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Would Turkish thrust have helped calm Iraq?


Date published: 11/27/2012

One reference in your Nov. 18 editorial, "Night of the Generals," caught my attention. Thomas Ricks is cited as saying that Gen. Tommy Franks did not foresee the vicious insurgency in Iraq or deal with it effectively. That may be the case.

What bothers me is that I have not read or heard much about the failure of the Bush administration to secure a military thrust through Turkey into Iraq that would have taken on the Sunni triangle. As a result, the triangle was relatively unscathed and then became at the heart of a great deal of the insurgency.

To the best of my knowledge neither Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld nor Secretary of State Colin Powell went to Turkey to meet face to face with its leaders. I believe Powell tried to handle this important matter by phone without success. The Turks were not anxious to see the Kurdish popu-lation freed from Saddam's iron rule for their own reasons. But we should have "left no stone unturned" and applied the maximum pressure to assist our military planners.

Our military paid the price and was not able to carry out a military offensive that would have clearly helped in the postwar period. Again, maybe Gen. Franks bears some fault, but it seems to me there is plenty of blame to go around. Perhaps others more knowledgeable could weigh in as well.

Frank J. Jandrowitz

Locust Grove