A former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney is briefing lawmakers on Pentagon plans for secret military intervention in Turkey, Robert Novak reported Monday.The Bush administration is considering covert military activity by U.S. Special Forces to help Turkish troops quash Kurdish guerilla fighters, who are believed to be using northern Iraq as safe-haven, according to the syndicated columnist.
Undersecretary of Defense Eric S. Edelman, a former Cheney aide, briefed lawmakers on Capitol Hill last week on the plans. The plans call for secret U.S. involvement to assist Turkish action against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
US support for Iraqi Kurdistan has riled the Turks for years now. The Turks have been threatening to stage cross-border raids into Iraq to fight the PKK.
Members of Congress were stunned after Edelman briefed them on plans calling for U.S. Special Forces to help Turkey eliminate PKK leaders they have targeted for years, Novak reports. Edelman told the lawmakers that he was “sure of success,” according to Novak, and assured them the U.S. role would be concealed and denied.
“Even if all this is true,” Novak writes, “some of the briefed lawmakers left wondering whether this was a wise policy for handling the beleaguered Kurds, who had been betrayed so often by the U.S. government in years past.”
Is the Bush admin selling the Kurds out in return for Turkey honoring Iraq’s “sovereign border”? Will this pacify Turkey?
I’m not even going to talk about Robert Novak… That dude springs more leaks than a colander.