The Trump administration has sent a detailed message to senators. President Trump and his team are fighting a bill that will place sanctions on Turkey for purchasing Russian missiles. It is said it will push the two countries closer in unity together than ever before. There is also a provision within the bill that will allow Syrian Kurdish refugees to come over as immigrants to the U.S.
This is one of the last things America needs right now is more immigrants. The memo is a seven-page document which the State Department sent to Capitol Hill to intercept it before the Senate would vote on approval of the bill. The document is titled “Promoting American National Security and Preventing the Resurgence of ISIS Act.”
Despite Team Trump’s opposition to the bill, it passed legislation. In it, it stated Turkey would receive sanctions for purchasing surface-to-air missiles and would ban the United States from selling F-16 or F-35 fighter jets to Turkey. It would not allow the parts for the aircraft to be sold either until Turkey would dismantle its S-400 missile defense system.
Aykan Erdemir of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies argued that if the bill does not go through as planned, it plays in favor of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He said, “This would definitely encourage Erdogan to continue his transgressions.” Perhaps this may be so, but we definitely do not want them to have closer ties to Russia. That would be the greater of the two evils.
The House is upset on the right and left side of the aisle because “The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” (CAATSA) has been violated by Turkey and they must be punished for their deal with Russia. The act was passed when Russia interfered with the 2016 elections, and sanctions were placed on Russia to punish them.
The Trump administration explains the reason behind the decision to stop the bill, and Aaron Stein of the Foreign Policy Research Institute says the argument is legit. He stated, “It’s in far more detail than we’ve ever gotten. They are legitimate criticisms of the bill, but the bill is probably going to happen because Donald Trump won’t take the deal. The art of the deal, the master of the deal is an effing moron. The thing to do is impose CAATSA and make this go away. It’s just that simple.”
In the administration’s argument, it states passing the bill will “effectively terminate U.S.-Turkey defense trade, which would increase Turkey’s reliance on Russia or other adversary arms providers for weapons.” Also, it would “treat Turkey as a pariah in NATO, feeding a narrative that the Russian Federation would likely seek to amplify and exploit.”
Turkey has already said they would retaliate if they received sanctions. This is more trouble which we do not need with Turkey. We should not accept their threats, but we should review other options to keep the peace. Throwing the two countries together would not be in America’s best interest.
A spokesman from the State Department explained the seven-page document better. He said, “NATO is stronger with Turkey as a member, and has been for nearly 70 years. Turkey has been a significant contributor to NATO collective security for decades. One of Russia’s key strategic goals is to drive a wedge between NATO members; we are working to maintain strong cooperation within the Alliance. We remain deeply concerned with Turkey’s acquisition of the Russian S-400 missile system and stress the S-400 and F-35 cannot coexist. We will continue to urge Turkey to ensure its defense investments adhere to the commitment all Allies made to pursue NATO interoperability.”
The other provision, the document states, is unacceptable when it comes to America taking in Kurdish allies as immigrants. “The President has been clear on this Administration’s approach to refugees as reflected in the National Security Strategy of the United States.”
Allowing this portion of the bill to pass would open recent wounds with Turkey as Turkey views the Kurds as terrorist groups under the Syrian Democratic Forces. The Kurds did help America defeat ISIS, but Turkey does not see eye to eye with them. This would cause significant issues between America and Turkey, as well.
The House still has their grudges for Turkey attacking the Kurds a few months ago, so there is bitterness all around. The point is not to cause more conflict between the House and the President, but to say there is a better way.