Michael Rubin: "Selling F-16s to Turkey as they buy new S-400s from Russia is a mistake"
In an article he wrote for 1945, Michael Rubin criticized National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan because of his tweet congratulating the restoration of Turkish-Israeli relations. Sullivan tweeted that this move will bring increased security, stability, and prosperity to Israeli and Turkish peoples and the region. Rubin disagrees with that statement.
Rubin says that Sullivan spoke too soon and played into Erdogan’s hands. Even though Erdogan is receiving praise from the White House, he is still “two-faced” because the Russian press announced that Turkey would purchase a new shipment of S-400 systems, which is a “middle finger” to the Biden Administration since the White House endorsed the sale of F-16 fighters to Turkey.
Rubin also calls Erdogan an ideologue who is deeply anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, and anti-American who benefits from NATO membership but shows his true face with the arrests of officers who served long in NATO offices.
According to Rubin, Sullivan and the State Department might see a new moderation in Turkey but this is not the case, with an 80 percent inflation rate, Erdogan needs outside support since after years of economic mismanagement, the foreign reserves are empty and Qatar, who bankrolled Erdogan, has reached its limit.
Rubin claims that the White House and the State Department look at Turkey with wishful thinking by hoping that the next year’s elections will oust Erdogan and Turkey will go back to the status quo but this thinking is wrong for two reasons. First, Erdogan will not abide by the outcome of a democratic election, he will either cheat or impose emergency rules as he did in 2016. Second, refusing to hold him accountable for his actions allows Erdogan to project strength, undermine the opposition, and encourage him to continue the double game.
Rubin asserts that Sullivan should demand a stop to Turkey’s deals with Russia, its support for Hamas, ISIS, and al-Qaeda, end to Turkey’s overflights on Greek islands and Russia-like occupations. The US should take F-16s off the table and put sanctions on Turkey for the new S-400 deal.