US presence key to defend against Middle East threats
Kirisci 98 (Kemal, Department of Political Science Boğaziçi University, MERICA, TURKEY AND THE UNITED STATES: AMBIVALENT ALLIES, 2(4)) MJ
Turkey's full backing for U.S. efforts in the Kuwait crisis and the building of close links with Israel in the 1990s marked a sharp change in this policy. When Iraq seized Kuwait, following thinly veiled threats from Saddam Hussein directed against Turkey, the Turkish government supported UN sanctions and allied military operations against Iraq. While that decision at the time engendered considerable differences and criticism within Turkey it signalled a U.S.-Turkish convergence of opinion in the Middle East. President Turgut Ozal also actively sought to participate in the Madrid peace process and had already advocated the idea of building water pipelines from Turkey across the Middle East as a project to help promote peace in the area. Although Turkey was not invited to the Madrid talks it did later take, with U.S. support and urging, an active part in the multilateral talks' working groups. This also coincided with a period when Turkey began to develop relations with Israel, especially after the September 1993 Israel-PLO agreement. Since then this relationship has expanded considerably and clearly receives active U.S. support, including U.S. participation in the first naval exercise between Israel and Turkey in January 1998. The United States did object, though, to certain aspects of Israeli-Turkish military cooperation particularly in the area of anti-missile technology. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East is another common concern to both Turkey and the United States. Turkish defense strategy is based on deterrence, including its NATO membership and air force strike capability. But during the Kuwait crisis, U.S. and NATO anti-missile batteries had to be deployed in southeastern Turkey to defend against potential Iraqi missile attacks. Clearly, the absence of Turkish anti- missile capability makes Turkey vulnerable to its three Middle Eastern neighbors amply equipped with weapons of mass destruction. The Turkish military is paying growing attention to this threat and countering it is an important part of Israel-Turkish military cooperation. In contrast, U.S. strategy has focused mostly on preventing proliferation by pressuring exporters--Russia, China and North Korea--not to supply these countries. In Iraq's case, the sanctions regime succeeded in destroying stockpiles where possible.
Uniqueness (US-Turkey Relations Good)
U.S.-Turkey relations haven’t deteriorated- working through the flotilla and Iran disagreements
Rozen 10 (Laura, masters in politics-harvard, CSM correspondent, Politico, June 21, Obama’s Turkey Bind, http://www.politico.com/blogs/laurarozen/0610/Obamas_Turkey_dilemma_.html?showall)BAF
But in a region where the U.S. is stretched thin and short of even semireliable allies, the Obama administration is keeping its public criticism of Turkey muted and trying to move forward. The Obama administration “is in the worst of all worlds,” Eric Edelman, former U.S. ambassador to Turkey, told POLITICO. “The fundamental problem, I believe, which hasn’t been addressed, is that at this stage, the Turks believe we need them more than they need us. But they need us for a lot of things, too.” President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will both attend the G-20 meeting in Canada later this week. But U.S. officials were still vague about whether the two will meet on the sidelines, saying no meeting had been firmed up. Meanwhile, officials suggested that the Obama administration might try to use the quiet visit of Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak to Washington this week as an opportunity “to try to patch things up,” if possible, between Israel and Turkey, which have had strong defense ties. Turkey’s highly regarded envoy to Washington, Namik Tan, could be a constructive intermediary for Washington but may have limited room for maneuver given the government he serves. A veteran diplomat who served as Turkey’s ambassador to Israel from 2007 to 2009, Tan is a colleague and friend to many senior officials in Israel’s Foreign Ministry. In an interview with POLITICO, Tan described being on the phone with Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, late last month to arrange a meeting between Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that was supposed to take place in Washington on June 1. A few hours after they set up the meeting, and as Davutoglu was sitting on the tarmac in Brazil waiting for his flight to the United States, Israeli commandos intercepted the Gaza aid flotilla, in an operation in which eight Turks and one Turkish-American were killed. .... But Tan insisted there has been no breach in the U.S.-Turkey relationship in the wake of either the flotilla episode or Turkey’s vote against the Iran sanctions resolution. ... Tan said Turkey shares the United States’ concern about the prospect that Iran could get a nuclear weapon. But he said Turkey’s vote against the Iran sanctions resolution will allow Turkey to remain an intermediary with Iran and therefore enable the U.S. and the international community “to keep the door open to” Iran’s returning to the negotiating table. ... “We don’t doubt Turkey’s sincerity in trying to find a diplomatic way forward and a genuine way to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons,” a senior administration official told POLITICO. “And they assert that what they were doing is consistent with our objectives.”
Katcher 6/3/10 (Ben, Policy Analyst, American Strategy Program, Are the U.S. and Turkey Still Allies?, Washington Note, http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2010/06/conceptualizing) BAF
Fellow Steven Cook, writing in Foreign Policy, suggests that the Flotilla incident is the latest evidence that dreams of a "model partnership" between the United States and Turkey are mere fantasy. Cook suggests conceiving of Turkey as something closer to a "strategic competitor" with interests that sometimes converge but often diverge from those of Washington, particularly in the Middle East. Cook says: The Obama administration has yet to grapple with the ways the structural changes in the international system have affected U.S.-Turkey relations. All the talk about strategic cooperation, model partnership, and strategic importance cannot mask the fundamental shift at hand. The stark reality is that while Turkey and the United States are not enemies in the Middle East, they are fast becoming competitors. Whereas the United States seeks to remain the predominant power in the region and, as such, wants to maintain a political order that makes it easier for Washington to achieve its goals, Turkey clearly sees things differently. The Turks are willing to bend the regional rules of the game to serve Ankara's own interests. If the resulting policies serve U.S. goals at the same time, good. If not, so be it... Given the mythology that surrounds the relationship, the divergence between Washington and Ankara has proved difficult to accept. Once policymakers recognize what is really happening, Washington and Ankara can get on with the job of managing the decline in ties with the least possible damage.Obama's goal should be to develop relations with Turkey along the same lines the United States has with Brazil or Thailand or Malaysia. Those relations are strong in some areas, but fall short of strategic alliances. "Frenemy" might be too harsh a term for such an arrangement, but surely "model partnership" is a vast overstatement. It's time to recognize reality. I agree with much of Cook's analysis. He is certainly correct that Turkey and the United States are on opposing sides in the Israel-Palestine issue. The United States remains steadfastly committed to Israel, while Turkey under Prime Minister Erdogan has clearly distanced itself from the Jewish state and embraced the Palestinian cause. I also can see how disagreements between Washington and Ankara over Syria are likely to widen in the event of another conflict along Israel's northern border. On the other hand, there are areas of significant cooperation including, most significantly, in Iraq. Ankara's influence there is widely considered constructive. On Iran, yes there are differences between the Turkish and American positions, particularly in light of the recent uranium fuel-swap agreement. But Turkey can be forgiven for seeking to chart its own path given that U.S. policy toward Iran has failed for decades. I think Turkey is sincere that it does not want Iran to have a nuclear weapon and time will tell whether there is, in fact, less distance between the Turkish and American positions than may appear at the moment.