During the nineties, Turks and Americans found they had become more, not less important to one another than during the Cold War, and declared themselves "strategic partners." The meaning of that phrase was changing even before George Bush decided to go to war with Iraq. But the President's decision accelerated the process and raised the stakes. The Iraq war is a watershed in U.S.-Turkish relations. Turkey will remain a key country for Washington. But the partnership will inevitably involve a new agenda based on post-war realities. Sets of issues likely to figure prominently on that agenda include: the shape of post-Saddam Iraq; the future of an American military presence in Turkey; likely future missions for Turkey's armed forces; U.S. reliability as a supplier of military equipment; the interrelationship among Turkey, the EU, NATO and the U.S.; and Turkey's economy.
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