S-400 in Turkey and its implications for NATO

15.07.2019

After the start of S-400 deliveries to Turkey, a respected German professor, international and foreign policy analyst Thomas Jäger plainly states:

"NATO states fear that, thanks to the anti-missile system installed in Turkey, information about the new F-35 variant will fall into the hands of Russia, which, thanks to this, will be able to optimize its defense against NATO fighters."

What a kind, and most importantly, useful professor! How he clearly laid everything out!

First: Russia must defend itself against NATO aircraft; nothing about any need of the defense from Russia. And second, the Russians can get useful data for their defense on the F-35 just from observing them on the air defense system locators.

And thirdly: against the F-35, it turns out that even the export version of the Russian S-400 is dangerous. What then will be with the newest S-500?

What else bothers NATO experts?

Today, they are most concerned about the soothing responses of the Turks themselves, saying that the S-400 will not threaten the defense interests of the alliance, since they will not be included in the NATO air defense / missile defense system.

Very characteristic concern, again! It turns out that the bloc considers as a threat to itself both the inclusion of a foreign defense facility in its structure, and the existence of Turkey’s own independent national air defense system! That is, logically, NATO was going to bomb Turkey in the future? Under what conditions?

And there are some conditions ...

NATO headquarters and analytical centers re-energized the intensity of work on predicting the effects of Turkish-Russian rapprochement. With nuclear - about the construction of nuclear power plants - they reconciled. With energy - "Turkish Stream" - too. But here is a military approach ... This is already going along the line of real military and political danger.

The Turks are planning to deploy S-400 divisions near the Syrian border. From there, do the Turks intend to defend themselves? Not from the Russians, who hardly forgot to block the possibility of firing at their own planes in the firmware of their system. Obviously, binding agreements were also reached regarding the Syrian air forces, although it must be assumed that the Syrian aircraft flying into Turkish airspace are not covered by guarantees. So from the military side of S-400, NATO is not threatened.

But the political side worries many in Brussels. The problem, in general, is that against the background of the already tense relations between Ankara and Washington, the sanctions that America has promised to impose on Turkey will become a shot in the foot of the entire alliance. And the United States cannot not impose them: President Donald Trump is legally obliged by Congress to do this.

What is waiting for NATO?

In any case, only losses. By itself, the scandal and the exchange of sanctions between the allies threatens the integrity of the union - this is the alphabet. Prohibiting an ally from receiving standard armament systems for a union leads not to its autarky, but to its transition to alternative arms markets. No wonder so readily the Turkish press rushes to talk about the procurement of Su-57 from Russia, if it is deprived of the F-35. And this will be a catastrophe: along with the defensive armament of the main enemy of NATO, the NATO member will also receive an offensive one.

In general, they fear in NATO that the crash, which had already passed through the alliance on July 12, when the first C-400 components arrived in Turkey, could turn into a break along the already rotten seam.

Finally, the supply of the S-400 is the Moscow victory that has already become apparent. For the simple reason that they provoked the shudders already described in a military alliance directed against Russia. The influence of Moscow in Turkey will increase as the influence of Washington and Brussels decreases.

After the Russian-Turkish alliance in Syria, albeit somewhat nervous, controversial, but having passed the three-year test of time, any broader political agreement between Moscow and Ankara is quite possible. And this means that Moscow can no longer be perceived in Ankara as a threat at the international treaty level.

And that means, then the question of Turkey’s withdrawal from NATO will not be speculative. If Washington does not keep up the promotion of the Turkish-American confrontation, this theoretical question can also enter a practical stage.

This is what NATO is implicitly afraid of.