When Aid Fails: The Unsuccessful U.S. Attempt to Coerce Turkey through Aid Prior to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq

Robert J. Dillard
1.854 654


Amidst the multitude of analyses on the question of aid effectiveness, there remains a dearth of studies focused primarily on the aid-for-policy bargaining process itself. This is especially unfortunate due to the conclusions which could be drawn by analyzing specific instances of aid-for-policy failure. In this case study analysis, I will approach the question of aid effectiveness by examining U.S.-Turkish bilateral interactions leading up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Despite numerous attempts by the U.S. to gain access to Turkish military bases through coercive aid, Turkish acquiescence eluded U.S. diplomats, thus impacting the entire character of the war effort. Assessing effectiveness and the superiority of aid as a diplomatic tool requires an examination of both donor and recipient interests. This case demonstrates that a donor can invest less through foreign aid and achieve a similar or better end state compared to using other diplomatic tools or not seeking the goal at all.


Foreign Aid, Coercion, Coalition of the Willing, United States, Turkey, Iraq

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