Turkey could move further away from US with Russian defense purchase

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Welcome to SitRep! My accomplice, Robbie Gramer, is enjoying the bliss of married life on the California coast this week. It’s Thursday so if you are feeling stressed or a little hungry could we recommend it video of a cute monkey making a green bean salad?

Here’s what to expect for the day: more drama in between Turkey and NATO, the Democratic caucus in Congress challenges US President Joe Biden’s decision Taiwan politics, and the private The Afghan evacuation effort walking painfully.

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Welcome to SitRep! My accomplice, Robbie Gramer, is enjoying the bliss of married life on the California coast this week. It’s Thursday so if you are feeling stressed or a little hungry could we recommend it video of a cute monkey making a green bean salad?

Here’s what to expect for the day: more drama in between Turkey and NATO, the Democratic caucus in Congress challenges US President Joe Biden’s decision Taiwan politics, and the private The Afghan evacuation effort walking painfully.

If you would like to receive the status report in your inbox every Thursday, please sign up here.


US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was probably hoping for a drama-free visit to NATO headquarters in Brussels today, the final stop on his trip to four countries across Europe. And there was good humor to go around, with handshakes, slaps on the shoulders, and a “family photo” with the heads of European defense. (The traveling press delegation was crammed into another room.)

But even as Austin and the Biden administration wanted to pivot these kinds of meetings towards the priority of the Ministry of Defense (China), two topics continued to dominate: the chaotic withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan, which let the European allies scramble for their diplomats and troops. outside the country, and the role of Turkey, an ally that harbors US nuclear weapons and NATO early warning systems that also engages in a dangerous court with Russia.

Play both ways. No, not much has changed since Turkey bought Russia’s S-400 air defense system, forcing the United States to remove Ankara from the F-35 fighter program. Turkey remains under US sanctions, which officials at the time said were designed not to tip over the lukewarm Turkish economy.

But Turkish officials still want their due credit for doing work on the F-35, including helping to design part of the fuselage. Specifically, they are asking the United States for F-16 fighter jets that will help them fill the void left by the loss of the F-35. And if these American warplanes are not delivered, Turkey’s top defense industry official, Ismail Demir, one of the officials blacklisted for the purchase of the S-400,threatens buy Russian fighter jets instead. (Reuters first reported that Turkey had asked the United States for 40 F-16 jets.) The Pentagon remains stuck in discussions with the Turkish government over how to resolve the dispute over the F-35s.

Beneath the surface. All these tensions were not visible in Brussels today. Ironically, as relations have grown colder, Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has gained a reputation as Turkey’s easiest official to deal with, former officials and experts have said. Foreign police. But the relationship is definitely in trouble, and Biden has responded by giving Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other senior officials very little time to face it.

The battle over fighter jets could make navigation among NATO allies even more difficult.


Biden typed Donald Armin Blome, a career foreign service officer, as his candidate for US Ambassador to Pakistan.

Pierre Beshar is the White House candidate to be the Air Force’s Advocate General.

Four more Biden candidates for top Pentagon positions were put through Senate confirmation hearings on Tuesday: Assistant Under Secretary of Defense for Designated Policy Sacha Baker; The choice of Biden as general counsel for the Navy, John “Sean” Coffey; Doug bush, appointed Deputy Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics; and Nickolas guertin, who would be director of operational testing and evaluation at the Pentagon. All four are now awaiting committee approval and approval from the entire Senate.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee unable to approve Barbara leaf, Biden’s candidate for the head of Middle East policy at the State Department, due to a suspension of Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who said the retired diplomat had not responded to satisfactorily to a handful of written questions, according to Politics. Leaf is currently the second Middle East official on the National Security Council.


Which should be on your radar, if it isn’t already.

Test patience. China conducted not one but two tests of hypersonic weapons this summer, the Financial Time reported Wednesday. Pentagon officials have been amazed at the progress Beijing has made with these futuristic weapons, which are more apt than ballistic missiles at evading missile defenses due to their low-level flight profiles. One of the sources interviewed for Financial Time History said that U.S. officials still struggle to understand how China achieved this capability, which the United States does not have.

Pressure cooker. Biden is sandwiched between moderates and progressives in Taiwan’s Democratic caucus. The two sides are at odds over whether to give the White House more authority to intervene if China stages a military incursion on the island. I reported that House Armed Services Vice President Elaine Luria, a Democrat from Virginia, was pushing for a law that would give Biden the ability to declare a swift defensive operation if China invaded. Progressives fear this will upend the US policy of “strategic ambiguity” about how the United States would respond to a cross-strait incursion.

“A policy of ambiguity may not be the most emotionally satisfying for DC’s hawks, but it works,” said Matt Duss, an aide to Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Festive daredevils. Some countries with checkered democratic backgrounds are invited to Biden’s next virtual democracy summit in December, Foreign policereports Amy Mackinnon. Guests include Poland, Mexico, and the Philippines. Officials in the Biden administration have said they want to attract nations at risk of falling back into the fold once again.

“What we are trying to do through the Democracy Summit is to galvanize democratic renewal around the world,” said a senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “For this reason, we are looking for a truly inclusive and big tent approach. “



British Prime Minister Boris Johnson joins school children as they make an insect hotel on a visit to Crumlin Intergrated Primary School after attending a service to mark the centenary of Ireland’s founding North after Partition of Ireland on October 21, 2021 in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Paul Faith – WPA Pool / Getty Images

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson joins school children as they make an insect hotel on a visit to Crumlin Integrated Primary School after attending a service to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of Ireland of the North in County Antrim, Northern Ireland on October 21.


The artist of escape. In 2008, an Afghan interpreter saved the life of military adviser Matt Zeller when his unit was ambushed by Taliban fighters. In the years that followed, Zeller helped lead a group of veterans, volunteers, former diplomats and citizens evacuating as many interpreters and Afghan refugees as possible.

In the first of a series of interviews from FP profiling journalists on national security, I watch Zeller’s around-the-clock efforts to force vulnerable Afghans out of the country as the Taliban advanced – and I hear the story of a man who made a 250-kilometer trip to Kabul under cover of a burqa.


October 22: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett are due to meet in Moscow.

October 26: Pentagon Policy Chief Colin Kahl and Joint Chiefs of Staff for Operations Lt. Gen. James Mingus bear witness before the Senate Armed Forces Committee on the situation in Afghanistan and Central Asia.


“Is there a problem with the Northern Irish protocol? Yes there is, but we’ll fix it. I don’t think it will be the end of the world.

—British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Bloomberg News on Monday he was seeking a solution to a dispute with the European Union over Northern Ireland’s Brexit protocol


On the loose. Maryland owner of several escaped zebras that roamed Washington’s suburbs is confronted criminal charges after one of the animals perished while fleeing. Jerry Lee Holly, 76, faces multiple criminal charges from Prince George County, Maryland, for animal cruelty after one of his loose zebras was caught in a trap and likely died of dehydration.



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