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A Game of Turkish Brinksmanship on Missile Defense

MIN READJun 27, 2019 | 17:22 GMT

This file photo shows an S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile system belonging to the Russian Southern Military District's missile regiment in Sevastopol in Jan. 13, 2018. Turkey's acquisition of the system set back its relations with the United States for years to come.

(SERGEI MALGAVKO/TASS via Getty Images)

Turkey's game of chicken with its most important NATO ally, the United States, is coming down to the wire. Turkey is insisting it will take delivery of the Russian-made S-400 missile system next month; the United States says it will impose penalties on Turkey if it does so. From Congress using the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) to the Pentagon ending Turkey's involvement in the high-tech F-35 stealth fighter program, the Americans have options for retaliation that will hurt Turkey's economy. But even as U.S. President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discuss the potential for a last-minute deal on the issue, Turkey's domestic political considerations are more likely to send the ostensible allies down the road to confrontation, rather than compromise. ...

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