Thursday, 24 March 2011

Turks Agree to NATO Control of Libya Mission

It has been agreed that NATO will take over full operational control of the military campaign in Libya from the US within a few days. Turkey has also sent six ships to participate in the naval blockade of Libya.

If the Guardian's account earlier in the day is to be believed, this would seem at first sight to be a victory of sorts for Turkey. According to the Guardian, Turkey had insisted on full NATO control of the campaign while France preferred only partial NATO involvement. Full NATO control would give Turkey veto power over every operation and Turkey has already expressed opposition to the ground bombing campaign. It seems other Middle Eastern countries like Qatar may also participate in the NATO decision-making body on an ad hoc basis, as happens already in Afghanistan.

This sentence in the Guardian's latest article would seem to suggest that the agreed solution is more in line with the original French plan, however:

Political oversight will be in the hands of a committee of a smaller number of countries involved in the military campaign.

It will be interesting to see whether Turkey has veto power as seems likely and, if so, whether it uses it to stymie effective operations. This certainly has the potential for more dramatic quarrels. And the legacy of bitterness this week's tussles have provoked is sure to have long-lasting diplomatic effects. France must be absolutely furious about the way Turkey has acted.


  1. Hopefully France will veto Johnny Turk in the EU now.

    Ed L

  2. no one cares about being a member of EU here in TURKEY except politics...

  3. As a turk, I dont really care about EU. Why we need to care about Greece,Romania, bulgaria,etc... As the time is passing, it appears that EU is just a big fat old lady with bunch of countries who even do not share the same ideals and aims. Also It is obvious that in EU, racism and discrimination is a very huge problem. This Sarkozy even cannot stand gypsies in his country.

  4. 'This sentence in the Guardian's latest article would seem to suggest that the agreed solution is more in line with the original French plan'... Do you really believe that? Then, what was the reason when France was trying to block Turkey to have a decisive position in the Alliance?

  5. There are many possible interpretations. It may be France just wanted to marginalise Turkey, just as it did in excluding it from the original Paris meeting in the first place. Without more inside information about what went on, we can only speculate.