Thanks Anyway

So Turkey will let us use their airspace:

Turkey’s parliament on Thursday approved a motion allowing overflights by U.S. warplanes involved in the war against Iraq, a parliamentary deputy told Reuters.


That will certainly make life easier for our pilots flying from carriers in the eastern Med. What the story doesn’t say, however, is whethe the Turks will allow us full use of our base at Incirlik.

It’s a bit of a Cold War relic, or at least it would have been were it not for the ’91 War and the resulting Northern No-Fly Zone. While US and UK pilots have been patrolling from Incirlik for a dozen years now, Turkey has always placed strict limits on how many sorties they could fly.

And the whole No-Fly Zone thing is moot now, anyway. All of Iraq is a No-Fly Zone. Or at least a Fly-At-Your-Own-Great-Risk Zone.

So are the sorties limits removed from our forces at Incirlik or not? Giving us the airspace while effectively denying us the use of the best air base in the region isn’t all that much help to us.

UPDATE: Joe Katzman adds, “Nope, they will not let us use Incirlik. The repoprts I’m hearing were clear on that.”

The sound you’re hearing is the quiet rustle of Uncle Sam slowly putting away his pen and checkbook.


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