Turkey’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 defense system has long been a burden not only for the United States but for NATO, too, the security bloc in which Turkey is a member.
NATO was created to counter Soviet threats. Today it aims to do the same as Russia extends its influence across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Its members are sovereign states with the right to have normal relations with any nation, even Russia. But its members also have the obligation to not undermine the interests of the alliance. Turkey’s purchase of the very military equipment the alliance was created to deter undermines the interests of NATO.
The situation is not complicated. No NATO member can purchase defense systems that are incompatible with NATO defense systems, especially if the missiles were created to shoot down fighter jets like the American F-35.
Turkey’s list of bad decisions against US national security interests is never-ending: from evading Iranian sanctions, standing against designating the IRGC a terrorist organization, condemning the US recognition of US Embassy to Jerusalem and its recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, supporting Venezuela’s Maduro regime, threatening America’s Kurdish partners in Syria and more.
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