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In search of Equilibrium: The Turkish-American Defence Conundrum (Part 2)

Thejus Gireesh writes Turkey , like India, has been caught in the cross-hair between US and Russia. The Imposition of Sanctions on Turkey shall set a new and unwarranted precedent by the US which can have a direct and indirect result on future US foreign policy.

On the 8th of June, certain reports started pouring in that, if India Junks the deal with Russians for S-400 air defence systems, in exchange the US could put in an offer to India for the F-35, the 5th generation aircraft indicated towards the upcoming MMRCA tender for 110 aircraft for the Indian Air Force. The report comes at a time when the US is already  adamant on Turkey (which incidentally happens to be NATO member) for putting up an order for the same S-400 Air Defence missile systems, in the backdrop of Turkeys already existing orders for F- 35 fighter jets from the US. Meanwhile, Turkey has invested almost 1.25 billion dollars already on the F-35 project and has contracts laid in for the offset contracts for manufacturing of the parts of the aircraft. As of now it definitely seems that the US is starting to forge a tough action on turkey for the deal with Russia, US in April 2019 had stopped the deliveries of the F-35s to Turkey until further notice as to further escalate the pressure onto the Turks to scrap the S-400 deal.

It is well known that several NATO Member states like Bulgaria, Greece and Slovakia also have hands-on Russian High tech missile defence systems such as the S-300s (predecessor variant of the S-400), yet these countries whilst they are the US NATO allies didn’t have to face such a backlash unlike Turkey which from now on has gotten itself a deadline until 31st of July to back out from the S-400 deal or to face sanctions. Previously the US had also imposed sanctions on China through the form of CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) for purchasing S-400 air defence systems and for the 10 Sukhoi Su-35 aircraft that China bought.

If Trump administration instead of taking the usual the dose of very radical and hard stance on decisions, in this scenario could have tried to woo turkey by normalizing the relations as a first step; secondly  possibly lowering the price of the overpriced THAAD and Patriot Air defence systems which are one of the foremost contenders that the US has to offer in competition to the S-400 systems, and finally adjoining trade or defence contracts with Turkey to make sure that the US’s stance could have a fighting chance in order to stop the deal from fruition. The Imposition of Sanctions on Turkey as a result of purchasing the S 400 system shall set a new and unwarranted precedent by the US which can have a direct and indirect result on future US foreign policy.

With Trump left with less than a year in office and his US General Elections at the forefront, the future office bearers and US foreign policy will need to do a lot of work to undo the gained global reprimand which shall be generated by this move. Also, this would only further re-emphasize China’s calls and vision against the US hegemony over the world allowing other countries to join the bandwagon against the US which in turn could pose a threat to US interests all over the world.

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