Could the Turkish S-400s be bought by the United States?

The proposal would make people smile if it did not come from the United States Senate: the United States could buy Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft defense systems recently delivered to Turkey. As part of an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 (an annual federal law that specifies the budget and spending items of the United States Department of Defense), Republican Senator John Thune has indeed proposed that S- 400 Turks are bought with the budget of the US Army, which would normalize relations between Ankara and Washington and resume deliveries of F-35 fighter planes bound for Turkey.

At the same time, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Jim Risch (also a Republican Senator) proposed, on the contrary, to considerably harden the American policy towards Ankara. He is indeed asking that the Trump administration put in place sanctions under the CAATSA law, and this within thirty days after final adoption of the NDAA law. For the time being, it is unlikely that the Senate will adopt any of these proposals, and even less likely that the House of Representatives will validate such a decision, one way or the other. However, the procrastination of the American political class, even within the Republican party, shows the extent of the uneasiness which persists between the United States and Turkey, two historic members of NATO.

One of the vehicles forming the S-400 system when delivered to Turkey in July 2019.

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