Turkey Conducts Wargames with China?

by Michael Rubin

The Turkish press reports that the Turkish Air Force conducted secret exercises with their Chinese counterparts over Turkey. Hurriyet reports:

Since the early 2000s, Turkey, a NATO member, has conducted war games in the central Anatolian province of Konya with other members of the alliance or non-member friendly nations. But this year was the first time a military drill was conducted with China. The U.S. administration reportedly contacted the Turkish foreign and defense ministries and asked why the drill was conducted and what kind of maneuvers were practiced.

Against this backdrop, it is absolutely astounding that neither Pres. Barack Obama nor Senate Armed Services Committee head Carl Levin has raised any concerns about transferring to Turkey the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the backbone of our nation’s aerial defense for decades to come. Given Turkey’s embrace of Iran, Syria, Hamas, and now China, do we really want to trust Prime Minister Erdogan with our nation’s defense? Apparently, Senator Levin and, for that matter, Sen. John McCain are willing to do just that.

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