Turkey is a US ally, but should not be a trusted one

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives for a ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, June 1, 2022.Turkey will no longer hold high-level talks with Greece, Erdogan said Wednesday. Ankara resumed negotiations with Athens last year following a five-year break to address differences over a range of issues such as mineral exploration in the eastern Mediterranean and rival claims in the Aegean Sea. Turkey is once again quietly fighting against the United States’s policy goals even as it looks for more U.S. weapons. As the conflict between Israel and Gaza erupted, Turkey escalated its attacks against civilians in Northern Syria. These attacks are the latest example of how Turkey’s antagonistic behavior has created tension with the U.S. Nonetheless, the U.S. will continue to send weapons and security assistance to its NATO ally, in part with the hope that such reassurances and arms sales will provide the U.S. with leverage over Turkey. Unfortunately, U.S. support for Turkey does the opposite of providing leverage and simultaneously hurts American security while destabilizing a region that Washington seems unable to ignore. For example, Turkey bought the S-400 (a Russian air defense system that threatens Washington’s F-35 program), nearly upended NATO by threatening to invade Greece , almost hit U.S. troops in Syria, became the safe-haven for the Muslim Brotherhood after it was kicked out of Egypt, served as a financing arm for Hamas and Russia , and is engaging in a battle of threats with Israel over Ankara’s support for Hamas. Importantly, not all of these things are actually bad for U.S. security. For example, letting Finland and Sweden into NATO certainly needs to receive pushback in the U.S. Furthermore, attempting to prevent Israel from waging a war against Hamas that results in attacks across the globe is also probably something that helps the U.S. […]

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By Donato