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Security assistance mission in the Republic of Turkey.


The Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) Turkey, is the largest among United States European Commands (USEUCOM) 93 (1) countries, facilitates a dynamic and multi-faceted defense relationship with the Republic of Turkey. The Chief, Headquarters Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) Turkey, a United States Air Force Major General, is the primary point of contact for all security assistance programs between the United States Government (US government) and the government of Turkey. The Office of Defense Cooperation is a joint, multi-service organization that fosters US government and US defense industry participation in Turkish defense initiatives and facilitates United States military activities based in the country of Turkey. Headquarters Office of Defense Cooperation Turkey reports to USEUCOM in Stuttgart, Germany. The ODC is located in Ankara, Turkey, the capital city of Turkey.

The geostrategic position of the Republic of Turkey, at the heart of the most unstable triangle in the world, the Balkans, Caucasus, and the Middle East, makes it imperative that the United States help maintain a strong and allied modern Turkish military. To meet their domestic and alliance needs, the Turkish military continues to try to expand its national defense industry to support its armed forces and develop a viable defense industrial base at a time when Turkey is required to bring its overall level of spending under control to enact necessary economic reforms for European Union (EU) accession. Turkey is a member of the United Nations (UN), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) and the Western European Union (WEU).

Military security assistance, or simply security assistance, started in Turkey in 1947 and has developed over the years to be an integral part of the US peacetime engagement strategy and now significantly contributes to our national security and foreign policy objectives. The principal components of the US security assistance program in Turkey are:

* Foreign military sales (FMS);

* Foreign military financing (FMF);

* International military and education training (IMET) programs, and;

* Excess defense articles (EDA) transfers.

All of these components of the US security assistance program have enabled Turkey over the last fifty-five years to acquire US equipment, services, and training for the legitimate self-defense and for participation in multinational security efforts. Ongoing military assistance efforts also support the primary US foreign policy goal of safeguarding United States national security. By enhancing the defense capabilities of US allies to address conflicts, humanitarian assistance due to crisis, humanitarian de-mining, and natural disasters, it is less likely that American forces will be called upon to respond to regional problems. In fact, US doctrine, Joint Pub 3-16, acknowledging this trend toward coalition operations, states that "The United States often participates in operations as part of a coalition or alliance." (2)

In Desert Storm and again in operations against the former Republic of Yugoslavia, the United States worked within the framework of a multinational coalition to achieve a solution to a regional problem. Strengthening deterrence, encouraging shared defense responsibility among allies, supporting allied readiness, and increasing interoperability between coalition partners through the transfer of US defense equipment and military training help security partners defend against aggression and strengthen their ability to fight alongside US forces in coalition efforts. Therefore, when US involvement becomes necessary, these programs help to ensure that foreign militaries work more efficiently with our allies rather than be hobbled by mismatched equipment, communications, and doctrine.

Modern Turkey, which rose from the ashes of the Islamic Ottoman Empire, has generally proven to be a valuable and steadfast ally. Still growing as a young democracy, it has remained a secular and western-oriented country for eighty years, and continues to strive to attain the ideals of its founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. A man of vast intellect and abundant vision, proved Ataturk to be the right man at the right time to forge a new nation from a crumbling empire, and set modern Turkey on a path from which it has not strayed despite numerous challenges.

Turkey joined the UN in 1945 and NATO in 1952. Although Turkey and Greece both belong to NATO, longstanding disputes over the Aegean Sea and Cyprus still strain relations between the two countries. During the Cold War, Turkey's importance to the US was largely due to its geostrategic location. It was one of only two NATO countries (the other being Norway) that had a common border with the Soviet Union. With its huge military capability the second largest in NATO after the US, it represented a serious deterrence capability to the Soviet Union. Also, Turkey, by controlling the Bosporus and Dardanelles, could shut down the USSR's only warm water ports in the Black Sea. As 95 percent of Soviet commercial shipping passed through these narrow waterways, this was, and remains today a vital passage for international trade.

Positioned on NATO's southern flank, Turkey has common borders with Greece, Bulgaria, Armenia, Georgia, Iran, Syria and Iraq. Over the last twenty years Turkey has suffered recurrent periods of political instability and poor economic management. The ensuing political and economic instability in Turkey today has resulted in continued political uncertainty for the current governing Islamist Justice and Development (AK) party. While the frequency of major Kurdish terrorist incidents in southeastern Turkey has decreased markedly since the capture of the leader of the separatist PKK in 1999, Turkish military leaders argue that the continued presence of PKK terrorists in northern Iraq continues to pose a threat to Turkey's stability. In 1990 Turkey participated with the US and other NATO allies in the first Gulf War following Iraq's forcible annexation of Kuwait. Although it did not contribute forces as part of the Desert Storm coalition, Turkey supported US forces in the north by allowing operation from Incirlik airbase in Adana. Also, its repositioning of numerous combat elements to the Iraqi border caused uncertainty for Iraq and fixed upwards of twenty Iraqi combat divisions in the north, preventing their being repositioned against coalition forces in the south.

In 1999 Turkey gained approval as a candidate country for membership in the EU, and solidify its Kemalist goal of westernization. Membership in the EU would add to Turkey's already recovering economic growth. Turkey's geostrategic location with the Balkans, Caucasus and the Middle East will continue to keep it regionally important to the execution of US stabilization objectives in southwest Asia. However, with both the rise in transnational terrorism and Turkey's proximity to contested regions, this area will remain dangerous and unstable. Success in maintaining stability in the long term will depend in many ways on the effectiveness of our security cooperation in Turkey.


The Turkish-United States security assistance relationship has been highly successful over the last fifty-five years in that it has enabled Turkey to become a major regional power on the southern flank of NATO. In 1947, security assistance as we know it today started with Turkey and Greece. (3) Since that time, Turkey has historically been one of the largest recipients of US grants and monies from the economic support fund (ESF), Military Assistance Program (MAP) and FMF program, and IMET programs, as well as a valued user of FMS and direct commercial sales (DCS).

United States security assistance programs originated with the Truman Administration. In 1947, President Truman delivered an historic address to Congress in support of the Marshall Plan, in which he said, "It is in America's national interest to assist free nations like Turkey to become strong enough to resist communist aggression." His request for $400 million ($3.3 billion in 2003 dollars) in military and economic aid initiated large scale assistance and established American presence in Turkey. The Greece-Turkey Aid Act of 1947 was enacted by Congress, thus introducing the instrument of assistance as a significant factor in the United States post-World War II foreign policy. This later became known as the Truman Doctrine and set the foundation for modern day US military assistance programs worldwide. Over the next three years, Turkey and Greece received well over $600 million ($5 billion in 2003 dollars) in both US military and economic aid. The congressional legislation authorizing that aid stipulated US military advisers would administer the programs within the respective countries. This was the genesis of what are now called the ODC or Office of Military Cooperation (OMC) located in various countries throughout the world and under the command of a respective combatant commands (i.e., United States European Command in the case of Turkey and Greece). By mid-1949 there were over 400 US armed forces personnel in the Joint Military Advisory and Planning Group (predecessor to ODC) in Turkey and over 527 in a similar organization in Greece. With the establishment of these headquarters units, the administration of military assistance required another dimension, that of creating military advisory groups which would eventually operate in many areas of the world and involve US military personnel by the thousands advising the host country on military modernization

By 1951, ODC Turkey, then called the Joint United States Military Mission for Aid to Turkey (JUSMMAT), became the world's largest military assistance and advisory group. By 1967, JUSMMAT strength peaked with more than 3,000 military and 2,000 Department of Defense (DoD) civilian personnel. Today, ODC Turkey is authorized thirty-two US military, three DoD civilian, and nine Turkish personnel in the conduct of its mission.

The role of the military advisory group was to assist the host nation with modernization of their military with US aid; thus, the Truman Doctrine was also to provide a precedent for the principle of collective security. It was cited as the foundation of subsequent similar programs under the premise that promoting the security and well-being of friendly foreign nations was in the best long-term interest of the United States. It can be argued that the Truman Doctrine set in motion the principles that eventually established NATO. Founded on the Brussels Treaty of 1948 (4) between France, United Kingdom, Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg, NATO is historically considered the most advanced defensive alliance system in existence. The close relationship established between the United States and its NATO allies have had a corresponding effect on subsequent security assistance management to include:

* The provision of arms on a preferential basis;

* Delivery and cost, to NATO member countries;

* Certain exclusions for NATO members for arms control legislative provisions; and

* International cooperation armaments projects with NATO countries, the F-16 and Joint Strike Fighter as cases in point.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is all about collective security and the ability for allied militaries to operate together for a common purpose. This concept holds true even in today's modern world to include the global war on terrorism.

President Truman in his January 1949 inaugural address devoted the speech primarily to the subject of foreign policy and foreign relations. This speech formalized what has become known as the Truman Doctrine (5), and initiated the development of several new programs at that time which are now collectively called security assistance. Specifically, Truman stated the following:
 In the conduct of foreign relations, the United States, like every
 other state, is concerned primarily with the achievement of those
 objectives of national interest, which it conceives to be of
 paramount significance. If the management of our external affairs
 is to enjoy rationality, it must have goals that harmonize with,
 and supplement, the internal policies and programs of the
 government, whether they may be the promotion of commerce and
 trade, the acquisition of territory or power, or the maintenance of
 peace and security. (6)

One of the primary methods used to carry out US foreign and national security have been, and remains, the transfer of US defense articles, defense services, military training, and economic assistance (i.e., all the security assistance aspects). Security assistance is simply an umbrella term encompassing various United States military and economic assistance programs for allied and friendly foreign countries.

US military assistance in the early post-World War II period focused on the transfer of US arms from stockpiles of surplus war materiel or EDAs. These arms transfers were made to participants, Turkey included, in an emerging network of US alliances and were provided as grant aid or free of charge under what was then known as the MAP. With the establishment of MAP, US arms transfers, economic aid and collective security began to merge as programs sharing a common purpose a concept that later, in the Nixon Administration, would become known as collective security assistance. As part of the continuing evolution of security assistance, the US Congress terminated MAP funding in fiscal year 1990 and integrated all previous MAP grant funding into the FMF program. This simplified the previous security assistance grant programs into a single program. FMF programs today are much easier to manage by both the ODCs and allied nations because of the consolidation of the previous grant aid programs.

Security assistance has been and still remains an important instrument of US foreign policy. Military assistance is an integral part of the US peacetime engagement strategy and directly contributes to American national security and foreign policy objectives. Arms transfers and related services have reached enormous dimensions and involve most of the world's nations, either as a seller and provider or buyer and recipient. Any assistance furnished by the United States under the program must, by law, strengthen US national security and promote world peace. (7) Countries designated eligible to purchase defense articles and services under the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), Section 3, are identified in the DoDD 5105.38-M, Security Assistance Management Manual (SAMM, Table 600-1). (8)

United States strategic objectives are articulated in the National Security Strategy of the United States, a report prepared annually and presented to Congress by the president. Its three core objectives are:

* To enhance US security;

* To bolster America's economic prosperity, and;

* To promote democracy abroad.

Foreign policy, plans, programs, and capabilities designed to achieve national objectives are developed by various government departments. Thus, security assistance programs are designed specifically with national security objectives in mind. Security assistance is defined in the DoD Dictionary of military and associated terms as:
 Groups of programs authorized by the Foreign Assistance Act of
 1961, as amended and the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, as
 amended, or other related statutes by which the United States
 provides defense articles, military training, and other defense
 related services by grant, loan, credit, or cash sales in
 furtherance of national policies and objectives.

Furtherance of national policies and objectives is achieved through various economic and military programs, including economic support, developmental assistance, the Public Law 480 food for peace programs, counter-narcotics programs, the Peace Corps, peacekeeping, foreign military financing, and international military education and training. The specific goals of the US security assistance training programs are to:

* Promote self-sufficiency;

* Encourage the training of future leaders;

* Support enhanced relations between the United States and foreign countries, and;

* Expand foreign understanding of the United States, and its culture and values.

There are four pillars (9) that make up today's security assistance programs:

* Commercial exports licensed under the AECA;

* FMS which include cash sales and the FMF program;

* Peacekeeping operations; and,

* IMET programs.

Draw-downs of excess defense assets, directed by the President of the US in response to urgent requirements, are also administered under the auspices of the military assistance program. All components of the military assistance program enable friends and allies to acquire US equipment, services, and training for legitimate self-defense and for participation in multinational security efforts.

Commercial Exports Licensed Under the Arms Export Control Act (10)

The foreign military sales and direct commercial sales components of the US security assistance program are fully funded by direct cash outlays from allied countries like Turkey. The FMS Trust Fund was established as a means of facilitating the purchases of US defense articles and services by foreign countries, as authorized in the AECA. The Trust Fund incorporates receipts from FMS cash sales, FMS financed through FMF grants and loans, and/or older MAP grant funds appropriated and allocated prior to September 30, 1989 when MAP was integrated into FME The FMS Trust Fund is the vehicle through which the US government processes foreign country funds required for FMS case payments to US contractors for new procurement, and to DoD components for sales from DoD stocks. This trust fund is like a checking account that foreign governments make deposits into and the US government writes checks against. By law, FMS, cannot be a cost to the US taxpayer. (11) FMS must be fully self supporting through cash receipts from the purchasing countries. It is also required by law that the US government cannot make a profit on the FMS program. (12) The FMS Trust Fund is the vehicle used to operate this program.

Foreign Military Sales

Foreign military sales is the largest program element of the overall US security assistance program. FMS is a process through which foreign governments and international organizations purchase military equipment, excess defense articles and defense-related services from the United States government. FMS is a government to government agreement and is documented on a Letter of Agreement (LOA).

The primary reason the United States pursues foreign military sales is to achieve the goal of collective security. It is far too expensive for most foreign and developing nations to build up national-level defensive weapons and military security systems. This has certainly been true for Turkey, more so because of her strategic location dictated this involvement by the United States. Turkey's military has strengthened NATO's southern flank and supported Western Europe's defense in this volatile region, and it continues to be a moderating influence in the Middle East region. It remains in the United States interest to sell defense articles, particularly, and military services to foreign governments like Turkey. The benefits of this program are the following: (13)

* Lowered unit production costs and shared research and development costs;

* Progress toward standardization and interoperability of equipment between the United States and friendly foreign nations; and,

* Use of the US Cooperative Logistics Supply Support Arrangements (CLSSA) (14) by selected countries to include Turkey, which permits support of the foreign nation's equipment from US stocks on an equal basis with comparable US forces having a similar mission.

Foreign military sales is accomplished in three basic ways, listed below: (15)

* FMS purchases whereby the foreign government pays in cash (U.S dollars) to the US government for a defense item or service to include all costs that are associated with a sale including administrative fees. In fiscal years 2002 and 2003, Turkey spent $207 million and $440 million respectively in FMS.

* FMFs are US government grants, and/or non-repayable and repayable loans that are authorized annually by the US Congress. These credit/loan arrangements are negotiated between the foreign government and the US government. The US Congress approves and appropriates each year the amount of FMF monies that will be provided to subject countries. FMF is designed to assist countries, particularly developing nations, to establish military modernization programs that are compatible with the United States and her allies. After fifty-five years of direct US aid, Turkey is now and has been since the early 1990s considered a mature country in terms of its military force and modernization. US security assistance to Turkey has declined steadily since 1991 in the post Cold War era. Funding prior to fiscal year 1993 was predominantly in the form of foreign military financing program grants. Since fiscal year 1993, US FMF funding has been in the form of loans, first at a concessional rate and then at US treasury rates. In 1998, Turkey graduated from the FMF program and did not receive FMF funds between 1998 and 2001. In October 2001, the US provided Turkey $20 million in FMF grants as part of emergency supplemental legislation to assist Turkey cover some of the costs it incurred in supporting the US during the Global War on Terrorism and operations in Afghanistan. In fiscal years 2001, 2002 and 2003, Turkey received FMF in the amounts of $20 million, $28 million and $17.5 million respectively.

* DCS are also cash purchases of defense items and services but paid directly to a US defense contractor by the foreign government. This type of sale is strictly between the foreign country and the US contractor. It is typically left up to the foreign government to determine which sales method will be used to procure a defense article or service. FMS is typically used when the item to be purchased is exactly as produced for the US government or sensitive US technology is involved. When a country wants to make unique configurations or modifications to a product, then the DCS method is usually chosen. An integral mission of the ODC is to foster increased US defense cooperation with Turkey. Accordingly, the Defense Cooperation in Armaments (DCA) office in the ODC Turkey is the focal point for all efforts to increase cooperative weapons systems research, development, and acquisition with the government of Turkey. DCA is the in-country liaison for the National Armaments Director at the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). As his local representative the DCA office provides expertise in resolving issues concerning legislation and policy, international agreements and political military considerations with regard to all US defense industry direct commercial sales. To accomplish this, the DCA office works closely with Turkey's MoD, the Under Secretariat of Defense Industries (SSM), US Embassy Ankara, respective US military departments and the US Department of State. Current sales programs with Turkey include the following:

** ATAK Helicopter (USMC AH-1Z Super Cobra);

** Airborne Early Warning & Control Boeing 737 aircraft (AEW&C);

** F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF);

** Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV);

** Turkish Perry-class frigate combat weapons system upgrade (GENESIS);

** Additional SH-60/Blackhawk helicopters, and;

** Pedestal Mounted Stinger.

Other DCA managed program are the following:

* The Defense Data Exchange Program;

* Cooperative Research and Development Programs;

* Foreign Comparative Test Programs;

* Engineer and Scientist Exchange Program, and;

* Turkey's Participation in Systems Acquisition and Production.

In addition to these, the DCA is responsible for US participation in the biennial Industrial and Maritime Defense Exhibition Fair (IDEM). Turkey last hosted IDEM 2003 in Ankara, Turkey in late September 2003.

Peacekeeping Operations

The United States also financially supports countries that are willing to provide troops and equipment for peace keeping operations. This is part of a security assistance program because it alleviates the United States from providing its own troops and equipment to support peace keeping operations that are vital to the national interests of the United States. A recent example of peace keeping operations that the US supported was Turkey's assumption of command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAR) in Afghanistan and contribution of 1,400 troops from June 2002 to February 2003. "In assuming command of ISAR, Turkey has demonstrated yet again the solidarity of the US and Turkey strategic partnership and Turkey's resolve to combat terrorism," said State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher in a public statement made shortly after Turkey took command of ISAR in June 2002. ISAR which began under British leadership, has played a critical role in providing security in Kabul and environs since December 2001, and will continue to ensure that the Afghan Transitional Administration formed by the Emergency Loya Jirga can operate in a stable and secure environment as it rebuilds the country.

The United States used FMF funds to help fund Turkey's costs associated with deploying, sustaining and redeploying its forces to Afghanistan during its leadership of the ISAR there. Turkey's participation in this operation was critical to the United States because it did not have to provide additional troops and equipment. These operations also provide a superb real-world training environment for allied countries that may otherwise have limited opportunity to exercise their troops and military equipment at home. In fact, Turkish participation in ISAR is not the only measure of Turkey's willingness to participate to solutions for regional instability. They also committed a brigade of troops to help secure peace in the Balkans, and participated in operations in Somalia as well during the decade of the 1990s. Their successful participation in these various operations as key US coalition partners represents proof that our bilateral engagement with this key NATO ally has borne much fruit. As of this writing, Turkey continues to support ISAR with personnel and equipment, and in October 2003 offered the deployment of Turkish troops in support of the Iraqi stabilization force and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

International Military Education and Training Programs

Turkey, the largest IMET fund recipient in the world, represents a true IMET success story. Their desire to apply their own funding to augment students expenses has allowed the overall number of students to attend the training to grow well beyond what would have normally been the case, and demonstrates the value that the Turkish Armed Forces places on this program. Although Turkey has received or purchased a number of modern weapon systems, it is training that allows Turkey to properly use these systems and organize its military to achieve the greatest effect. The IMET programs provide training in the United States and, in some cases, in overseas US military facilities to selected foreign military and related high level civilian personnel on a grant or no-cost to the student basis. In earlier years, grant aid training of foreign military personnel was funded as part of the MAP appropriation. Starting in fiscal year 1976, a separate authorization for IMET was established in the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA). (16) Although historically a relatively modest program in terms of cost to the US taxpayer, IMET advances US objectives on a global scale at a relatively small price. Having a core group of well-trained, professional foreign military leaders with first hand knowledge of America should make a difference in winning access and influence for our diplomatic and military representatives. A relatively small amount of IMET funding provides a return for US policy goals, over the years, far greater than the original investment.

One disadvantage of the current IMET program is that it does not have a multi-year feature, and all IMET funds, with one important exception, must be expended within the fiscal year for which they were appropriated. The exception involves what is termed an IMET fiscal year fifth quarter. This procedure permits uncommitted, Congressionally appropriated dollars to be obligated no later than September 30 of a given fiscal year, but can be spent in the subsequent three-month period (i.e., the fifth quarter), through December 31. This is critical because IMET for a given fiscal year is usually not released by Congress until November or December of a given fiscal year. For any given country that receives annual IMET funding, school quotas cannot typically be obtained until after January. The fifth quarter procedure basically gives a country a full calendar year to obligate a given fiscal year's IMET funding. This is the major complaint that Turkey has with IMET.

Chart 2 details the level of IMET funding Turkey has received since 1992. Turkey is the largest recipient of IMET dollars by almost a factor of two. This graph also depicts the number of Turkish military students that have been trained. The number of students trained is directly related to the cost of the school attended. For example, it will cost annually almost $35,000 plus per diem expenses to send a Turkish military officer to the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California. This is comparable to only a few thousand dollars to send a student to a three week Naval War College course in Newport, Rhode Island. It is expected that Turkey will receive about $4.3 million in IMET funding for fiscal year 2004.

Headquarters of the Office of Defense Cooperation Turkey

Due to the expanding security cooperation landscape within USEUCOM, and the lack of resources to keep pace with the requirements, USEUCOM was forced to cut billets from a number of ODCs in order to establish new offices in the foreign Soviet Union countries. Coupled with an emerging operational focus for Turkey because of its geographic location, ODC Turkey recently reorganized along functional lines. The ODC is task-organized to combine all the aspects of security cooperation, such as security assistance, international training, and defense cooperation in armaments, under the Security Cooperation Directorate (SCD), and adding a bilateral directorate, referred to as the Agreements and Operations Directorate (AOD), responsible for managing the US-Turkish Defense and Economic Cooperation Agreement (DECA) as well as all joint military operations within Turkey.

The DECA of 1980 provides the legal basis for the US military's presence in Turkey. It governs how permanently based US military forces in Turkey operate with regard to base access, transit through the country and the relationship with the Turkish General Staff (TGS). Turkey is strategically located and the United States military and Department of State in-country experience with regard to infrastructure capabilities is valuable to various unified command war planners. >From Izmir to Adana, ODC Turkey maintains current data of key military areas. These areas include staging areas, fuel distribution systems and aerial ports of embarkation as part of the existing war plans.

Most of the operational issues involve many different aspects and points of coordination to include the US Embassy, USEUCOM, OSD, The Joint Staff, USCENTCOM, and J3 (Operations) and J5 (Plans and Policy) of the Turkish General Staff.

Recent operations that the ODC has been involved in include the following:

* Avid Response: a 1999 US humanitarian assistance in response to the major earthquake in Northwestern Turkey that killed an estimated 30,000 people. The ODC established the initial Crisis Response HQ in Istanbul.

* Anatolian Eagle: A multi-country Turkish Air Force exercise conducted at Konya Range south of Ankara four times a year.

* US Sixth Fleet Carrier Battle Group Training: US Navy aircraft conduct routine deployment training at the Konya Range as part of the battle group deployment around Turkey.

* Operation Iraqi Freedom: On-going efforts to provide military and humanitarian assistance to coalition forces stationed in northern Iraq.

* International Security Assistance Force: Turkish Land Forces Command (TLFC) led the Afghanistan International Security Assistance Force Phase II mission from June 2002 through February 2003 with about 1,400 Turkish military personnel. Funding for this force was provided with FMF funds.

* Operation Northern Watch: Began in 1991 out of Incirlik Air Base to enforce UN Security Council Resolutions with Iraq. Operation Northern Watch was deactivated on May 1, 2003 following commencement of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

* Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF): This operation began in Turkey on September 19, 2001 in support of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT).

* EUCOM Forward/Task Force North: This task force, establishes a USEUCOM Forward HQ in Ankara. The task force operated in Ankara out of the ODC Turkey from January 29, 2003 to May 16, 2003. This forward element managed the deployment of site preparation units and exercised coordination authority for US forces operating in Turkey in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. They coordinated equipment import/export, construction projects, logistical arrangements, NATO pipeline issues, property leasing, Memorandum of Understanding negotiation, humanitarian assistance and a host of operational issues with the Turkish General Staff in preparation, ultimately deferred, for deployment of US forces in Turkey and establishment of a northern front for Operation Iraqi Freedom. In its primary interlocutor with the TGS, ODC Turkey continues to support operations in Iraq. Significant supplies flow daily into Northern Iraq, fuel and water being the bulk commodities. The ODC works closely with the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the USEUCOM Logistics Sustainment Cell at Incirlik to facilitate this commercial operation. As of October 2003, over 10,000 commercial tankers have supported the ground lines of communication (GLOC) into Northern Iraq.

Government of Turkey

The Islamist Justice and Development party, running on a platform of anti-corruption and EU accession, came to power in the November 2002 elections. The voters took action against the traditional coalition government by voting it out of office. The Islamist Justice and Development leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan had pledged to make the country's institutions work better, fight governmental corruption and speed up Turkey's drive to join the EU Mr. Erdogan's success came as a result of widespread anger at the former coalition government and status quo political parties, whom many Turks blamed for the devastating economic crisis of the past two years. (17) It is the first non-coalition government in eleven years, and following some early stumbles to include the disappointing no vote of March 1, 2003 that failed to authorize US troop deployments for Operation Iraqi Freedom. It appears to have gained confidence and support after almost a year in power. Key political challenges that remain on the table are the evolution of Turkish foreign policy in Iraq from a narrow focus on the Kurdish issue to a concern for the country as a whole, banking reform to right the country's listing economic ship, and constitutional reform (human rights, abolition of the death penalty, etc., supporting the EU accession. Significant also is balancing the US and Turkish relationship in light of their EU entry bid as many European nations are exerting pressure on the Turks to distance themselves, politically and economically from the United States.

Turkey was disappointed in December 2002 not to get a firm date to start negotiations to join the EU The EU parliament has publicly stated it will start membership negotiations with Turkey without delay if it meets the bloc's standards of human rights and democracy in December 2004. (18) The United States has continued to provide for political and economic support, particularly with the International Monetary Fund during this interim EU period. The strategic partnership with the US is essential to maintain peace, stability and prosperity in the wider geographies of mutual interest and will eventually assist Turkey with EU accession. The multidimensional and multi-faceted exchanges between Turkey and the US enable the two countries to work together in preservation of freedom and democracy. In this connection with each other, as appropriate, they must continue to work toward conflict prevention and crisis management, containment of regional disputes, curbing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and eradicating terrorism. This includes solving the Kurdish issue once and for all. Turkey also wishes to further develop its economic and trade exchanges with the US and its allies. Turkey is attempting to pursue mainly defense projects and programs to strengthen the relations in the fields of investment, science and technology. Turkey desires the US to facilitate unhindered access of Turkish goods to its market. This would benefit the true nature of the strategic partnership relationship where diversification and deepening of the ties would mutually benefit the two countries. (19) Turkey has a long road ahead to achieve these goals. Recent successes in these areas have been positive.

Overview of Ministry of Defense

The government of Turkey has two main objectives with regards to their military. In 1937, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic, stated that Turkey must develop her defense industry and sustain her economic growth particularly in the private sectors of business. (20) Ataturk stressed the correlation between defense and industry, and that it had a great importance in creating local added value, increasing employment and improving the national defense industrial base which is one of the essential ingredients of a country's national security. These national objectives of Turkey have been and continue to be very much in line with United States' foreign policy objectives.

In the Turkish government, the Minister of Defense is primarily a procurement official, and is responsible for acquisition of new defense systems. He reports directly to the Prime Minister. The Turkish MoD budget (21) is approximately 3.6 percent of Turkey's gross national product (GNP) on average and around 12 percent in the overall consolidated budget, which is the highest spending in NATO. The total national defense budget for 2001 was $8 billion which included the Defense Industry Support Fund which amounted to nearly $1 billion. (22) A further breakdown of the 2001 Turkish defense budget includes the following:

* 30%--Personnel

* 30%--Consumption

* 35%--Investment with 20% allocated to foreign investments

* 5%--Listed as unidentified and miscellaneous, expenses

The average allocation of the MoD budget (23) was as follows:

* Turkish General Staff--7.7%

* Ministry of Defense--7.3%

* Land Forces Command--49.5%

* Naval Forces Command--13.9%

* Air Forces Command--21.6%

Overview of Turkish Military

The Turkish Armed Forces has a long and very proud military tradition, dating back 4,000 years. Starting with the Hittites, this history runs the gamut of virtually every major world conflict from the Trojans, through the Mongol invasions of Europe and Asia, the domination by the Ottoman Empire of parts of Eastern Europe and the Middle East, Turkey's struggle for independence, the conflict in Korea, and the most recent battles against terrorism. The primary mission of the Turkish Armed Forces is the national defense of this nation, roughly the size of Texas and Louisiana, located in one of the most turbulent regions of the world. This mission has traditionally centered on deterrence of threats from its neighbors; however, the Turkish military and a majority of Turkish citizens also view the Turkish military as the primary protector of the Republic from threats from within.

Domestically, the Turkish Armed Forces has found itself dealing with crises ranging from counter terrorism to the aftermath of the massive earthquakes near Istanbul in 1999. As a staunch US ally and NATO member, internationally Turkey has found itself called upon to service in a variety of locations. As one of the few predominantly Muslim nations with a freely elected, democratic, republican government, Turkish soldiers, sailors, and airmen have served as international peacekeepers, and as a role-model for a stable democratic government for both the former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.

A member of NATO since 1952, Turkey takes great pride in its alliance with the United States and the other member nations. The Turkish Armed Forces have taken great steps to hold themselves to a standard that allows them to integrate readily into any NATO action and to keep themselves ready for any mission upon which NATO may call. Turkey's NATO mission is to take part in peacekeeping missions in order to prevent instability from deteriorating into a threat to peace, and to participate in crisis management to deter emerging threats directed at NATO countries. Should aggression occur, Turkish forces assigned to NATO would be used to defend the southern region of NATO in Turkey.

The protection and maintenance of values of vital importance are constitutional order, national integrity, national interests, and contractual law, and they constitute the legal parameters of Turkey's national security policy. The principal of Peace at Home, Peace in the World existing in the constitution is the legacy of Ataturk's administration. This principle aims at achieving the national objectives of:

* Developing peaceful relations in the region;

* Ensuring stability, and;

* Ensuring socioeconomic development in a peaceful atmosphere.

Ataturk's principles form the foundation for Turkish national strategy. Revered as the father of modern Turkey, Ataturk founded the Republic of Turkey in 1923, and sought to distance Turkey from its Ottoman past by establishing Turkey as a secular, democratic, western-oriented state. The Turkish military zealously upholds the concepts that Ataturk embodied in the constitution of 1924. In his 1997 remarks to the American-Turkish Council (ATC) annual meeting in Washington, D.C., General Cevik Bir, former Deputy Chief of the Turkish General Staff, reiterated the importance of the armed forces in Turkish society, stating:
 We are the armed forces of the constitution. Ataturk said that
 basic tenets of our democracy include secularism, as well as
 individual rights and liberties within the unitary system of
 government. The Turkish armed forces, as a constitutional
 institution, uphold all the constitutional principles, but most
 importantly, the democratic nature of our state based on the free
 will of our people.

Turkish Military Modernization Goals

As the bulwark of NATO's southern flank, it also has common borders with many Eastern European countries plus former Soviet client states such as Syria and Iraq. This region remains a dangerous and unstable area of the world. General Cevik Bir, captured the Turkish perspective on the link between strategy, location, and modernization with his remarkd that "Turkey is surrounded by the Bermuda Triangle" of the Balkans, Caucasus and the Middle East. Given such threats, we must modernize Turkish Armed Forces. If we can protect ourselves, then we can contribute to regional peace and stability, and thus, to the world peace." This is an enduring Turkish perspective. Turkey's defense strategy is based on these principles:

* Deterrence and crisis response reflect the overlap between Turkey's NATO missions and self-defense requirements;

* Forward defense refers to the forward protection of NATO and the intent to defend Turkey at its borders, and;

* High mobility enables a powerful reserve force to be placed centrally and deployed expeditiously to areas under threat.

Turkey began its defense-related modernization program in 1984 with co-production of F-16 fighter aircraft, armored infantry fighting vehicles and light transport aircraft. Turkey remains a good market for US off-the-shelf products for foreign military sales. Receptivity to US defense products in the Turkish market continues to be high. Turkey's plan is to undergo significant reorganization and modernization within the first decade of this new millennium. During the next 25 to 30 years, a significant number of combat weapons and equipment currently in the Turkish armed forces' inventory will need to be modernized or replaced with systems incorporating new technologies. The cost of all these systems, including operation and maintenance, is estimated to be about $150 billion. During this period, the army land forces will need $60 billion, the navy $25 billion, and the air force $65 billion in arms and equipment. Future Turkish armed forces' requirements continue to include

* Attack helicopter;

* Main battle tanks;

* Wheeled armored vehicles;

* Tank transport and rescue vehicles;

* Pedestal mounted stinger missiles;

* Army tactical missile system (ATACMS);

* Artillery upgrades;

* Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV);

* Combat fighter aircraft;

* Airborne early warning and control aircraft (AEW&C);

* ASW/search and rescue (SAR) navy and coast guard helicopters;

* Fast patrol boats;

* Submarines;

* Mine hunter vessels;

* Maritime patrol, and;

* Maritime surveillance aircraft.

Turkey also has an ambitious goal of establishing a civilian managed space program within the next few years similar to the United States' National Aeronautical and Space Association (NASA).

In 1985, Turkey established the Under Secretariat for Defense Industries that has the responsibility for the development and modernization of the Turkish defense industry. The modernization of the Turkish armed forces is financed mainly by the national budget and the Defense Industry Support Fund and partly by foreign military loans and contributions in connection with the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFET). With the establishment of the Under Secretariate of Defense Industries, Turkey significantly changed its defense acquisition strategy. Seminal events for this change were the President Lyndon Johnson letter of 1964, and the 1974 Cyprus crisis and subsequent US embargo against Turkey.

Following the Turkish invasion in July 1974, strong lobbying in Washington brought about legislation in both houses of Congress in September 1974 to ban sales of arms to Turkey so long as Turkey persisted in the occupation of northern Cyprus. On 5 February 1975, United States military aid to Turkey was officially suspended until Turkey agreed to negotiate her withdrawal from Cyprus. Although, under the Carter administration, Congress finally agreed to rescind the ban on August 1, 1978, the whole episode left a somewhat bitter legacy. (pg 164). That legacy translated into a Turkish desire to pursue an indigenous defense industrial capability that would make it less susceptible to foreign pressure in the future.

Turkey also believes it should start transitioning from being solely a buyer in the defense market to becoming an exporter of defense articles and services to other developing nations in the European and Middle East theaters (i.e., their neighbors), particularly Eastern Europe. In 2001, Turkey shared only 0.2 percent of the worldwide $40 billion defense industry market as a provider of goods and services. (24) It is one of about forty nations that share the 15 percent pie portion of the world-wide defense market. Turkey also wants to set up a national defense industry based on high-tech infrastructure with the capability to export defense industry products. The objective is to use advanced technology and know-how in the defense industry as the driving force to serve as a spin off element to spur the Turkish economy as a whole. In the big scheme of national military and industrial strategy, Turkey has a solid plan. After almost nineteen years since the establishment of the Under Secretariate of Defense Industries, Turkey has made progress toward their ambitious goals of self sufficiency and an export leader of defense products.

Goals of the US Security Assistance Mission in Turkey

Theoretically, these security assistance programs enable the United States to effect changes in host countries across a broad spectrum of issues, ranging from training in small unit tactics to encouraging concern for human rights, and from the provision of technical support for sophisticated weapons to the host military's role in national politics. Moreover, in the current international environment in which rapid changes are resulting in a dramatic reappraisal of US military expenditures, force structures, basing, etc. US training of international military students has been given new importance as a relatively inexpensive means of projecting national interests. Yet, if training is to be an effective instrument of US influence and leverage, we need to ensure that it meets both the needs of the international students and the goals of the United States.

United States foreign policy holds that training, advice, and assistance to developing countries' militaries are critical instruments of the United States' national security policy. The assumption is that United States training, advice, and assistance advance the following United States policy goals:

* Providing political influence in recipient countries;

* Encouraging attitudinal changes in host nation militaries and the development of democratic institutions, and;

* Promoting greater internal, regional, and international stability.

Security assistance, it is argued, is a cost-effective means of achieving these goals, since it does not involve large United States military forces or need to maintain large overseas installations.

The ODC Turkey builds a strong military to military relationship that enhances Turkey and the region through military training, education, equipment and technology coordinated with diplomatic and economic instruments to promote interoperability and ensure stability of the region. The mission of ODC Turkey encompasses two major areas:

* The first area is security assistance. The security assistance mission includes foreign military sales, international military education and training, and defense cooperation in armaments, also categorized as direct commercial sales. The security assistance mission assists the Turkish armed forces to modernize through the management of US foreign military sales and military training. It also increases cooperative weapons systems research, development, acquisition, and support, through defense cooperation in armaments programs; and, where possible, assist US industries competing for sales of US defense related equipment in direct commercial sales activities.

* The second major mission area is to support US forces and activities in Turkey, by the terms of the US-Turkey Defense and Economic Cooperation Agreement, which states the Chief of ODC Turkey is the single point of contact with the Turkish General Staff regarding all United States military organizations and activities in Turkey.

The Chief, ODC Turkey, has four primary responsibilities.

* First, he is the Senior US defense representative, the direct representative of the US Secretary of Defense and Commander USEUCOM, as their sole point of contact with the Turkish General Staff and the Turkish Armed Forces as specified in the 1980 DECA.

* Second, he also serves as the primary advisor on military matters as a member of the US ambassador's country team, and is responsible for coordinating force protection matters for the security of personnel under the direct authority of USEUCOM.

* Third, he is responsible for supporting all US forces stationed in Turkey. This ranges from installation support requiring coordination with TGS to processing all imports and exports of munitions and equipment to ensuring that US military personnel, Department of Defense civilians and authorized family members subject to Turkish criminal jurisdiction are treated fairly and in accordance with the guarantees of the NATO Status of Forces Agreement.

* Finally, as the Security Assistance Chief, he plans and executes the security assistance program in Turkey, advising the Turkish military as it modernizes. He also assists US defense contractors working with the Turkish Armed Forces.

Military humanitarian assistance is a new mission for ODC Turkey particularly following the massive earthquake in Golcuk in the spring of 1999. Additionally, ODC manages the EUCOM military humanitarian assistance program which provides excess equipment, money, and military support to needy organizations within Turkey. Local issues are coordinated with the various elements of the US Embassy, TGS, EUCOM, International Red Cross and Red Crescent, local fire and police departments and the Turkish side of the ODC.

US Security Assistance Mission

Since 1985 with the establishment of the Under Secretariate of Defense Industries, Turkey has started an overall shift in their defense industrial relationship with the United States and her allies. This shift reflects a combination of Turkey's interest in developing its own industrial complex, acting as a potential EU partner, and growing concern about the reliability of the US as a major defense equipment supplier to the Turkish military. The aspect of self-sufficiency is a legacy of the US arms embargo following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, July 20, 1974. Turkey does not want to remain susceptible to this sort of leverage, hence their drive for self-sufficiency. The desire to buy EU is related to demonstrating political commitment to the EU vision, and building links via expanded interaction, as evidenced by the recent decision to participate in all phases of the A400M military transport aircraft development and production by the European consortium Airbus. As for concern of over the reliability of the US as a partner, this is linked primarily to not releasing every bit of technology the Turks desire. US export control is often too strict to suit Turkish desires, and the Turks seek acquisition from other sources, like the Israelis and Russians, both as a way to widen their contacts and influence, as well as gain leverage in negotiating a major defense weapon acquisition.

Turkey has taken monumental steps to modernize its armed forces in order to remain a viable and important member of NATO and as an active partner in the world-wide war on terrorism. Turkey continues to remain a very important partner of the US and an example of stability in a very unstable part of the world.


While providing security assistance funds to an ally does not guarantee full cooperation with the United States, it does help support US national and foreign policy interests here in Turkey. Turkey will remain the bridge between east and west, Europe and the Middle East and for that Turkey will always be a strategic ally for the United States. The US Congress did authorize $1 billion in Economic Support Funds (ESF) in 2003 to help support the Turkish government's economic reform efforts, although as of the time of this writing the funds have not been disbursed. In the long run, the United States security assistance program with Turkey will remain a key mission for the United States and for Turkey.

(1) U.S. European Command website,

(2) Joint Pub 3-16, Joint Doctrine for Multinational Operations, Second, Final Coordination 23 Mar 1999.

(3) President Harry S. Truman's address to a joint session of Congress, March 12, 1947.

(4) Brussels Treaty of 1948.

(5) President Harry S. Truman's address to a joint session of Congress, March 12, 1947.

(6) President Harry S. Truman's Inaugural Address, January 20, 1949.

(7) Security Assistance Management Manual (SAMM), DoDD 5105-38M, page 151.

(8) Ibid., Table 600-1.

(9) FMS Customer Financial Management Handbook (Billing), DISAM, June 2002, page 1-1.

(10) Arms Export Control Act (Public Law 90-629)

(11) Arms Export Control Act (Public Law 90-629).

(12) Ibid.

(13) Foreign Military Sales Customer Financial Management Handbook (Billing), Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management, June 2002, page 1-2.

(14) Security Assistance Management Manual (SAMM), DoD 5105-38M, Chapter 7.

(15) Foreign Military Sales Customer Financial Management Handbook (Billing), Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management, June 2002, page 1-1.

(16) Foreign Assistance Act (FAA), 22 U.S.C. 2151p-2151D, as amended.

(17) "Turkey's Old Guard Routed in Elections", BBC News, November 4, 2003.

(18) Ken Guggenheim, "Wolfowitz Says Turkey Made Big, Big Mistake in Denying Use of Land", The Turkish Times, March 27, 2003, page 2.

(19) Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Turkish Foreign Policy, Fiscal Year 2003.

(20) Under Secretariat for Defense Industries, 17th Annual Report, 2002.

(21) 2001 was the latest Turkish budget figures obtained.

(22) Under Secretariat for Defense Industries, 17th Annual Report, 2002, page 11.

(23) Appalachian-Turkish Trade Project,

(24) Under Secretariat for Defense Industries, 17th Annual Report, 2002, page l5.

Captain Richard Robey, USN is the Chief for Security Cooperation at Headquarters Office of Defense Cooperation Turkey. He is a submarine officer and former Commodore of Naval Costal Warfare Group One, in San Diego, California.

Colonel Jeffrey Vordermark, USA is the Deputy Chief at Headquarters Office of Defense Cooperation Turkey. He is an artillery officer and foreign area officer specializing in Turkey and the Middle East regions.
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Author:Vordermark, Jeffrey
Publication:DISAM Journal
Geographic Code:7TURK
Date:Dec 22, 2003
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