Sunday, February 22, 2015

Turkey’s Missile Shield Won’t Be NATO-Integrated

The American Interest - Feb 22, 2015

Turkey is pressing forward with a major defensive program—it’s ballistic-missile defense system—that will not be integrated into the broader NATO network. Hurriyet Daily News reports:
Turkey’s new defense missile system, for which Ankara is in talks on a $3.4 billion deal with a Chinese company, will not be integrated with one used by NATO, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz has said.
Ankara will use the long-range system without integrating it with NATO’s system, Yılmaz said in his elaboration on the issue, which came in response to a parliamentary question filed by an opposition deputy.
NATO and Turkey have been drifting apart since the end of the Cold War. This move would be a strategic and structural parallel to the tactical disagreements over the Iraq invasions and, at present, how to handle the Syrian Civil War. As Seth Cropsey has pointed out at Hudson, “This loss of interoperability would deprive Europe of Asia Minor’s large defensive extension into the heart of the Middle East – and into a region where the prospect of Iranian nuclear weapons mounted aloft ballistic missiles with steadily increasing range is real.”
With the election of a Russia-friendly coalition in Greece, NATO’s southern Mediterranean flank has started to look weaker; this story is just one more reason to worry.