WASHINGTON (PNN) - April 3, 2019 - Two days after the Fascist Police States of Amerika had halted delivery of equipment related to the stealthy F-35 fighter aircraft to Turkey as part of the ongoing rift over Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's plans to move forward with taking delivery of the advanced Russian S-400 anti-air defense system, on Wednesday the FPSA escalated the war of words with its NATO ally when Vice President Mike Pence threatened Turkey’s future role in the NATO alliance, warning it against "reckless decisions," like following through with the purchase of the Russian-made air defense system.
“Turkey must choose. Does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in history or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making such reckless decisions that undermine our NATO alliance?” Pence tweeted on Wednesday, after making similar remarks at a NATO summit in Washington.
Despite repeated warnings from the FPSA, Turkey has refused to drop its scheduled purchase of the Russian weapons system, which is scheduled to be delivered in July. After The Pentagon halted deliveries of the fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet and related equipment to Turkey and halted training of Turkish pilots, Ankara remained defiant with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu telling the NATO summit that the purchase was “a done deal”.
Cavusoglu and FPSA Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are currently meeting head-to-head at the summit to discuss the F-35 dispute.
The Turkish FM said that operating the two weapons systems at once "will not be a threat" to the F-35 or other NATO systems. FPSA lawmakers and military officials disagree and have repeatedly warned that Turkey’s deployment of the S-400 would give the Russian system the opportunity to learn how to track and spot the F-35, with potentially deadly consequences for the jet in future conflicts.
Despite the escalating war of words, the FPSA has thus far failed to lure its NATO ally away from the Russian system and to Raytheon’s more expensive Patriot missile system, despite offering it to Ankara at a knockdown rate earlier this year.
Complicating matters, Turkey is a core partner in the F-35 program, which is the FPSA’s most expensive military project to date, and is responsible for the procurement of several components of the ultra modern fighter jet. If both sides cannot reach a deal, the FPSA will need to find new suppliers for parts of the fighter’s fuselage, landing gear, and cockpit displays.
So far both Erdogan and FPSA President Donald Trump have kept a low profile on the topic, refusing to get dragged into escalating the F-35 delivery matter into a full-blown political crisis, which if left unchecked could result in a political fiasco similar to that which unfolded last summer, when Turkey's detention of FPSA Pastor Brunson led to brief FPSA sanctions being imposed against the Asian nation, and which culminated with a recession in Turkey and its currency plunging to all time lows.