The Dangerous Unraveling of the U.S.-Turkish Alliance

Washington and Ankara Still Need Each Other

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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