Four top senators, two Republicans and two Democrats, the two chairmen and ranking members of the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees – including Philhellene Bob Menendez – published an article against the Turkish President Repeat Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday in the New York Times warning of the very serious consequences that would arise if Turkey purchases S-400 missiles from Russia.
They write: “By the end of the year, Turkey will have either F-35 advanced fighter aircraft on its soil or a Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile defense system. It will not have both,”
They could not have been clearer.
The F-35s are a fifth-generation aircraft, America’s most advanced planes, on which it relies to maintain its domination of the skies.
Also, Washington proposes to sell Ankara a very advanced missile system, the Patriot, that has been successfully used in various conflicts, as an incentive not to buy the Russian S-400.
The Senators also noted that if Turkey does not receive the 100 F-35 planes it plans to buy, it will be forced to compromise with less capable airplanes, which they will not receive for many years.
You will tell me: “This is very nice. I hope the Turkish President makes the mistake and buys the Russian missiles instead of the F-35s. The damage he will suffer will be great.”
However, before we start to celebrate, let’s think of the following:
Won’t the air balance between Greece and Turkey be overthrown if Ankara buys…100 5th generation, airplanes?
Would the United States sell F-35s to Greece, if they asked for them – and how many?
Is not it apparent that Erdogan is playing with Putin, in order to extract, at the last minute, even bigger gifts from the United States?
Why should Greece not exploit this situation and propose closer military cooperation to the United States?
Greece, despite its weaknesses, has always been a faithful friend and ally of the United States, when it counts the most.
Instead, Turkey, as evidenced by this incident, often acts in an opportunistic and damaging way for American – and Western, in general – interests.
Is not it time to make this understood in Washington?