The U.S. Arms an Adversary

(New York Times) Bret Stephens - The Turkish Air Force took delivery of its first F-35A stealth plane last week. Turkey, our former ally, intends to purchase advanced Russian antiaircraft missiles that are incompatible with NATO systems. Republican and Democratic senators tried to block the delivery until Turkey releases an American pastor, Andrew Brunson, who has been held in a Turkish prison for nearly two years, drops its bid to buy Russian missiles, and improves its overall behavior. President Erdogan, an Islamist and vitriolic anti-Semite, has steadily consolidated authoritarian power over 15 years in power. The leader of a major opposition party is in prison. A state of emergency, in force since a failed 2016 military coup, has resulted in the estimated detention of nearly 140,000 people, the closure of 189 media outlets, and the arrest of more than 300 journalists. If and when Erdogan goes fully anti-American - he's already nine-tenths of the way there - what's to keep him from allowing Russian technicians to take a closer look at the F-35, so they might gain a better idea of how to shoot it down? Or from using it against American allies in the region, including Israel?

2018-06-26 00:00:00

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