U.S. halts F-35 equipment to Turkey, protests its plans to buy from Russia
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has halted delivery of equipment related to the stealthy F-35 fighter aircraft to Turkey, marking the first concrete U.S. step to block delivery of the jet to the NATO ally in light of Ankara’s planned purchase of a Russian missile defense system.
That's a pretty big deal.
The Trump administration is blocking F-35 equipment to Turkey, which has yet to receive F-35 fighters. Erdogan is fucking things up royally for NATO. Purchasing Russian anti-aircraft systems would probably not bother Obama, but it would expose NATO-made planes to constant surveillance by Russian anti-aircraft--potentially giving Russia an advantage to improve its systems against the F-35.
Whether Russia is seen as a military rival or not, it is simply a practical matter that Russia is not a NATO member and not going to become one anytime soon. Consequently, purchasing Russian-made anti-aircraft systems is in effect subsidizing a rival.
For people dumb enough to believe Hillary Clinton's Russiagate conspiracy, here is yet another example where Trump is not helping Russian interests. In fact, Washington is signalling a potential break with a NATO member, and a NATO member is signalling a possible intent to leave NATO.
I think it is pre-mature to suggest Turkey will leave or be kicked out of NATO, but clearly there is some pretty significant tension here.
"I am convinced that the norm in Russia should become a family with three children."
-- Vladmir Putin