Turkey as a U.S. Security Partner

Turkey as a U.S. Security Partner

Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 48
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  • Book Info
    Turkey as a U.S. Security Partner
    Book Description:

    Strains in U.S.-Turkish have grown since the end of the Cold War. Divergences have been particularly visible in policy toward the Middle East. As a result, Turkey is likely to be an increasingly difficult and less predictable partner in the future.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4448-8
    Subjects: Political Science, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Summary
    (pp. vii-x)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Abbreviations
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  7. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-2)

    Since joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1952, Turkey has been an important security partner for the United States. However, Turkey’s strategic importance has changed significantly in U.S. eyes since the end of the Cold War. During the Cold War, Turkey served as a barrier against the expansion of Soviet power into the Mediterranean and Middle East. Ankara tied down 24 Soviet divisions that otherwise could have been deployed against NATO forces on the Central Front. Turkey also provided important installations for monitoring and verifying Soviet compliance with arms-control agreements.

    Many Turks feared that, with the end of...

  8. CHAPTER TWO Turkey’s Changing Security Environment
    (pp. 3-6)

    The end of the Cold War had a major influence on Turkish foreign policy. During the Cold War, Turkey concentrated primarily on containing Soviet power and strengthening its ties with the West. The end of the Cold War removed the Soviet threat and opened up new opportunities and vistas to Turkish foreign policy in areas that had long been neglected or off limits to Turkish policy: the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia, and the Middle East. No longer a flank state, Turkey found itself at the crossroads of a new, emerging strategic landscape that included areas where it had...

  9. CHAPTER THREE Security Challenges
    (pp. 7-16)

    In comparison to the Cold War period, Turkey faces a much more diverse set of security challenges. Most of these challenges are on Turkey’s southern periphery. This section focuses on the most important security threats Turkey faces and how they affect Turkish foreign and security policy.

    The most important external challenge Turkey faces today is Kurdish nationalism. The Gulf War (1991) greatly escalated the Kurdish problem.¹ Many American policymakers view the Gulf War as the heyday of U.S.–Turkish cooperation. For many Turks, however, the war is, as Ian Lesser has noted, “the place where the trouble started.”² The establishment...

  10. CHAPTER FOUR Partnerships
    (pp. 17-24)

    During the Cold War, the partnership with the United States was Turkey’s most important security relationship. However, the U.S. failure to back Turkey unreservedly in the 1963–1964 Cyprus crisis prompted Ankara to reassess its foreign policy. In the wake of the crisis, Turkey began to diversify its security relationships and reduce its dependence on the United States. This process has intensified since the end of the Cold War. The U.S. partnership remains important, but it is less critical than it was during the Cold War. Because Turkey no longer faces an existential military threat from the Soviet Union, it...

  11. CHAPTER FIVE Benefits and Costs
    (pp. 25-28)

    Washington and Ankara continue to see important benefits in maintaining a close security partnership. However, new strains have emerged—especially since September 11, 2001—that have eroded the strength and robustness of the partnership.

    The United States regards Turkey as an important strategic ally. However, the context has changed. During the Cold War, Turkey was important as a barrier against the expansion of Soviet power into the Middle East. Today, Turkey’s strategic importance lies in its capacity to act as a bridge to the Muslim world and serve as a stabilizing force in the Middle East and Central Asia—two...

  12. CHAPTER SIX Implications for the United States
    (pp. 29-32)

    In the future, Turkey is likely to be a less predictable and more difficult ally. While it will continue to want good ties with the United States, Turkey is likely to be drawn more heavily into the Middle East by the Kurdish issue, Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and the fallout from the crisis in Lebanon. As a result, the tension between Turkey’s Western identity and its Middle Eastern orientation is likely to grow. At the same time, the divergences between U.S. and Turkish interests that have manifested themselves over the last decade are likely to increase.

    Given its growing equities in...

  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 33-34)