest of the media told her about the Serbs.”
Apparently, so did her country’s leaders:

“she recounted one occasion where she tried to convince Robin Cook to visit Pale so that he could see for himself that non-Serbs were living freely in the Bosnian-Serb capital. Cook, who was on a fact finding mission, told her that he would not visit Pale because he thought the Serbs were “monsters.'”

Needless to say, the IWPR report doesn’t mention this vignette. Nor did it mention that Prentice contracted cancer from NATO’s depleted uranium bombing. It did make a subtle but determined effort to disparage her testimony, however- just as it has in the past given sympathetic attention to prosecution witnesses who later turned out to be liars. Some things just come with the territory for media bodies funded by the same governments that created the Hague monstrosity to begin with.

How to Handle Turkey’s Legitimate Nuclear Aspirations

By Mehmet Kalyoncu

This provocative analysis of Turkey’s nuclear ambitions, informed by current political realities and a historical summary of the country’s previous plans and nuclear partnerships, asks the devil’s advocate question: what do the US and EU plan to give Turkey to keep it from going nuclear?

Recent heated statements of a nuclear variety made by both Iran and Israel toward each other introduce a whole new dimension for Turkey’s security concerns in its neighborhood. Given the current circumstances, Turkey could even be considered late in developing nuclear capabilities for defense purposes. However, that Turkey can and that Turkey might procure nuclear weapons are determined by two different sets of conditions. The former possibility largely depends on Turkey’s financial and technical capabilities as well as political connections with nuclear powers such as Pakistan. The latter possibility depends on primarily the US’, secondarily the European Union’s approval.

There are legitimate reasons for them not to approve Turkey going nuclear. The question is: what do they have to offer Turkey instead, to convince it not to go nuclear? Accordingly, how can Turkey take advantage of the nuclear debate going on in its immediate neighborhood? Despite its seemingly stable (albeit somewhat rocky) relationship with Iran, Turkey neighbors here on one of the most threatening nuclear powers of the time. Recently, openly radical Islamist and anti-democratic Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his aides seized power in the country. Accordingly, Iran has been more confrontational not only with its long time foe, the US, but also with arguably friends, or relatively less foes, the European powers. Let alone it does not comply with the rule and regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on opening its all facilities for inspection.

Moreover, as some Western commentators argue, Turkey has turned to be an equally potential target for fundamentalist Islamist groups such as Al-Qaeda and its global derivatives. A series of bombings in both Istanbul and Ankara in 2004 has only bolstered that argument, showing that the same terrorists who attacked the US on September 11, 2001 and Spain on March 11, 2003 would not hesitate to attack secular and democratic Turkey, either.

In addition, even though it seems to have a rather friendly relationship with Israel, Turkey is neighboring another nuclear power, one which would not think twice in case it feels obliged to use its nuclear capabilities to counter a standing national security threat. Given all these reasons, Turkey even would appear to be late in obtaining nuclear weapons, whereas some of the Western countries, such as France and the United Kingdom, have procured their nuclear powers even though they are not exposed to the same level of nuclear threat. Apparently, Turkey should have nuclear capabilities to protect itself.

Yet does Turkey qualify to go nuclear? To be realistic, whether Turkey qualifies to possess nuclear weapons or not depends not on its technological and economic capabilities, but on whether the United States, and increasingly the EU, allows Turkey to have nuclear weapons. To put it another way, whether Turkey may go nuclear or not depends on international factors, mainly on US approval, whereas whether Turkey can go nuclear or not depends on Turkey’s own technological and economic capacity. It accordingly entails two questions: If the US and the EU do not approve of Turkey having nuclear weapons, what do they have to offer Turkey instead? How could the Bush administration justify its dissidence with Turkey’s potential nuclear aspirations whereas it has been more than willing to tolerate India, a long time Non-Proliferation Treaty rebel, to continue its nuclear program; and similarly let North Korea continue its uranium enrichment activities?

Is the Iran-Israel Confrontation a Threat for Turkey?

It is more obvious than ever that as long as it is headed by a man who does not hesitate to publicly pronounce his aspirations to wipe another sovereign country off the map, nuclear Iran will continue to be a major threat to Turkey. Even if Iran does not directly target Turkey, its nuclear confrontation with third parties equally threatens Turkey’s national security because the effects of nuclear warfare are not limited geographically as in conventional warfare. In this case, Iran’s confrontation with ever-vigilant Israel is a perfect threat for Turkey.

Iran is rapidly rolling back from former President Khatami’s tolerant discourse, towards the revolutionary discourse of the 1980’s. On October 26, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared the annihilation of the Zionist regime as one of his government’s priorities during his speech at the “World without Zionism” conference. Referring to Iran’s revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini, Mr. Ahmedinejad insisted “As the Imam said; Israel must be wiped off the map.”[i]

One could reasonably attribute such an extreme statement to Mr. Ahmadinejad’s political inexperience and ignorance of diplomacy. Nonetheless, it represents a major shift for Iran from Mr. Khatami’s moderation back to the revolutionary doctrine. More importantly, Mr. Ahmedinejad is not exhibiting an attitude original to him and his government. As he puts it in his statements, he justifies his anti-Israeli attitude by referring to earlier statements of Iran’s revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini. That makes the case even more critical and threatening.

Both Tel-Aviv and Washington have responded in a relatively calmer mood to Mr. Ahmedinejad’s radical statements. Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev, likening Mr. Ahmedinejad to another extremist and Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar, noted “[t]he problem with these extremists is that they followed through on their violent declarations with violent actions.”[ii] Similarly, White House press secretary Scott McClellan added “[I]t confirms what we have been saying about the regime in Iran. It underscores the concerns we have about Iran’s nuclear intentions.”[iii]

Although calm, these responses might set the stage for another legitimized “freedom operation” next to Turkey’s border. Even if Turkey is not likely to be a direct target of any nuclear attack, it may still want to have nuclear weapons to deter attacks between its neighbors that would indirectly and yet extensively affect Turkey, especially indirect effects such as trans-border conflicts and forced migrations. A nuclear arms race reciprocated by other regional powers such as Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iraq would only increase Turkey’s legitimate desire to obtain nuclear weapons. However, just as was the case in the 1980s and 1990s, Turkey is highly likely to face strong international opposition against its nuclear aspirations, most notably from the US and the EU.

Turkey’s Nuclear Experience

Turkey has never consistently pursued a nuclear program, so far as is known to the public. However, both opportunities and demand to obtain nuclear weapons have been attested. Dave Martin of the Nuclear Awareness Project presents a short history of Turkey’s nuclear weapons experience: Ankara’s encounter with the available nuclear resources dates back to the time when Turkey ratified the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) on April 17, 1980 [iv].

In the same year, Turkish President/General Kenan Evren and Pakistani President/General Zia ul-Haq started to exchange ideas on cooperation in developing nuclear weapons technology, which continued up until the latter’s death in a tragic plane crash in 1988. Later, in 1990-91, cooperation between Argentina and Turkey to build the CAREM-25, a 25 MW nuclear reactor in their respective territories was ceased due to international pressure [v]. In 1998, Turkey, in cooperation with several international companies sought to build a nuclear reactor at Akkuyu Bay on the Mediterranean for civilian purposes. The bidders included Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), a German-French consortium (Nuclear Power International-NPI), and a partnership between Westinghouse and Mitsubishi.

However, in the same year Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sherif offered then Turkish President Suleyman Demirel cooperation in developing nuclear weapons on May 11, 1998 during the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Summit in Almaty, Kazakhstan- an act which increased international suspicions that the “civil” nuclear reactor could also serve military purposes [vi]. Therefore, due to international and environmentalist pressures, the Akkuyu Nuclear Reactor project was halted as well.

In the meantime, some generals in the Turkish military have indicated their desire for Turkey to develop its own nuclear capabilities rather than to rely on international alliances like NATO. According to a news report that appeared in Turkish daily newspaper Radikal, the most notable champion of Turkish nuclear weapons was Lieutenant-General Erdogan Oznal, then-in charge of the Balikesir NATO Air Base [vii]. Recent historical experience thus indicates that both the desire and technical opportunities are available in case Turkey resolves to go nuclear.

Offers and Opportunities

So, what can the United States and the European Union offer?

The six-party talks and the EU3-Iran negotiations have proven that neither international treaties such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) nor economic incentives are sufficient to convince North Korea and Iran to halt their nuclear programs [viii]. Besides that, neighbors of the respective nuclear countries have realized that reliance on international alliances instead of their own nuclear weapons could be a fatal mistake. Moreover, the Bush administration’s willingness not only to tolerate but also to assist the long-time NPT rebel India in its nuclear program has only undermined the credibility of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Consequently, it convinced the willingly-non-nuclear countries – one of which could be Turkey- that they could have ratified the NPT, and yet they can go ahead and develop their own nuclear weapons, given that the US, the big-time NPT guard, and India, the big-time NPT rebel, could agree on nuclear cooperation.

The recent US-India cooperation on developing India’s nuclear technologies has only bolstered the global common wisdom that the US always preaches but hardly, if ever, practices whatever it preaches. On July 18, 2005, President George W. Bush and the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh issued a joint statement establishing a “global partnership” between their countries. In addition, Mr. Bush expressed his intention to achieve full cooperation with India to strengthen its nuclear energy facilities, and ask the US Congress to adjust the current US laws to allow such cooperation [ix]. Accordingly, in the October 26th hearing of the House International Relations Committee, Chairman Henry J. Hyde noted, “[T]o implement the nuclear cooperation elements of the agreement, congressional assent must be obtained in the form of amending the relevant laws now forbidding such cooperation with India and other countries which are not in compliance with key nonproliferation practices and conventions”[x]. These recent developments have further undermined the credibility of the US’ dedication to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Under these circumstances, both the US and the European Union should realize that it would not lead to positive consequences in the relations to behave in a dictatorial way with Turkey in trying to prevent it from procuring nuclear weapons. A dictatorial approach would only further diminish the level of trust in Western democratic fairness felt by Turkish society and the wider Muslim world in general. Such an approach could lead Muslims to conclude that no matter how democratic and “rational” a Muslim country can be, the Western powers will never let it be as powerful as them.

As Cirincione and Vaynman of Carnegie Endowment of International Peace suggest,[xi] US policy and rhetoric should never be dictatorial and arrogant in ways that would make officials in countries that are willingly non-nuclear conclude that Washington would be more respectful of their interests if they had their own nuclear weapons.

Accordingly, both Washington and Brussels should engage in high-level diplomacy with Turkish officials to convince Ankara that it does not need nuclear weapons to protect the country. They should assure Ankara that they are ready to discuss alternative security shields and alliances. In this vein, Brussels should address the nuclear threat Turkey faces in its European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP), and accordingly expedite the negotiations for Turkey’s EU membership. Similarly, Washington should encourage the EU to do its part, and be more responsive to Turkey’s security concerns. In this regard, it can first start with the Kurdish PKK problem burgeoning in Northern Iraq. Doing so would also restore the US image as a reliable ally in the mind of the Turkish public. Lastly, both Washington and Brussels could and should back Turkey’s candidature for the non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council for the term 2009-2010.

Mehmet Kalyoncu is a graduate student at Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies. This article was originally published in Zaman US.


[i] See http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/15E6BF77-6F91-46EE-A4B5-A3CE0E9957EA.htm

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Cited at: www.cnp.ca/issues/turkey-nuclear-background.html

[v] Ibid.

[vi] Ibid. excerpt from Zeyrek, Deniz “Pakistan’s Offer for Cooperation”, Radical Daily, June 1 1998

[vii] Ibid. cited in www.cnp.ca/issues/turkey-nuclear-background.html

[viii] See “North Korea: The deal that wasn’t” the Economist, September 24th 2005

[ix] See http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=55556

[x] See http://usinfo.state.gov/sa/Archive/2005/Oct/26-224640.html

[xi] Cirincione, Joseph; Vaynman, Jane “Lock in Nuclear Successes”, Proliferation Brief, Vol.8 No.2