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Lawmakers move to block delivery of F-35s to Turkey, demand Brunson’s release

by Les Sillars
Posted 7/24/18, 02:45 pm

Lawmakers in Congress Monday approved a measure that would temporarily bar deliveries of about 100 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to Turkey while demanding the immediate release of imprisoned American pastor Andrew Brunson. Bloomberg reports the jets would be held back until the Pentagon can assess the measure’s effect on the tense relationship between the two countries. The House and Senate Armed Services committees included the ban in the Pentagon’s budget blueprint for the next fiscal year, The Washington Times reported. The bill included language demanding the release of Brunson and any other “U.S. citizens wrongfully or unlawfully detained in Turkey.” It awaits approval in the full House and Senate.

Earlier this month Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned Congress that although, like Congress, he too was worried about human rights and the rule of law in Turkey, cutting off the fighter jets could disrupt supply chains, driving up costs and delaying deliveries of the F-35.

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Les Sillars

Les is a WORLD Radio correspondent and commentator. He previously spent two decades as WORLD Magazine's Mailbag editor. Les directs the journalism program at Patrick Henry College and resides in Purcellville, Va., with his family.

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  •  CaptTee's picture
    Posted: Tue, 07/24/2018 03:27 pm

    Turkey's F-35 order should be moved to the back of the production line. That ought to give them enough time to reform their policies.

  • OldMike
    Posted: Tue, 07/24/2018 03:52 pm

    I don't believe Turkey now qualifies as a reliable ally, considering their move towards radical Islam over the past few years.  Regardless of Lockheed-Martin's bottom line, and some kinks in the supply line for our own Joint Strike Fighters (as well as any we may be selling to more reliable allies) we absolutely do not need to be arming a potential adversary with our best and latest weapons. 

    I'm going to write my Congressmen to ask that they support withdrawing from this contract with Turkey.  Although maybe we should be coy about it until Pastor Brunson has been freed.

  • Big Jim
    Posted: Tue, 07/24/2018 04:21 pm

    At this point, it seems Turkey is more closely aligned with Russian interests than NATO interests. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that Turkey is allowing Russian "advisors" to get a good close look at U.S. made high tech defense equipment. Other than the Incirlik Air Base, which admittedly is important to our Middle Eastern strategies, I'm not sure what incentive there is to keep this fake NATO member in the alliance.

  •  West Coast Gramma's picture
    West Coast Gramma
    Posted: Tue, 07/24/2018 10:30 pm