Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Is Turkey Sleepwalking Out of the Alliance? Incirlik, Brunson, S-400's

Carnegie Europe
"Turkey’s resolve to acquire the Russian strategic defensive weapon system S-400 Triumf raises the prospect of a severe damage to NATO and, by extension, to transatlantic security.

    The Turkish – American bilateral relationship is in a deep crisis. An alliance that took shape in the early post-War years has entered a period of heavy turbulence with an ever-growing set of unresolved disputes. This unprecedented cumulation of bilateral disputes is burdening a relationship vital to transatlantic security. It is also compounding efforts to settle differences with linkages being established between unrelated topics leading to an ever more difficult environment for diplomatic negotiations. The way forward requires a willingness to disconnect these problems from each other so that some confidence building can be engineered by individually resolving these disagreements.

    With this understanding, this report will focus on one of these disagreements. Turkey is planning to acquire an advanced Russian strategic defensive weapon system, known as the S-400 Triumf. There is however rising concern in the US about this purchase by a NATO ally. Indeed the fear is that, even if not networked, potential backdoors in the S-400 system could study critical operational data and electromagnetic signatures of the high-end aircraft, and transmit them to the Russian military intelligence.

A strategic defensive weapon
Recall this quote?
     "So if the US does not plan to attack Turkey or support those who intend to attack it, they don't need to be afraid of the S-400 deal. If the American goal is to deprive Turkey of the defense system and attack it, then this is a completely different matter," Bozkurt concluded.
CE:  "The prospect of sanctions has therefore been raised in addition to Congressional initiatives to prevent deliveries of the F-35 Lightning II to Turkey due to the risks of operating the S-400 and the F-35 together. Yet Ankara’s resolve regarding its potential acquisition of the S-400 seems unaffected despite the rising political and military costs.
    Both Ankara and Washington are so far acting in a way that is oblivious to the real consequences of such a scenario of divergence.
    The case that we make in this detailed report is that a failure to eventually reach an understanding on the now interlinked S-400 & F-35 issue can potentially affect Turkey’s capability to act as an interoperable and capable NATO ally. In other words, this disagreement raises the prospect of a severe damage to the NATO Alliance, and by extension, to transatlantic security.
    One mooted option has been for Turkey’s F-35s to be delivered through several degradations ensuring that the aircraft is handed over without connection to the ALIS cloud-based network. However, such a degradation will cut Turkey’s F-35s’ from rest of the global F-35 fleet around the world. Maintenance, life cycle, and operation costs will inevitably increase, and the Turkish military-industrial com-plex will have much less access to the engineering and supply chain."

It appears the F-35's aren’t going to Turkey any time soon, if at all.

Haaretz: "A newly-signed defense bill stalls delivering the fighter jets pending a Pentagon report on Ankara-Washington relations, reports say
The policy, now signed into law, prohibits delivering the F-35s pending a Pentagon report on the relations between Ankara and Washington, which is due in 90 days. The report is expected to assess the risks presented by Turkey purchasing the S-400 missile defense system from Russia"

 CE:   "Washington’s intent to link the supply of the F-35s to Turkey to political conditions, like the release of the jailed pastor Brunson is incongruous. The US would naturally work diplomatically to get the release of the jailed pastor as its citizen. But seeking to leverage the potential delivery of the F-35s for this purpose is greatly misplaced. The threat is incommensurate with its long-term implications. It underestimates the negative impact, not only for the Turkey-US relationship but also more generally for transatlantic security, of Turkey not being able to get the delivery of this fifth-generation multirole aircraft. The linkage with Turkey’s acquisition of the S-400 from Russia, however, is more relevant"

Let’s stop calling Brunson a pastor, ok? He’s not. Not really.  Much more realistically speaking the man is a CIA agent. Most assuredly involved in arms smuggling. I’m quite comfortable making that statement. Writing an entire post on it last week:

Digression, but, related:
The news (?) regarding Turkey wanting to raid Incirlik (which was posted all over the place including but not limited to Zero Hedge, as spun by Jason Ditz ,of   the extremely questionable Anti-war)  that originated with the  "Stockholm Centre for Freedom" is extremely dubious.
"According to the report, lawyers working for the the Association for Social Justice and Aid (Toplumsal Adalet ve Yardımlaşma Derneği in Turkish, or TAY-DER), a front NGO that was set up on June 15, 2016."
A Front NGO for who or what? Click the link provided for Tay-Der (above) and you go where??? Directly to another page from the Stockholm Centre!  Making an initial claim backed up their own previous claim? All the while providing no proof for any of their assertions
 Stockholm Centre for Freedom is spooky. Or questionable. With an "about us" that is vague. And that's being kind.

   CE:  "In our view, Ankara would need to adopt a political and diplomatic strategy that takes fully into account of this inevitable conclusion that the acquisition of the S-400s will have ramifications for the supply and operationalization of the F-35s. Either the US will need to be convinced that the delivery of the F-35s to a country that operates the Russia-made S-400s is not a real threat to the integrity of network-centric NATO platforms, or that the threat of cyber hacking –or digital espionage– emanating from the S-400s can categorically be eliminated, or Turkey would need to forego the acquisition – or at the very least the operationalization– of the S-400s. At present, there seem to be no real third options for Turkish policy-makers to sidestep these binary and mutually exclusive options.

Why would Turkey bother to acquire the S-400 if they had no intent of using the S-400 as a defensive system


  1. Hi Penny: Hope I'm not just displaying my own ignorance here, having never been any kind of expert on high finance, but couldn't just let the following pass because of Gordon Duff's strong prediction:

    Erdogan Rule Teetering on the Edge, Duff on Press TV
    Erdogan has burned an awful lot of bridges ... and Turkey is going to lose its independence.

    Regarding Brunson, he may well be a Christian evangelist, but from my experience with others of similar ilk, he may also be willing to spy for Jesus' sake.

    1. Thanks YaYa:

      I'm listening at the moment. see he mentioned the s-400
      Wrong on 'aggressive moves against kurds' (but then Duffy is jewish, so that's to be expected)

      I've covered that long ago- AKP was the most pro kurd party in Turkey imaginable.

      The f-35 was an old deal and it's done from the looks of it.

      It's a given that the US armed the thugs in Idlib- I'm working on a post covering that right now.

      It seemed obvious to me this is a currency war against Turkey and yes he's right- without Erdogan Turkey will lose more then it's independence- It will be balkanized and a weaker Turkey will remain.

      Making Israel very happy

    2. Yaya :

      "Regarding Brunson, he may well be a Christian evangelist, but from my experience with others of similar ilk, he may also be willing to spy for Jesus' sake

      Or God and Israel?- He's one of those evangelicals- very pro Israel.

    3. PS: Hope that didn't sound as if I see Duff as any kind of guru. I've never known whether to trust his statements or not.

    4. Not to make too fine a point of it, but it really is all about Jesus, and only about Israel secondarily. In the long haul, they expect all the Jews who don't accept Jesus as their Messiah will go straight to hell when He returns to the "Holy Land".

    5. Hey Yaya:
      Yah, I find Duff questionable too

      and your right with the evangelicals it really is about their.. what do they call it..??
      Can't think of it??

      Their Rapture- duh, finally.
      Shakes head.

    6. Haha. you made me laff. You're too young to have those little memory lapses. I've noticed the last couple of years that I have them a little too often. But your brain is probably just tired from all the research and ....... writing, that's it ....... you've been doing.

  2. Also see Bhadrakumar's (former Indian Ambassador)

    His point is, that it's not about Turkey to 'defect' away from NATO to Russia (and China). It's only about multipolarity returning in international politics.

    I think, the same may be true for the EU states. Trump and the Congress behave like a "school-class bully". and this accelerates it even more.


    1. thanks J
      I generally like Bhadrakumar's writing-look forward to reading it :)

    2. @Penny
      "thanks J" - You are really sweet, Penny!
      Thank YOU for this absolutely likeable and congenial blog!


    3. LOL- I try to be polite always- even when I disagree.
      Thanks to you as well :)

  3. As I’ve written here before, the US only opposes Turkey purchasing S-400 air defence system, because it excludes a conventional attack on the country, to enforce regime change.
    Another reason, is that the long range of the radars poses a threat to US plans in northern Syria and Iraq. If Turkey were to place a batteri at their large air base in Batman, it would work as potential no fly zone for US AF in N. Syria and Iraq.
    The supposed risk to US/NATO of Turkey operating F-35’s and S-400 together, is nonsense, and a lame excuse.
    Firstly, Israel has used F-35’s extensively in Syria against the S-400 system Russia has place in the country, so Russia most likely already know a great deal about this jet.
    Secondly, the F-35 is a piece of junk, which has trouble even flying. It has an exhortation racket that the US plans to use for years, and years, to rip off their ‘allies’.
    In that sense Turkey is lucky not to get it.