This morning's Washington Post has a recap of the Turkey situation (Missteps With Turkey Prove Costly/Diplomatic Debacle Denied U.S. a Strong Northern Thrust in Iraq); its analysis is a lot closer to Josh Marshall ("incompetence") to Michael Ledeen ("Those darn French!"). Interestingly, the article specifically contradicts Ledeen's contention that the parliamentary rejection came as a surprise to either the Turkish or American governments.
One week into the war, the administration's inability to win Turkey's approval has emerged as an important turning point in the U.S. confrontation with Iraq that senior U.S. officials now acknowledge may ultimately prolong the length of the conflict. It is a story of clumsy diplomacy and mutual misunderstanding, U.S. and Turkish officials said. It also illustrates how the administration undercut its own efforts to broaden international support for war by allowing its war plan to dictate the pace of its diplomacy, diplomats and other experts in U.S.-Turkish relations said.
Turkey's rejection was especially surprising to administration officials because Turkey has loyally backed U.S. military actions since the Korean War a half-century ago. In retrospect, U.S. officials say, they made unrealistic demands on the new government of Turkey, which was installed only in November, insisting on a vote on whether it would accept as many as 90,000 U.S. troops even as President Bush was still publicly claiming he had made no decision to attack Iraq. U.S. officials repeatedly set deadlines for action, but then took no action when the deadlines passed, costing the administration credibility and inflating Turkey's sense of importance.
There's much more; read the whole thing. But the point bears repeating: Bush's undeniable failure to secure Turkish cooperation for a northern front--and its inability at the 11th hour to compensate by bolstering the southern troop force (don't forget, the 4thID sat in their ships for days in hopes the Turks would change their minds) and unwillingness to change their timetable for war to allow for the reinforcement is arguably having a direct and detrimental effect on the war's progress. In other words, as many war skeptics predicted, Bush's diplomatic incompetence lends little reason for confidence in his Administration's initial predictions for a quick war.