NATO and Turkey

NATO is a defensive alliance and member countries agreed to come to the help of any member country who is attacked from outside the alliance. Now Turkey is planning in participating in an attack on Irak and has asked NATO for support in case Irak would fight back. Some NATO countries, notably France and Germany, have said “no thanks, we will protect you if you are attacked but we will not help you if you are the agressor”. So the USA is pissed at France and Germany but I say France and Germany are right. Or should the USA and the rest of NATO come to the aid of Spain if Spain suddenly decides to attack Morocco? I don’t think so.

Damn. There I was, halfway through my planning of the reconquista of Indonesia and now you tell me the US are not going to come to our aid. Bunch of UN ass-wipped pussies!

Turkey wouldn’t necessarily be an active participant, though, would it? Just allowing the US to use its airspace and bases. And wouldn’t article 4 still stand, should Iraq try an invasion?

I may be wrong, but it annoys me that lately, whenever international treaties go against US wishes, they are declared irrelevant by US officials.


I think there are two and a bit issues:

As the Belgium’s said this morning; If you accept the US position on this –and as they are doing so often – it implies you accept the logic (of their argument) that war is inevitable: “Oh, war’s coming. Better get ready” If your position is, however, that the UN – through Blix and a second Resolution – is the correct path, then to deploy now is patently wrong i.e why deploy when there are other defined avenues to explore, war is far from inevitable and it won’t be for you to decide anyway ?

In addition, it’s a way for the US to raise the stakes even higher (apropos France and Germany) – how long before NATO (as has been more than hinted at about the UN) becomes an unacceptable hindrance … to a sane and sensible US administration ….?

Also, it’s a way for Turkey to redeem itself to the US and, at the same time, take a small swipe at the EU (“look at what a powerful ally we can be – still think we’re not good enough for the EU ?!”) …
…that’s my quick, first reaction …
The whole worlds gone mad, thank God Rumsfeld’s kept his head ! ……

Lending your territory to stage an attack on another country makes you, whether you like it or not, an “active participant” and the country being attacked has the right to fire back at those bases from where the attacks are coming regardless of who is doing the actual shooting. The USA did that with Afghanistan.

And NATO was clearly intended to be a defensive alliance and not intended to defend any country who decided to attack outside its borders. For Turkey to invoke NATO is very hypocritical. If they want to side with the USA against Europe, fine, that’s their privilege, but don’t expect Europe to come to your aid then. If you are doing the USA a favour, then ask any favors you need from the USA.

Nato is a defensive alliance. If one or more of it’s member chooses to launch a war of agression, it’s their problem.

Sailor said I hit the send button, and more importantly he said it better.


I think Turkey’s invoking of Article IV is entirely justified. Is there a potential threat, in the likely event of a conflagration between the US and Iraq, to Turkey’s border security? Sure. First, they are really close, geographically, to a war. This tends to be problematic. Second, if the Kurds, for instance, take advantage of the situation and start stirring things up on both sides of the border, then it isn’t Turkey-as-aggressor here. Third, if Iraq takes revenge upon NATO–and its longstanding Turkish enemy–for being engaged in this sort of thing and launches a chemical/biological attack upon Turkey, again, there’s a significant threat here. Consulting with your allies (i.e. using Article IV) in order to determine the best course of action in the face of potential danger is only wise, really.

But to a large extent you’re right about the invoking of material assistance through NATO. Further, if other avenues of defense (like, asking the US independently of NATO) are open to pursuit, I’m not sure it’s particularly wise of Turkey to piss off France and Germany, who will likely pull the strings when Turkey wants to join the EU.


Good points, but,

France and Germany are very slow to realize that it’s not particularly wise to piss off the United States. I agree with Rummy that Paris and Berlin are doing more to isolate themselves than anything else.

If they’re smart, the fact that Turkey and other EU hopefuls are willing to risk their membership for the sake of getting on the good side of the US should be extremely worrying to them.

Not sure right now where I stand on this issue, but sailor, let me pose a hypothetical:
Back in the cold war, let’s say the Bay of Pigs had succeeded (or rather, was succeeding). Cuban exiles are overthrowing Castro’s regime with US aid, so the US is essentially helping out an invasion. In response (I know this never would have happened, but play along), Russia invades Alaska. Is NATO obligated to help defend the US and provide whatever aid they can to repel the Russian invasion?

NATO voted something like 16 to 3 to provide defensive AWACS to Turkey, in case of war in IRaq. However, NATO requires unanimity for action, so France + Germany + Belgium have a veto. Their action smacks of petulance. They’re punishing 16 NATO nations because they didn’t get their way at the United Nations.

Maybe if the EU gives Saddam the Rhineland, he will be appeased. :rolleyes:

** december **
Would you have said the same thing if the vote went the opposite way? The majority is not always right.

I assume this question means, Are there reasons other than the majority vote to believe that providing AWACS to Turkey is the right thing for NATO to do?

The answer is, Of course. Mutual defense is the whole point of NATO.

You’re kidding right? If this were so we’d have been in any number of wars in the last 50 years alone. Chinese defending North Korea (with Chinese troops actively participating no less). No war with China though. Vietnam and Cambodia? The US did stick its toe into Cambodia but it was considered a no-no and done covertly. We provided support to the Afghani resistance when they were fighting the USSR but the Soviets didn’t attack the US.

That sort of thing happens a lot and the supporting country is almost never considered a party to the war worthy of being attacked itself.

Yes, the reason we didn’t attack China was because we didn’t mind them using their land as a staging ground and in fact welcomed their troops into the fray as enemy combatants. It had nothing to do with that it would have started world war three with a nuclear Russia.
The Proxy wars were fought so we didn’t have to fight the big war.

Let me see if I got this right. France, Belgium and Germany exercise their right to vote whatever way they want, and that smacks of petulance. On the other hand all the bullying and arm twisting the USA has been doing to get other countries to go along with the war is not petulance but doing what is right in the face of all opposition? When the USA uses it’s veto power in the face of all opposition there is nothing wrong with that?

France, Germany, Russia, China are dead set against the war and I assume they have their reasons. Many of the countries who have said they will go along have been bullied into it by the USA and even the people of the UK are against it even if the government is cooperating.

If there is any country facing stiff opposition it is the USA and not France and Germany. Who is the petulant here?

The majority is not always right. But history has shown that Germany and France (and Russia) are, in matters of international affairs and war, almost always wrong.

Who bullied the Gang of Eight? The editorial page of the Wall Street Journal? How about the Vilnius Ten? Within the EU, France and Germany are seen as the bullies, not the US.

If you want to criticize the Bush plan, the “cowboy” analogy provides a much better fit. Bush’s SOTU even said that the US would act without others.

No, I am only addressing your belief that it was petulance on the part of the three countries. Why can’t it be a legitimate POV that they have consistently espoused? Clearly, all this is influenced by one’s personal interpretation and hence in some ways is not moot.