Factsheet on the S-400 purchase by Turkey
We keep hearing and reading the unusual hysteria over Turkey's S-400 air-defense systems purchase. We in the U.S. should always stand up by our allies. Contrary to the irrational and insulting attitudes in the media and on the Capitol Hill, Turkey is not just a friend and partner, but a U.S. strategic ally since 1952. If after a multi-year open tender it chose to purchase S-400 as its ballistic and air-defense system - designed for protection, not offense - then what is the problem, exactly? Why is Congress coming out with a barrage of anti-Turkey resolutions such as the S.Res 278, S.Res 2644 and S.Res 150, and thus cynically using geopolitical blackmail?
 
Turkey, an ethnically and religiously diverse democratic nation of 80 million that has free elections and 87% voter turnout, has been the second-largest military member of NATO since 1952  -  before Germany and Spain  -  and has been part of several U.S.-led military operations, from KFOR in Kosovo (1999) to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan (2001) to Operation Inherent Resolve in Syria (2014). Turkey has one of the largest U.S. airforce bases in the world, and houses some 50 U.S. nuclear weapons. How can this be overlooked, and how can anyone shy away from calling Turkey a U.S. ally after such extensive contributions for nearly 70 years?
 
Turkey has a border with Syria, Iran and Armenia -- all of which are hostile regimes and possess ballistic missiles capable of hitting deep within Turkey, including its capital, Ankara.

Why can't Turkey purchase S-400 if Greece, another NATO member, was able to purchase the previous version of that Russian air-defense system  -  the S-300? Even Pentagon spent our tax money and supplied Russian-made offensive weapons systems, such as helicopters, to Afghanistan and Iraq.
 
Turkey did an open tender for its strategic air-defense needs, and our military-industrial complex, Congress and Administration offered only the Patriot PAC-3 systems which are not for strategic or ballistic air defense (that would be the THAAD system, which is not offered). Hence the S-400 offer won due to both lower price and actual anti-ballistic strategic air-defense capabilities - important for Turkey when its hostile neighbors, Syria, Iran and Armenia, possess and build-up their ballistic missile offensive capabilities. Turkey promised to not integrate S-400 into its shared NATO air-defense network and not allow Russian specialists near the system, to make sure there are no opportunities for any intelligence leakage to Russia.
 
Attempts by some to come up with yet another excuse for opposing Turkey's choice - that somehow the S-400 in Turkey will undermine the stealthiness by revealing the radar signature of the F-35 and somehow become known to Russians - is without any merit. Russia had ample opportunities to scan the radar signature of the F-35 that U.S. and Israel used in Syria and Iraq - through its own S-400 and S-300 radars deployed in Syria and Mediterranean Sea, as well as those F-35's in Japan, Korea and Norway that are regularly flying either close to Russian borders or within the range of Russian radars. In other words, Russia, as well as China, North Korea and Iran, had many opportunities to scan the F-35 and U.S. stealth drones. Then why is such a partner and ally as Turkey being vilified and sanctioned?

Such turcophobic attitudes and policies in Congress make no sense. This sanctions hysteria in Congress, while being politically and economically ineffective, at the same time spoils the relations with Turkey and Turkish people, makes 80 million Turks distrust the U.S., adds weight to critics' charge that NATO is unreliable, makes the Middle East less stable, strengthens Russia, Armenia and Iran who would love for Turkey to reduce its NATO participation and commitments, among other things. Therefore, the question is: what is U.S. winning or gaining from spoiling relations with an important regional democracy and ally like Turkey?
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