After much wrangling by NATO to allow its members to do the very thing all members have signed up for — defense of a member nation, in this case, Turkey — Turkey has finally agreed to let the US base a large contingent of troops upon their soil to stage war and wage war in the north of Iraq, should war be the path we choose.

95% of the population of Turkey didn’t want to let the US stage their troops there. Essentially, the leaders of Turkey were swayed by an economic incentive package — I haven’t heard for how much — that they couldn’t refuse. We needed Turkey badly in order to pull off what looks like a certain war with Iraq. I can’t imagine just how much, and for how long, and under what terms, the leadership of Turkey was willing to defy its people, and side with the US on this.

Truthfully, I thought we’d be at war already. My best guess now is that it will begin to break out in the next couple of weeks. I’ve heard rumblings that St. Patrick’s Day is also a potential launching point.

No matter which way you time it, though, war is war.