Should Turkey and Hungary be suspended from NATO?
In his recent article for the Washington Examiner, national security writer Tom Rogan argues that Turkey and Hungary’s presence in the NATO alliance does more harm than good, as their most recent infractions of key articles in the treaty have harmed member states’ confidence that they will provide military support should one member be attacked.
Rogan’s most recent criticism of Turkey concerns the country’s obstruction of Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership, while he denounces the Hungarian governments “kowtowing” to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Rogan acknowledges Turkey’s critical location “via its position at the Mediterranean entry point to the Black Sea and its proximity to Middle Eastern energy reserve,” and therefore hopes that no suspension will be permanent.
Rogan points to Article 2 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which states that members shall “contribute toward the further development of peaceful and friendly international relations by strengthening their free institutions.” According to Rogan, the well-documented persecution of dissidents across the social spectrum in Turkey and the Erdogan government’s crackdown on the freedom of speech and press are in clear violation of this article.
The Washington Examiner writer also regards Turkey’s “purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defense system, which is specifically designed to destroy NATO air forces” to be in violation of Articles 3 and 8 that concern, respectively, the collective capacity to resist attack and refusing international engagement that conflicts with the Treaty.
Turkey is in further breach of Article 8 through its repeated military aggression in Syria and elsewhere, its threats towards Greece, and its military support to Azerbaijan.
With regard to Hungary, the writer notes that it has undermined the alliance’s “collective capacity to resist armed attack” as enshrined in Article 3 and the provisions of Article 8 against “international engagement in conflict with [the] Treaty” through its “embrace of Russian intelligence activity and undermining of European sanctions imposed on Russia.”
Rogan admits that though there is sufficient justification for the suspension of membership for these two states, it might not be a simple process, at least from a legal standpoint. Further, Rogan maintains hope that a suspension could incentivize policy change in Hungary and Turkey.