Wednesday, February 19, 2003

So, $32 billion isn't enough for the Turks. Think they might be holding out for something else?

A few days ago, I was wondering towards the end of a blog entry how close the "safe zone" that the Turks were negotiating for themselves in Northern Iraq was going to be to the oil fields. Well, surprise, surprise: administration official said other issues were in contention in negotiating with the Turks — namely, the future of the Turkish military presence in northern Iraq and the Turkish desire for some oil concession at Kirkuk in Iraq.

"The Turks want to control the operation at Kirkuk, at a minimum through a pipeline," the official said. "That's in a way a better deal for them than American aid."

How this will change the administration's plans to have Iraq pay for its own reconstruction from oil revenue is left as an exercise for the interested reader...

More data: Sean-Paul Kelly has posted some useful maps of Iraq. The oil fields are the second on the page; scroll down, and take note that Kirkuk is in the middle of the largest...

And yet more: It is maddeningly difficult to find a map which depicts the borders of the current Kurdish Autonomous Zone, in part because they're somewhat... fluid. Here's one, however, which tries; note that Kirkuk is actually to the south of it, under control of the Iraqi government, as numerous other sources confirm. In order to take control of it, the Turkish troops would have to go all the way through the Kurdish Autonomous Zone, and come out the other end. With American support. So much for American support of indigenous self-government on Iraqi soil...


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