Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Turkey's Defacto NATO Exit & The Response from Erstwhile Allies

Following up on yesterday's interview:
Being on the same page:
  • Defacto: being such in effect though not formally recognized 
  • Erstwhile: former; previous

Including the definitions so readers know how the words are being employed. 

1- EU and U.S. Punish Turkey (in the same week) For Two Separate Violations
After months of uncertainty and controversy, both the European Union and the United States decided to punish Turkey in the same week for two different violations.

The Associated Press reported on July 16 that the EU foreign ministers “approved sanctions against Turkey over its drilling for gas in waters where EU member Cyprus has exclusive economic rights. They said they were suspending talks on an air transport agreement, as well as high-level Turkey-EU dialogues, and would call on the European Investment Bank to review its lending” to Turkey.

  President Trump finally decided to prohibit Turkey from purchasing U.S. advanced stealth F-35 fighter jets, even though Turkey had already paid a billion dollars for the 116 jets it planned to buy and had participated in the program to manufacture parts of the aircraft, which after cancellation would result in the loss of around $10 billion for Turkey’s defense industry.
As reported here July 17/2019:  US Officially Removes Turkey from the F-35 Program

 A correlation, not a coincidence.

2- Trump Talks Turkey Sanctions with Congress- Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Digression Alert: Recall the Foundation for Defense of Democracies figuring large, very large in the  Conjured Sanctions/Evasion Scheme regarding Turkey/Halkbank? It is the very pro- Israel 'think tank' that provided "evidence" to the justice department. Weird, eh?
"At FDD, we’d spent considerable time digging into Zarrab’s activities. Our think tank already had an established track record of identifying and exposing Iran’s malign activities. We had also just launched a new program to explore Turkey’s recent drift into Islamist authoritarianism. The more we investigated, the more we realized that Zarrab’s schemes, which could have helped Iran pocket more than $100 billion, rank among the largest sanctions evasion episode in modern history."
FDD: "President Donald Trump will meet with Republican senators today to discuss Ankara’s purchase of the S-400 air defense system from Moscow. Turkey’s $2.5 billion deal violates U.S. law, specifically the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which mandates penalties on those who make sizable purchases of Russian arms.

Turkey’s S-400 deal also triggers sanctions under CAATSA. The 2017 law, which passed with votes in the House and Senate of 419-3 and 98-2, respectively, bars individuals and entities from engaging in significant transactions with the Russian defense and intelligence sectors. Turkey’s multi-billion dollar deal is squarely within the target set of transactions Congress hoped to ban. Thus, the law requires the president and secretary of state to impose five out of twelve possible punitive measures on Turkey. These measures range from the denial of international loans to bans on utilizing U.S. financial institutions, denial of visas to Turkish executives, cutting off access to the U.S. dollar, and bans on exports to Turkey"
We can see the banks working in tandem in both the EU and US sanctions. 

3- How the US Lost It's Game of Chicken With Turkey 

 Excerpted below- worth reading entirely.
 Now that Turkey has taken delivery of the first part of its new Russian-made S-400 air defense system, we can say that the United States has lost the game of “chicken” it was playing with Ankara.

Turkey has now become the first NATO country to procure a strategic weapons platform from Russia, despite intense U.S. objections. Many U.S. institutions, including the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and Congress, spent more than two years trying to dissuade Turkey from purchasing the system. While NATO treats Russia as a strategic threat, Turkey, a NATO member, has made a deal with Russia to satisfy its national security interests. For Russia the benefits are twofold: it has now entered NATO’s defense market and precipitated a rupture in the transatlantic alliance.
In addition to geopolitical concerns, Turkey must maintain a good working relationship with Russia because of Turkey’s objectives in Syria. Two issues in Syria are critical for Turkey: the fight against the Kurdish YPG militia—which is linked with Turkey’s outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Syria and the Turkish military presence in Syria’s Idlib province. Turkey is not dependent on Russia in Syria, but it does need to manage its relationships with both Russia and the U.S. in order to facilitate its operations there.
Strategic U.S. Miscalculations
These are not miscalculations. The US moves have long appeared to be calculated and executed with the intention of undermining Turkey's security in the region.
1-" The U.S. effort to counter ISIS created many tactical, operational, and long-term strategic challenges for Turkey’s national security and regional policies, particularly due to the U.S. alliance with the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which has strong ties with Turkey’s outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Turkey had to counter the PKK’s urban insurgency in Turkey while the U.S. was supporting the PKK’s Syrian affiliate. This eventually undermined Turkey’s national security interests across the region"
 I'm truly, truly hoping there is no one reading here, or elsewhere for that matter, that is 'believing' the big lie that SDF is not the PKK. They are one and the same!
2-"Following Turkey’s July 2016 military coup attempt, Ankara’s perception of U.S. foreign policy changed. Not only was the U.S. was supporting the YPG, which has ties to the PKK, but it also did not support Ankara either by condemning the coup plotters or cooperating in the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, the man Turkish authorities believe planned the coup"
Undermining Turkey's national security interests, again! I'm confident the coup was not faked by Turkey- Despite there being recent EU claims along this line. Despite such claims in the 5/6 eyes media. Alt or otherwise.
Blogger Penny said...GC: saw this not too long ago- earlier this year (spring)

https://euobserver.com/foreign/144366

"The new evidence recently came in the form of a document written by a Turkish prosecutor on 16 July 2016, and obtained by an investigative journalist, Ahmet Donmez, who lives in exile in Sweden.
I've written previously about a suspiciously, spooky, NGO, the Stockholm Center for Freedom, that coincidentally publishes all sorts of articles castigating Turkey. As soon as I saw the "news" from the EU observer... and the mention of an  "exiled journalist who lives in Sweden" my mind went immediately to the aforementioned NGO
3- "U.S. miscalculation was making a false analogy between Turkey’s attitude in 2015 regarding its attempted purchase of China’s FD 2000 (HQ) air defense missile system and its decision to purchase the S-400 in 2017. Washington believed that Turkey would cancel the S-400 deal as it did in the case of the Chinese system, because of the interoperability problem and NATO’s possible reaction. However, Turkey canceled the FD 2000 long-range missile defense system contract in order to launch its own national air defense missile project"
4- The third U.S. miscalculation was the belief that there was some disparity among Turkish state institutions regarding the S-400 acquisition. However, this belief was not correct. Even though the Turkish security establishment had some concerns over the potential geopolitical rift between Ankara and Moscow vis-à-vis different foreign policy issues, these worries were not perceived as a strategic challenge as compared to the harm that U.S. policies were doing to Turkish national security.
 
Interesting times, indeed!

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