Turkey's decision to honor its $ 2.5 billion contract to buy the S-400 Triumf Russian air defense system was approved on June 23 at the conclusion of mayoral elections in Istanbul.
In March, challenger Ekrem İmamoğlu won the Istanbul mayor's office with 13,000 votes. The governing political party of Turkey, the AKP, denied the result, but lost again last week to İmamoğlu, who increased his profit margin to over 800,000 votes with 8.7 million votes cast.
The Group 20 (G-20) summit just concluded was crucial for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who had to show his colleagues that despite the humiliation in Istanbul, "he is as stable as he is" and he made it . President Trump
Turkey wanted to buy an air defense system since the deployment of US Patriot air defense systems During the 1991 Gulf War in the southeastern United States, however, they encountered resistance to sharing system technology. As a last resort, Turkey relied mainly on its outdated land-based system, supplemented by aerial patrols of its F-16 fighters and AWACS surveillance aircraft. However, this speeds up the wear of the aircraft.
In 2009, Turkey called for missile defense proposals and received answers from the US, China and Russia. In 2010, NATO announced a plan to integrate the existing missile defense capabilities of its members. Turkey was mentioned as the location of a radar station, but feared that it would not cover the east and southeast of Turkey, due to technical and geographic limitations, except for the long time it took to introduce the system.
In March 2011, the Syrian civil war began, and in December 2012, US, German and Dutch Patriot systems were stationed in Turkey after Syria shot down a Turkish reconnaissance plane in June 2012. In February 2014, Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, reinforcing Russia's presence in the Black Sea. Tensions between Russia and Turkey increased in November 2015, when Turkey shot down a Russian aircraft involved in air strikes in Syria.
The Turkish leadership probably made the decision to acquire a missile defense system as soon as possible for two reasons:
- The "Emergency The use of Patriot systems in Turkey in 2012 was six months after the launch of the Turkish aircraft arranged by Syria and had not arrived for several weeks. Similarly, the deployment of the NATO system announced in 2010 would have taken a decade. Turkey had been looking for a solution since the Patriot deployment in 1991, and it would have taken almost three decades for the on-site measures to be taken to antagonistic relations. If Turkey had to use the system against a Syrian threat, would NATO authorize its use?
When Turkey announced the S-400 treaty with Russia, the Americans warned that this would jeopardize Turkey's participation as an important partner in the F-Building program -35 Lightning II fighter aircraft. Turkey was told that it could become a target of US sanctions for dealing with Russian defense companies, that Turkish pilots training on the F-35 would have to leave the US and Turkish defense companies would lose contracts, including for the engine overhaul. This would cost the Turkish economy $ 12 billion.
Turkey proposed a joint working group to address US concerns, but American defense officials did not respond, and two weeks ago Erdoğan said Turkey's purchase of the S-400 was a "done deal" and that the system This issue reminded the Turks of the American arms embargo from 1975 to 1978 in response to Turkey's intervention in Cyprus in 1974. The embargo is attributed to Turkey's decision to build its own arms industry to relieve dependence excluding foreign suppliers, and the exclusion of Turkey from the F-35 program will reinforce this effort.
This could be a first for the US: Consider sanctioning a NATO member with the Alliance's second largest army Hosts several key NATO bases and the only one bordering on the volatile Middle East the Turkish industrial sector is painful, the US will break new ground. It is one thing to sanction wrongdoers like Iran and Russia, but members of the main American Defense Alliance will wonder who the next one is.
Erdoğan was successful in the G-20 meeting: Trump said he understands Turkey's decision (though he will not be able to) to reverse the F-35 as Congress has buried and Trump knows he has Fight can not win). Turkey will not get the F-35, but Erdoğan's concerns support the AKP before the next election, damn it.
When Turkey leaves the F-35 program, it knows the program, which is already costing overruns are hit by the loss of the Turkish 100 aircraft order, while Congress is busy authorizing more F-35s when the Pentagon demanded. "Ottoman slap", in fact.
James Durso ( @james_durso ) is the CEO of Corsair LLC, a supply chain consultancy. He was a professional member of the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission 2005 and the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Durso was a US Navy officer for 20 years, specializing in logistics and security support. His military posts abroad were in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and served as a civilian transport consultant to the provisional coalition authority in Iraq. He served quickly as a supply officer of the submarine USS SKATE (SSN 578).