Given the near-daily threats by Turkish officials to invade Greece, President Joe Biden should never have asked Congress for approval of the sale of F-16s to Turkey.
This decision not only puts his relationship with the Hellenic homeland to a severe test, but it also makes the Turkish threat to invade Greece even more likely.
Specifically, Biden is asking Congress to approve the sale of 40 new F-16s, to upgrade 79 already in its fleet, and, in addition, to sell it “more than 900 missiles and 800 bombs.”
This is a decision of pure madness. America is thus validating the danger that Turkey poses to Greece, adding fuel to the fire in their arms race, with an incredible total cost of $20 billion – “among the largest foreign weapons sales in recent years.”
At the same time the Wall Street Journal leaked the news of the sales to Turkey, U.S. officials also leaked the news that they would sell F-35s – far more modern than the F-16s – to Greece.
But this decision does not negate or mitigate the problem for us, as Greece is not threatening anyone. It is simply asking for the ability to protect its sovereignty.
The excuse Biden is using is not serious either. They say that the sale will help remove Turkey’s objection to Finland and Sweden’s membership in NATO.
What does that mean, that they are succumbing to Erdogan’s blackmail?
Of course, the sales will have to be approved by Congress, where a big battle will be fought and the sales will be long delayed if approved, at least for Turkey. For Greece, the sale is expected to pass quickly and with a large majority.
But it is not clear when the planes will be given to Greece, especially as they are said to still be experiencing some problems.
And that is where New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, will play an important role.
He is a senator who recognizes the enduring importance of Greece to America and the world, as opposed to Turkey. Menendez is a patriotic man, loyal to American principles and values, who seems to have been sent by God!
And in the House of Representatives, Greece also has many allies.
But there is another dimension: Already the leak of the news is working politically in favor of Erdogan’s re-election. It gives him the opportunity to boast to Turkish voters that once again he has forced America to back down, that only he is able to safeguard the interests of their country.
Of course, the fact that America will sell the F-35 to Greece – it has refused to sell them to Turkey – is proof of the confidence it has in Greece and its leadership.