Heres another post for

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March 24, 2003 8:17 p.m.

Here’s another post for the foreign policy incompetence file. As we’ve noted here several times before, the administration thought muscling the Turks would pay off for the United States — a strategy that backfired terribly. I don’t even think I imagined, however, they’d be this clumsy. Buried in the last graf of this article in Saturday’s Washington Post comes this …

But one senior U.S. official acknowledged that U.S. pressure in recent months has backfired, saying that at one point Pentagon officials insinuated to Turkish politicians that they could get the Turkish military to back the request for U.S. troop deployments in Turkey. “It was stupid stuff. These are proud people,” he said. “Speaking loudly and carrying a big stick wins you tactical victories from time to time, but not a strategic victory.”

The backdrop here is that the military pushed out an Islamist government only a few years back. Going over the civilians’ heads to the Turkish General Staff would inevitably raise the spectre of a repeat of those events.

It’s the sort of tough guy tactics that’s worked for the Bushies at home but failed miserably abroad.

What I wouldn’t give to know who at the Pentagon tried this? Could someone with the initials HR possibly be involved? And who’s the “senior U.S. official” who said this to the Post? What I wouldn’t give …

Special thanks to TPM Reader JW for bringing this article to my attention.

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