Pentagon spokesman Charles Summers said Friday morning that there will be “grave consequences” if Turkey moves forward in purchasing Russia’s S-400, according to Bloomberg — this after the top US commander in Europe, Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, recommended to Congress this week that delivery to Turkey of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter should ultimately be cancelled, nothing that the S-400 remains “a problem to all of our aircraft, but specifically the F-35.”
Turkey’s currency fell 1.5 percent this week amid fears relations with Washington could worsen over the standoff. President Erdogan has further missed a “soft deadline” previously set by the US over an offer to buy $3.5 billion Raytheon Co. Patriot missile shield system, as an alternative to the Russian S-400. The Pentagon said the Patriot offer would be impossible should Turkey seek the Russian system.
Failure to receive the F-35s could further impact Turkey’s economy given that a number of Turkish defense technology companies have contracts to build and develop systems and add-ons needed for Turkey to operate the aircraft, such as cockpit displays for the multi-national fighter jet.
Kicking Turkey out of the multinational manufacturing deal would create a few speed bumps, but worth it if Erdogan insists on cooperating so closely with Moscow on air defense.
Also, given the road away from the West Erdogan has put Turkey on, you have to wonder how long before the Dirk Diggler Effect kicks in:
Remember Boogie Nights? Pretty good movie, especially if you like Heather Graham on wheels. But that’s not my point here. Fairly early in the movie, Mark Wahlberg goes out and buys himself a sweet red Corvette Stingray with his dirty-dirty hiney-touching money. By the last quarter of the movie, Wahlberg and John C. Reilly are pushing the battered remains of said Corvette down the street because……..yeah. Dirk Diggler was responsible for maintaining it. You’ve got the look, you’ve got the power….but apparently you don’t have the ability to call Steve down at Jiffy Lube and schedule an oil/lube/tire rotation. I mean, what the hell. If you’re a little short on cash, they usually have a punch card where you can get the 5th oil change free!
This isn’t a condemnation of Saddam’s Iraq per se: It’s a condemnation of ANY country where political connections among contractors and subcontractors, sketchy material suppliers and corrupt or frightened quality control inspectors come together in a big Venn Diagram of “Oh Shit!” Hell, it’s hard enough to keep infrastructure standing tall in America (remember the I35 West bridge collapse in Minneapolis/St. Paul?), but The Third World? Fuhgeddaboudit!
More to come.