Penn Wealth Publishing

2019.06.30 Penn Wealth Report Vol 7 Issue 03

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6 penn wealth Report volume 7 issue 03 30 Jun 2019 Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved. tactical Awareness Turkey Continues to be a Problem for NATO What do you do when a NATO member is set to take delivery of a Russian anti-aircraft system designed to shoot down American and coalition aircraft? D uring the heat of the Cold War, each respec- tive side in the conflict had its global alliance: the communist states, led by the Soviet Union, had the Warsaw Pact; while the Western democra- cies, led by the United States, had the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Warsaw Pact—understandably—met its demise; in fact, former Pact members actually became new member-states of NATO. Ironically, one of the orga- nization's most troublesome members is also one of its oldest. NATO came into being in 1949, with Article Five of the treaty clearly stating that "an armed attack on one member-state would be considered an attack on all." Just three years after the alliance was formed, Turkey and Greece became members. Unlike Greece, which has always considered itself part of Europe, Turkey has always considered itself a Muslim nation- state, first and foremost. In fact, around 95% of the population is Muslim (the government claims that fig- ure is 99.8%). Despite its interests in the Middle East, Turkey has been desperately seeking entrance into the European Union, salivating over the potential economic ben- efits of membership. e EU, however, continues to keep the nation at arm's length. Going all the way back to 2004, the Vatican has expressed concern about the relationship, with Pope Benedict—a German by descent—declaring that Turkey "stands in permanent contrast to Europe." Back in 2016, Turkey's accession to the EU hit a major bump in the road, with Europe criticizing the country's human rights violations and shortcomings with respect to the rule of law, once again exposing the fissures between Western democracies and a Muslim nation trying to play on both sides of the fence. Even back in World War II, Turkey did not join on the side of the Allies until February of 1945, virtually at war's end. Yet here they are, a member of NATO. Erdogan's dictatorship and Russian ties. In an election rife with voter fraud, Turkey's President Erdogan "won" another five-year stint as the head of the country. He swiftly moved to consolidate power, even eliminating the position he held for eleven years—prime minister. Despite the rigged election vic- tory, opposing secular powers won major races in the economically-powerful regions of Ankara and Istanbul. Only two of the country's seven largest areas, in fact, were held by Erdogan's party. As more and more young Turks turn away from Islam, the president will be forced to take actions which will put him even further at odds with the West. While Vladimir Putin, whose primary objective is to drive wedges between the United States and her allies, and Recep Erdogan have little in common on the issue of Syria (Putin backs Assad while Turkey backs specific rebel groups), the Russian leader has turned on the charm in courting the Turkish dictator. eir budding romance culminated in Turkey's announcement that it would purchase and deploy the S-400 Russian anti-air- craft system. A NATO member deploying a system specifically built to knock American and coalition aircraft out of the skies. is is almost unfathomable. Using the F-35 as a bargaining chip. To further complicate matters, the most advanced fighter in the world, the F-35 Lightning II, was par- tially built with components from Turkish companies. In a couple of instances, these manufacturers are the only suppliers for the parts. While Turkey remains about two years off from receiving its first F-35s, the country has already authorized the purchase of 30 (of a planned 100) fighters from maker Lockheed Martin (LMT). e Trump administration has suspended any delivery of F-35 supplies to Turkey until that country calls off the S-400 deal. From a national security standpoint, imagine if a country within the sphere of influence of Putin's Russia suddenly had an advanced anti-aircraft system, in addition to the aircraft most capable of eluding such a system. at is simply unacceptable. e US shows no sign of backing down (nor should it), but Erdogan brazenly announced he will deploy the Russian system. NATO, for its part, has no mecha- nism for expelling member-states from the group. It is difficult to envision a positive outcome in the matter. Global Organizations & Accords

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