It looks like US Policy may have just backfired royally in the Middle East (yet again); the latest reports indicate that Turkey may purchase Russian Su-57s, if the US suspends their deliveries of the F-35s.
According to Tass news, citing Turkish paper YeniSafak:
Turkey is looking at buying Russian Su-57 fighter jets in case the United States refuses to sell its F-35 warplanes, Turkey’s YeniSafak reported on Sunday.
Nevertheless, according to the newspaper, Ankara is not planning to abandon its right to US fighter jets, with deliveries expected to begin in June. Turkey has launched a discussion about a possible replacement to US planes and Russian-made Su-57 jets are seen as a good alternative as they are nearly half-price as compared with US F-35 planes, YeniSafak said, not specifying however the level of discussion.
These tensions over arms sales between Ankara and Washington all seemingly began, when Turkey purchased the S-400 air defense system from Russia, rather than buying a NATO model.
Sputnik news noted that deal triggered a major disagreement between the US and Turkey, in which the US did everything they could to sabotage the deal, including threatening sanctions. President Putin slammed these attacks on Turkey’s right to make their own decisions about their defense, as well as Washington’s attempt at sabotaging the deal saying:
“Turkey, a NATO ally, has decided to buy the world’s most advanced air defense system in its class, the S-400. So what? Why is it a crime?” Putin was quoted as saying by Anadolu at a meeting with global news agencies in St.Petersburg. “This is certainly unfair,” Russian President added.
To NATO, and the US, this was indeed a crime, as it threatened the hegemony of their military industrial complex.
The US threatened not only sanctions, but on Thursday, the Senate Armed Services Committee, in a draft of its annual defense policy bill, implied that the delivery of F-35 jets to Turkey could be suspended, as a result of Ankara’s S-400 deal with Russia.
I have previously reported on the US State Department’s less than enthusiastic feelings about Turkey’s S-400 deal with Russia.
Needless to say, Washington was livid at Turkey’s decision, and as the above article here at The Duran, describes, the S-400 deal was so controversial, the US warned that going through with it could trigger sanctions against Turkey, barring it from purchasing the F-35s. I said in the article:
The [S-400] deal certainly reflects modern trends in relations, one should not imply Turkey is only trading with Moscow to spite NATO. The reality is likely in between; if the Russian rockets weren’t top of the line, or if relations with Moscow were at an all-time low, there would be no deal, regardless of the quality of the S-400s. Likewise, if NATO made a far superior product, or if Turkey was 100% under NATO control, they would have bought NATO interoperable systems, which US Defense Secretary Mattis noted would not include the S-400s.
The RT report continues:
Earlier in April, Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell warned that Ankara’s decision to buy Russia’s advanced complexes exposes Turkey to possible US sanctions and may bar it from getting F-35 jets. “Ankara claims to have agreed to purchase the Russian S-400 missile system, which could potentially lead to sanctions” under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), he said. The document was signed back in August 2017 and is mostly aimed at hindering Russian arms exports.
If the US chooses not to deliver to Turkey, the F-35 jets they ordered, this may backfire horribly for Washington, and the reason is obvious.
Turkey already didn’t want Western air defenses, choosing Russian ones instead. Not delivering Turkey their US jets may just push them to buy Russian jets as well.
The US wants Turkey to buy from them and not Russia so badly – they’re willing to prevent Turkey from buying from them, as punishment for buying from Russia.
Here is a pro tip: When you’re angry at someone for not buying one of your products, don’t antagonize them, by threatening not to deliver a product they already purchased! It likely won’t make them change their mind, but it just may result in them never wanting to deal with you again!
The US wants Turkey to buy their NATO air defenses, not simply because they deeply love Turkey, but because they want all NATO members to buy NATO hardware. Their strategy to stop Turkey from buying Russian hardware, and make them buy NATO – threaten NOT to sell Turkey NATO hardware!
Absolutely brilliant – it’s not like Turkey literally just demonstrated they’re willing to buy Russian arms when it suits their interests!
The US desperately wants to keep Turkey as an ally, mainly because of their strategic location – along with Russia, Turkey is the only country which truly connects Europe and Asia.
The Turkish control of Constantinople was always a thorn in the side of Russia, not only due to its implications for Orthodox Christians, but due to the strategic location of the Bospherous, hindering the warm water port of Russian Crimea’s access to the world oceans.
Now, with Turkey bordering Russia’s ally, and regional keystone Syria, its importance in the region has only magnified.
As a result, you would think the US would do everything they could to restore friendship with Turkey; instead, they prefer talking down to Ankara, as if she has no other options.
Very odd, considering that an alliance between Ankara and Russia would be terrible for NATO; you would think NATO would instead do everything in their power to make Turkey feel like they are friendly.
Instead, the spirit in the west is largely negative towards Turkey. The Washington Times wrote an article about this situation slamming Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his Turkey as “Islamist”. Funny, how the U.S. seems to have no issues befriending Islamists when it suits them. It seems so long as a nation buys NATO weapons, they are pro-democracy even if they use the weapons for genocide.
In the article, the Washington Time’s also praised Putin’s diplomacy, saying:
The speed and skill with which Russian president Vladimir Putin pulled Turkey back into Moscow’s orbit after the shootdown of a Russian attack jet in Syria by a Turkish F-16, has been dramatic and breathtaking.
They went onto say that Washington shouldn’t sell the F-35s to Turkey, saying that Turkey’s NATO membership is a “fraud”, and they can’t be trusted with the secrets of the F-35, which is particularly skilled at catching fire, and costing US taxpayers trillions. Shhh…it’s a secret.
While they frame the idea of not selling Turkey the F-35s as coming from strength, in reality, its a major blunder, that could backfire terribly, not unlike the F-35, which often literally catches fire.
The US and NATO really need Turkey to remain their ally, yet the US is seemingly doing everything in their power that could possibly drive Turkey away, and indirectly into Russia’s arms.
It’s almost as if US Foreign Policy in general, has been designed to sabotage relations with its allies, considering recent events in Europe.
Lately, US Policy has (indirectly) undermined the unity between the US and its allies, primarily because it’s based on the notion of US exceptionalism, and a strong confidence their allies will always obey. Things appear to be changing.
The way the US is treating Turkey could surely backfire, and possibly drive Turkey closer to Russia. For any aspiring military industrial complex tycoons out there, take note, this is exactly how NOT, to get people to buy your stuff.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.