THE TALE OF TURKEY AND THE PATRIOTS
JIM TOWNSEND AND RACHEL ELLEHUUS JULY 22, 2019
Watching the current trajectory of the U.S.-Turkish relationship is like witnessing two locomotives hurtling towards one another head-on. It’s a terrifying sight. As both capitals struggle to pull the brake, it’s important to understand the backstory about one issue caught up in the impending train wreck: the long-suffering Patriot air and missile defense deal. This is a tale less about the security and economic benefits of the sale and more about a time of intense geopolitics, bilateral policy fights, and growing mistrust between two close NATO allies. As two senior Defense officials who helped manage the U.S.-Turkish defense relationship from 2009 through 2018, we feel it important to give our view on how the United States got to this low point not only in the Patriot sale, but also in this important relationship.
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