President Donald Trump and Pre​sident Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House, November 2019 
T.J. K​irkpatrick / The New York Times

The United States and Turkey are on a collision course. Although the two countries have been NATO allies for nearly 70 years, that partnership has gradually deteriorated over the past few years, as Washington wondered if it could rely on Turkey and Ankara feared that the United States didn't take its security concerns seriously. In the last six months, however, relations have taken a real nose-dive. 

In July, Turkey acquired advanced Russian air defense systems over U.S. objections, and in October, it targeted Syrian Kurdish militias allied with the United States as part of an incursion into northern Syria. The United States responded to both developments with indignation and a raft of punitive measures: the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump refused to deliver advanced F-35 fighter jets to Turkey, sanctioned senior Turkish officials, and raised tariffs on Turkish steel exports, while Congress advanced legislation that would impose powerful 

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  • PHILIP H. GORDON is the Mary and David Boies Senior Fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. He served as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs from 2009 to 2013 and as White House Coordinator for the Middle East from 2013 to 2015. He is the author of the forthcoming book Losing the Long Game: The False Promise of Regime Change in the Middle East.
  • AMANDA SLOAT is a Robert Bosch Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. She served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Southern European and Eastern Mediterranean Affairs from 2013 to 2016.
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