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.
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