Monthly Archives: March 2003

Turkey's Defiance

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Convoys of American Army trucks are fired up and heading back to the ships. However, this is not Iraq. This is Turkey, and the U.S. military convoys are heading back to sea, and off to find another way to get into the battle for Baghdad.

The collapse of a military deal between the U.S. and Turkey points to ongoing divisions between the two nations. Turkish soldiers are already on the border with Iraq. Turkey would like to send more of them south. A White House envoy has been pressing hard to make sure that those Turks do not move beyond a border buffer zone. The fear is that generations of conflict, between Turks and Kurds, will become a war within a war and that the U.S., instead of concentrating on the removal of Saddam Hussein, will have to separate the combatants.


Stephen Larrabee, International Security Analyst, RAND, co-author, “Turkish Foreign Policy in an Age of Uncertainty”

Dr. Najmaldin Karim, president, Washington Kurdish Institute

Ilene Prusher, Istanbul Bureau Chief, Christian Science Monitor, in Diyarbikar, Turkey

Jeffrey Fleischman, LA Times correspondent in Sulamaniya, Iraq.

Coaxing the Coalition

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The White House website keeps a list of those nations in the coalition of the willing. And the list keeps changing. It currently includes some 46 nations, the latest to join is the south Pacific island of Palau. But some countries are uncomfortable with their inclusion. Croatia, originally on the list, has asked to be removed. Angola’s no longer there. The sign-up sheet is a far cry from a coalition in 1991, when 32 countries sent troops to the Persian Gulf. This time, only four have deployed soldiers.

Partners like Rwanda and Nicaragua are only likely to offer their moral support. It’s a style of diplomacy designed to deflect accusations of unilateral action, but it raises questions about the value and legitimacy of coalition warfare.


Nancy Soderberg, Vice President of The International Crisis Group and former US Ambassador to the United Nations

Alejandro Santos Querubin, Editor In Chief of Semana

Jay Solomon, East Asia correspondent with the Wall Street Journal

Abby Tan, reporter with the Christian Science Monitor

Masha Lipman, freelance Russian journalist

Jason Beaubien, Africa correspondent, National Public Radio

The War in Iraq: Continued Coverage

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This was the weekend when “war in Iraq” really started to feel like a war. American and British soldiers were killed and captured, some the tragic victims of friendly fire. Iraqi civilians and soldiers are also dead in places like Um Qassa, Nasiriyah and Baghdad. President George Bush says he’s pleased with the progress of the battle. Reporters traveling with the troops track the fighting mile-by-mile, including scenes of those surrendered. Iraqi TV shows pictures of American prisoners of war, along with defiant words from President Saddam Hussein.

The propaganda events raise inevitable questions about the rights of prisoners, about the Geneva conventions, and the dirty side of fighting a war when fear becomes another weapon in the arsenal. The killing and the captures, and the way they are used.


Thomas Keaney, Executive Director of the Foreign Policy Institute at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University

Phil Smucker, reporter with the Christian Science Monitor.

Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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Owen Cote, Associate Director of the MIT Security Studies Program and Co-Editor of the journal International Security

Tad Oelstrom, retired US Air Force Lieutenant General and Director of the National Security Program at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Conflict and Character

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David Gergen, Professor of Public Service, Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and former advisor to four Presidents: Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton

William Leuchtenburg, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and author of numerous books including Franklin D. Roosevelt and The New Deal, The FDR Years, and In the Shadow of FDR: from Harry Truman to George W. Bush

The First Strike

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Graham Allison, Director of Harvard’s Belfer Center for
Science and International Studies

Tad Oelstrom, director of the National Security Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and retired Air Force General

Reporters in the region.