Pence Slams Germany, Turkey At NATO Party

06 April, 2019, 04:54 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • F-35 Lightning aircraft from Eglin Air Force Base Fla. prepare for takeoff at Barksdale Air Force Base La. Oct. 12 2018. The aircraft evacuated to Barksdale to avoid possible damage from Hurricane Michael

Ben Hodges, lamented "can Germany spend more?" -Turkish committee of technical experts should examine the American claim that Turkey's possession of the missile defense system would compromise the new technology in the F-35.

Pence also criticized Germany for building a natural gas pipeline that connects its country to Russian Federation, saying the move would turn Germany into a "captive of Moscow".

Markedly, in a repeat of Pence's speech in February during the Munich Security Conference during which attendees refused to applaud Pence's mention of President Trump, there was a marked silence after Pence said North Atlantic Treaty Organisation had been reinvigorated by "the resolute American leadership of President Donald Trump".

Relation between Nato and Russian Federation have deteriorated over Moscow's occupation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula and its withdrawal from a key missile treaty.

"I concur with this committee's belief that the S-400 and the F-35 are not compatible, and if Turkey proceeds down a path to procure and operate the S-400, they should not get the F-35", Wolters said, adding that the Russian system "speaks a different language than NATO English".

"We've done our risk analysis", Pompeo said.

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Despite the rising tensions, the United States continues to proceed with Turkish training on the F-35 in hopes that Ankara may come around on the S-400.

"Turkey must choose - does it want to remain a critical partner of the most successful military alliance in the history of the world, or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making reckless decisions that undermine our alliance?"

But on Tuesday the acting USA defense secretary, Pat Shanahan, predicted confidently that Turkey would reverse its decision to purchase an advanced Russian missile defense system. He also suggested that U.S. officials may well be concerned that Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan might try to compensate for his recent electoral defeats in Istanbul and Ankara by attacking the Kurds. "NATO may be a security alliance, but above all it's an alliance of values, and it has a political function". In the wake of Turkey's plans to purchase S-400 systems, Washington announced on Monday it was halting the deliveries of equipment to Turkey under the program of developing the most advanced F-35 fighter-bomber. Turkish pilots have been training there to fly the F-35s, which are slated to be taken to Turkey in November.

The Pentagon has firmly rejected Turkey's offer to create a bilateral working group that would ensure that no military secrets of the USA are compromised once Ankara deploys the Russian S-400 air defense systems. Sources familiar with the F-35's intricate worldwide production process and the United States thinking on the issue last week said Turkey's role can be replaced.

A pair of RAF F-35B Lightning stealth jets over the English Channel during Operation Point Blank, which featured aerial capabilities from the British RAF, United States Air Force and French Air Force, November 27, 2018.

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