Russian missile system stymies U.S. efforts to mend ties with Turkey

A Bloomberg piece states Turkey’s insistence on purchasing the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile system is bringing ties between Ankara and Washington to a crisis point, and none of the options left to mitigate the effects of the S-400 deal are risk-free. If Ankara indeed acquires the S-400, it could trigger U.S. sanctions and upend a plan for Turkey to buy dozens of F-35 fighter jets from the U.S. If the F-35 deal falls through, production of the fighter jets could be set back two years because Turkey is a key producer of several of the jet’s components. Meanwhile, if Turkey acquires both the S-400 and F-35s, it could allow Russia to glean intelligence about NATO tactics and the American jet. Washington could counter by trying to exploit Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 to gather intelligence enabling F-35s to evade the missile system. Likewise, Washington could try to sell Ankara more of the U.S.’s own anti-aircraft system, the Patriot, in attempt to prevent Turkey from becoming too reliant on the S-400.


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