Republicans Criticize Possible Turkey-China Antimissile Deal

Rachel Oswald, Global Security Newswire
See more stories about...
Rachel Oswald, Global Security Newswire
Oct. 11, 2013, 9:02 a.m.

WASH­ING­TON — Re­pub­lic­an law­makers in both cham­bers are ur­ging the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion to use dip­lo­mat­ic and mil­it­ary levers to pres­sure Tur­key in­to abandon­ing its plans to pur­chase a long-range mis­sile-de­fense sys­tem from China.

Crit­ics of the pos­sible deal, an­nounced last month, are con­cerned it could en­danger the in­teg­rity of NATO’s evolving bal­list­ic mis­sile shield as China might seek to use the sys­tem it sells to Tur­key to il­li­citly ex­tract data from the al­li­ance’s inter-con­nec­ted mis­sile de­fense net­work. Be­cause of this fear, op­pon­ents ar­gue Ank­ara should not be per­mit­ted to con­nect the FD-2000 an­ti­mis­sile sys­tem it is in­ter­ested in pur­chas­ing from a Chinese com­pany with the broad­er al­li­ance mis­sile shield. There are also doubts that the Chinese tech­no­logy could be made com­pat­ible with oth­er NATO an­ti­mis­sile as­sets.

“We strongly urge you to ex­ert all avail­able dip­lo­mat­ic pres­sure to pre­vent Turk­ish pro­cure­ment of a [China Pre­ci­sion Mil­it­ary Im­port and Ex­port Corp.] mis­sile de­fense sys­tem and en­sure NATO will nev­er al­low such a sys­tem to be in­teg­rated in­to NATO’s se­cur­ity ar­chi­tec­ture,” say a group of GOP sen­at­ors in a let­ter draf­ted for sub­mis­sion, pos­sibly on Fri­day, to Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry and De­fense Sec­ret­ary Chuck Hagel.

The state-owned CP­MIEC com­pany was sanc­tioned by the U.S. gov­ern­ment earli­er this year for vi­ol­at­ing the 2006 Ir­an, North Korea and Syr­ia Non­pro­lif­er­a­tion Act.

As of press time, the let­ter had been signed by Sen­at­ors Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ro­ger Wick­er (R-Miss.), John Bar­rasso (R-Wyo.), John Booz­man (R-Ark.) and James In­hofe (R-Okla.). A copy of it was provided to Glob­al Se­cur­ity News­wire.

Mem­bers of the House also are con­cerned about the se­cur­ity rami­fic­a­tions of the pos­sible weapons deal.

House Armed Ser­vices Stra­tegic Forces Sub­com­mit­tee Chair­man Mike Ro­gers (R-Ala.) in an e-mailed state­ment said news of the deal sent “a chill through the spine of mem­bers of Con­gress who care about NATO and Tur­key’s align­ment with the West.”

Tur­key, as a NATO mem­ber, is par­ti­cip­at­ing in the al­li­ance plan to build a bal­list­ic-mis­sile shield that would cov­er all NATO ter­rit­ory. While the United States is sup­ply­ing most of the crit­ic­al as­sets for the shield, oth­er mem­ber states are ex­pec­ted to aug­ment it by en­han­cing and inter-con­nect­ing their own do­mest­ic an­ti­mis­sile cap­ab­il­it­ies.

Ank­ara main­tains it has the sole right to de­cide which mis­sile-de­fense sys­tem to buy.

“It is def­in­itely, it’s go­ing to be na­tion­al cap­ab­il­ity first and fore­most, and it’s go­ing to be a na­tion­al de­cision,” Turk­ish For­eign Min­istry spokes­man Levent Gum­ruk­cu was quoted by Voice of Amer­ica as say­ing this week.

Ank­ara in­sists the FD-2000 would be fully in­ter­op­er­able with oth­er NATO an­ti­mis­sile as­sets and says it has made this a re­quire­ment of any deal with the CP­MIEC firm.

NATO Sec­ret­ary Gen­er­al An­ders Fogh Rasmussen on Monday said it was crit­ic­al that all mem­ber states’ na­tion­al mis­sile de­fenses be inter-op­er­able with one an­oth­er.

The U.S. State De­part­ment though, has already gone on re­cord as say­ing the FD-2000 “will not be inter-op­er­able with NATO sys­tems or col­lect­ive de­fense cap­ab­il­it­ies.”

“It is in no one’s in­terest that Tur­key choose a sys­tem … which could nev­er be in­teg­rated with the rest of NATO’s de­fense cap­ab­il­it­ies,” Ro­gers said. “In es­sence, Tur­key would be weak­en­ing it­self for little ap­par­ent gain.”

Even if the FD-2000 could be in­teg­rated with NATO as­sets, there are still the wor­ries in Con­gress that the soft­ware would be com­prom­ised by di­git­al back-doors cre­ated by Chinese de­velopers in­tent on gain­ing ac­cess to al­li­ance data.

“Since Tur­key is fully in­teg­rated in­to NATO’s mis­sile de­fense net­work, such as the NATO Air De­fense Ground En­vir­on­ment, we are con­cerned about the risk of third-coun­try ac­cess to NATO and U.S. clas­si­fied data and tech­no­logy,” reads the sen­at­ors’ let­ter to Hagel and Kerry.

The Turk­ish gov­ern­ment said it chose the Chinese sys­tem over oth­er an­ti­mis­sile sys­tems offered for sale by U.S., European and Rus­si­an man­u­fac­tur­ers be­cause at $3.4 bil­lion it is con­sid­er­ably less-ex­pens­ive and po­ten­tially could be co-pro­duced with Tur­key, al­low­ing for tech­no­logy trans­fer.

Should Ank­ara fi­nal­ize a de­vel­op­ment con­tract with the CP­MIEC firm, the sen­at­ors want the United States and NATO to con­sider ex­pelling Tur­key from the al­li­ance’s Air De­fense Ground En­vir­on­ment, through which the coun­try re­ceives con­sid­er­able fin­an­cial sup­port for its air-de­fense radars.

The U.S. State De­part­ment says mul­tiple seni­or of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing Kerry, have already voiced op­pos­i­tion to Ank­ara about the pos­sible deal with China.

“We have con­veyed our ser­i­ous con­cerns about the Turk­ish Gov­ern­ment’s con­tract dis­cus­sions with the U.S.-sanc­tioned com­pany for a mis­sile de­fense sys­tem that will not be in­ter­op­er­able with­in — with NATO sys­tems or col­lect­ive de­fense cap­ab­il­it­ies,” State De­part­ment spokes­wo­man Mar­ie Harf said at a Monday press brief­ing.

What We're Following See More »
STAFF PICKS
What the Current Crop of Candidates Could Learn from JFK
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Maher Weighs in on Bernie, Trump and Palin
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

“We haven’t seen a true leftist since FDR, so many millions are coming out of the woodwork to vote for Bernie Sanders; he is the Occupy movement now come to life in the political arena.” So says Bill Maher in his Hollywood Reporter cover story (more a stream-of-consciousness riff than an essay, actually). Conservative states may never vote for a socialist in the general election, but “this stuff has never been on the table, and these voters have never been activated.” Maher saves most of his bile for Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, writing that by nominating Palin as vice president “John McCain is the one who opened the Book of the Dead and let the monsters out.” And Trump is picking up where Palin left off.

Source:
×