The US’s ‘S-400’ dilemma! - ABDULLAH MURADOĞLU

The US’s ‘S-400’ dilemma!

Turkey’s decision to purchase S-400 missiles from Russia in order to strengthen its air defense has turned into a thorn in the side of anti-Turkey powers.

These powers are pressuring Trump to designate Turkey as an “adversary.” In addition to removing Turkey from the new generation F-35 production programs, they are also pushing for the enforcement of Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

These powers threatened to remove Turkey from NATO, of which it has been a member since 1952. Trump, who is reluctant to impose sanctions against Turkey, finds himself in a dilemma.

Our country’s decision to purchase the S-400s has even caused them to debate Turkey's NATO membership.

According to recently published articles on the topic, Turkey’s decision to purchase S-400s provides the U.S. with new opportunities and options in the Middle East. These articles propose that the U.S. build new bases or strengthen its military presence in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

For example, Romanian and Polish administrations are happy to strengthen U.S. military presence in their countries. The list also includes Greece, Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates. Strengthening their presence there is supposedly meant to compensate for the absence of Turkey.

Turkey's reaction to U.S. sanctions is very likely to cause serious problems in many areas in complex and mutually painful ways.

Anti-Turkey circles that are considering this possibility want the U.S. to take measures in advance against any dangers that are likely to be encountered in the future with regards to not being able to count on Turkey’s support or in case Ankara adopts an opposing position.

According to advocates of this view, Washington and Ankara have conflicting interests in the Middle East and see each other as obstacles to achieving national goals.

Therefore, they advise the U.S. and European F-35 partners to look for ways to mitigate possible risks in the future, taking this "reality" into account.

Trump is not on the same page as his own party with regards to sanctions. Indeed, two Republican senators signed a bill that proposes to respond forcefully against Turkey.

Describing the S-400s as a “threat to the U.S. and NATO,” the bill calls for full enforcing of sanctions. Turkey's role in NATO's opening debate on the bill was being requested.

Trump has invited a group of Republican senators to the White House to discuss possible sanctions against Turkey. Trump will meet with these senators on Tuesday. He has the authority to not enforce sanctions against Ankara.

But Trump, who is preparing for the 2020 Presidential elections, does not want to have a crisis with the Republicans who control the Senate. A bipartisan Senate may force Trumps to impose sanctions against Turkey. In a 100-member Senate, a decision by 60 senators may force Trump’s hand.

There are of course those who are concerned that the sanctions strengthen ties between Turkey and Russia. According to these circles, a "Turkey-Russia rapprochement" could pose serious problems to U.S. regional and global policies. However, they’re not as loud as those calling for sanctions.

Reactions to any sanctions imposed on Turkey will have a “butterfly effect” on global and regional power balances. On the other hand, sanctions are like a double-edged sword. Forces who want to use the sword against Turkey would do well to consider the wounds they will inflict on themselves. “Necessity is the mother of invention,” as the saying goes. Perhaps sanctions may even open up new opportunities for our country. If everyone is after “opportunities,” why should we back off! Didn’t we all see what kind of troubles our fake allies cause for our country?

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