Turkey’s Forward-Basing Posture

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Forward–basing has uncertain consequences for a nation’s political–military status. On the positive side, it enables better contingency response capabilities by providing enhanced deterrence and assurance measures that would enable effective political signaling. It also develops robust security cooperation and partner capacity–building opportunities. On the other hand, forward–basing has risks as it is heavily dependent on bilateral ties with the host nation and offers attractive targets for hostile non-state actors. This analysis provides a contextual framework for understanding of Ankara’s military basing strategy beyond its borders, consisting of deployments in Northern Cyprus, Qatar and Somalia, as well as deployments in Iraq and Syria. It concludes that Turkey does not have a single, standard forward basing model, and each contingent, major base, training facility, and forward operating base has its own political–military agenda.

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