"That’s what the alliance of free nations
is all about."
T. Rhem, AFPS
Feb. 19, 2003 — NATO is sending several defensive weapons systems
to Turkey to protect that alliance member from possible attack
by neighboring Iraq.
this alliance is providing equipment to Turkey to help protect
our Turkish ally from potential attack from Iraq," President
Bush said in a brief White House appearance with NATO Secretary-General
announced the alliance is sending airborne warning and control
system aircraft, Patriot air-defense artillery batteries, and
biological and chemical protective equipment to Turkey.
have expressed concerns Turkey might come under attack if the
United States engages Iraq militarily. Iraq launched Scud missiles
at Israel during the 1991 Gulf War, and it has used chemical weapons
against Iran and its own Kurdish minority in northern Iraq.
NATO is acting
under Article V of its charter, which allows for the alliance
to act in defense of any of its neighbors. Article V was invoked
immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the
United States, when European NATO countries sent AWACS aircraft
and crews to fly patrols over the United States.
Germany, France and Belgium originally vetoed moving to protect
Turkey, but member countries eventually reached a compromise.
Robertson today admitted it took some time to come to Turkey’s
aid, but said the alliance made the right decision in the end.
what the alliance of free nations is all about," he said.