Turkey has its ‘red lines’ too - ABDULLAH MURADOĞLU

Turkey has its ‘red lines’ too

One of the U.S. pretexts for refusing to sell Turkey the Patriot missile defense system was the clause to add a technology-sharing clause and not granting permission to manufacture some of its parts in Turkey.

Such an agreement between Turkey and the United States in the context of defense technology can only mean “unilateral dependency.”

Such a relationship is unacceptable for our country, which is located in a geopolitically sensitive region. The problems we have experienced after the “Cyprus Operation” in 1974 are still fresh in our memory. Like every country, we have our boundaries. Turkey cannot entrust its national defense to another country.

The difficulties we experienced in 1974 and beyond have been a strong motivation for the development of the defense industry of our country. After the end of the Cold War period, some of the so-called allies in NATO made statements that NATO's Article 5 should not be valid for our country. Article 5 stipulates that an armed attack against one or more NATO members in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.

An alliance is not a unilateral relationship, but is based on mutual solidarity, cooperation and trust. The fact that the U.S. does not allow technology sharing on the Patriot defense system is incompatible with the spirit of the alliance. Such a reservation makes its interlocutor insecure. In this case, our country has the right to develop defense industry cooperation with other countries that accept our conditions.

There are those that want to subject Turkey to sanctions for purchasing the Russian S-400s. Trump, on the other hand, has a contradictory attitude to the U.S. Congress on sanctions. In Congress, Democrats and Republicans want to use the "Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, to ramp up pressure on Turkey without any compromise. During a meeting with Republicans in the White House on Tuesday, Trump indicated that he wants them to act flexibly with Turkey.

Since the meeting was closed to the press, very little information has been leaked. Democratic senators, on the other hand, are quite angry with Trump for not inviting them.

It seems that the Trump administration has drawn its “red line” at the activaiton of the S-400s before imposing sanctions against Turkey.

Indeed, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Bloomberg TV that the activation of the S-400s is unacceptable. In Washington, there are those who think that it is unnecessary to impose sanctions if the S-400s remain inactive. According to the proponents of this line of thinking, removing Turkey from the F-35 fighter jets program is sufficient. One of Trump's advantages is that the law on sanctions does not set a definite time frame, and Trump may try to get out of it by delaying having to deal with the dilemma.

Meanwhile, American foreign policy experts are in disagreement over sanctions. Some of them believe that sanctions can be effective in the short term, and that in the long run this could cause serious detriment to the U.S. These experts say that China, Russia, Iran and North Korea have tried different approaches to alleviate U.S. sanctions and have been partially successful in their efforts. According to these experts, U.S. presidents can benefit from short-term political gains through sanctions during their term. However, since the problem cannot be solved completely, the cost of sanctions to the U.S. will be extremely high in the following years. Such a situation will weaken the global power of the U.S.

There are already striking findings about the cost of U.S. sanctions to the American people. The powers that be that control U.S. foreign policy do not worry about the losses suffered by the American people. In this case, Trump's promise of America First is just a mere slogan.

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