"Given that the S-400 deal with Russia could have such adverse consequences for the U.S.-Turkey bilateral relationship, the real question is how this transaction was allowed to get so close to the finish line?
Just months after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened Turkey with economic collapse for having jailed an American pastor, the NATO allies are heading toward a bigger crisis with implications for trans-Atlantic security. This time the dispute centers around Turkey’s intention to acquire the S-400, an air and missile defense system from Russia.
This imminent transaction has raised major concerns in Washington. As a result, Turkey could be sanctioned under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act"
Given that the S-400 deal with Russia could have such adverse consequences for the U.S.-Turkey bilateral relationship, the real question is how/why was this transaction allowed to get so close to the finish line? Is this at least one why of the coup attempt in Turkey?
"For the Turkish president, the S-400 option was long viewed as a tactic to pressure Washington to improve the concession terms for the Patriot, an air and ballistic missile defense system to be transferred to an ally in need. Of all NATO members, Turkey faces the greatest threat from the proliferation of ballistic missiles in the Middle East. Back in 2011, a senior commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said Tehran would target NATO’s X-band radar in Turkey if the United States or Israel were to ever attack Iran.Allegedly unable to provide cover for the whole of Turkish territory...??? Reads to me like the US wanted to leave some Turkish territory so it could be easily attacked.
The response from the alliance has been the phased adaptive missile defense shield, an integrated architecture of radars and interceptors to protect NATO countries against ballistic missiles, which is allegedly unable to provide cover for the whole of the Turkish territory due to Turkey’s proximity to Iran and Syria, leaving Ankara feeling vulnerable"
"The S-400 deal has also become a critical component of Turkey’s policy in Syria, where Ankara’s position shifted over time from a regime change agenda to defending its security interests by preventing the expansion of Kurdish influence in northern Syria. By hinting at a rapprochement with Russia, Turkey wanted to compel the U.S. government to review its policy of backing the Kurdish People’s Protection Forces (YPG) in Syria"
The S-400 deal is years old and the US just kept right on arming the PKK/YPG. Clearly the US didn’t or wouldn’t share Turkey’s security concerns in this regard.
"No other policy decision in history has done as much harm to the image of the United States in Turkey as the ongoing effort to weaponize the YPG
The erosion in mutual trust provoked by the continuing U.S. support to this Kurdish entity was a major consideration that altered Ankara’s calculus about the purchase of this strategic weapons system from Russia.
When Ankara first inked the deal with Moscow in 2017, U.S. officials did not immediately make it clear to Turkish authorities how grave the consequences would be if they went through with this purchase, possibly thinking that this was essentially a negotiating tactic and that in due time as a NATO ally, Turkey could easily be persuaded to drop the Russia option. Another possible reason is that the sanctions legislation had not yet been adopted.
It is only now, within a few months of the delivery, that the U.S. government is mounting political and diplomatic pressure to dissuade Turkish authorities from following through. This criticism was repeated last week by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who warned Ankara by declaring, “Turkey must choose. Does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in history, or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making such reckless decisions that undermine our alliance?”Pence states that despite the reality that the US has, for years now, ignored Turkey’s security concerns. Where is the the alliance in NATO?
"The two NATO allies are now trapped in a standoff with little room to maneuver. Turkey seems unwilling to change tack, despite vocal criticism in Washington, while the United States is already contemplating imposing sanctionsOne would have thought the NATO alliance would/should have considered impaired capacity to project power and weaken operability through Turkey. Unless the US has other ideas?
But even under a best-case scenario for Turkey, in which Trump stands up to Congress to protect Ankara from sanctions on national security grounds, the Turkish government cannot escape the inevitable binary choice between a Russian air defense system and an American fifth-generation fighter jet. Opting for the S-400s would mean that Turkey would lose out on a genuine force multiplier, thus impairing its own capacity to project power and future NATO interoperability. The more likely—and more damaging—scenario of U.S. sanctions on Turkey would have long-term strategic consequences for NATO, possibly even leading Ankara to question its membership.”
Go back to 2014:
If all goes well for NATO, Israel and the Kurds. Turkey will be supplanted as NATO’s Southern Flank. It seems to be just a matter of time.....I hold the opinion that Turkish leadership has become aware of what looks to be it’s impending betrayal
Last bit from oped: "Averting the looming threat to the NATO alliance will require both Washington and Ankara to recognize their past missteps and demonstrate a willingness to shift their positions. That may be too much to ask from Trump and Erdogan, but it’s essential for the strength of the trans-Atlantic alliance."Still more Turkish Russian cooperation: Russia and Turkey to create joint investment pool
Russian Direct Investment Fund and Turkey Wealth Fund agreed to create a €900 million ($1 billion) investment fund focused on investments on technology, health care and infrastructure, Russia's sovereign wealth fund said on its website.The Russia-Turkey Investment Fund will initially invest €200 million in joint projects and follows an agreement signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"Today the health-care, infrastructure and technology sectors are some of the most attractive for investment and development of our domestic economies. Once implemented, the projects will significantly improve living standards and will substantially increase the volume and efficiency of business engagement between our countries," Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the $10 billion Russian Direct Investment Fund, said in a news release.US Revises Travel Warning For Turkey- Raised the Advisory to Level 3
(Yes, this is more targeting Turkey)
"The US State Department raised the travel advisory level for Turkey to 3 this week, urging Americans to “reconsider travel to Turkey due to terrorism and arbitrary detentions.”
In its latest travel update, dated April 9, the US warns travelers to avoid areas near the Syria and Iraq borders due to terrorism and kidnapping.
“Security forces have detained tens of thousands of individuals, including US citizens, for alleged affiliations with terrorist organizations based on scant or secret evidence and grounds that appear to be politically motivated,” the advisory says.
The advisory is one grade lower that the “Do not travel” level"