- The United States' F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was no longer available to Turkey as a result of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's pivot toward Russia.
- Instead of defending NATO against its Russian financial allies, Turkey is much more likely to use its F-16s to threaten Greece or Armenia as it turns.
The Biden administration’s approval of a USD 450 million military sale package for the upkeep of the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) ageing F-16 fleet has sparked questions about why the US is selling weapons to nations that oppose American interests, support terrorism, or whose leaders harbour aspirations to murder their own citizens.
It would seem basic sense not to sell weapons to such nations, but the Biden administration wants to do precisely that, Michael Rubin, writing in the Washington Examiner.
Given Islamabad’s contradictory actions in the war on terror, the Trump administration withheld military assistance to Pakistan in 2018. Throughout the Taliban movement’s advance through Afghanistan, Pakistan gave Al Qaeda a lifeline and supported the insurgency.
After Afghanistan’s fall, Pakistan once more pushed for its foreign policy’s most anti-liberal tenets. It continues to be a satrapy of China and regularly votes against US interests at the UN.
In light of this, Rubin found the Biden administration’s declaration last week that it wanted to upgrade Pakistan’s F-16 fleet for close to $500 million strange.
This ignores geopolitical reality while also rewarding Pakistan for years of planning to assassinate American service members in Afghanistan. F-16s won’t be used by Pakistan to combat terrorism. After example, the country’s Inter-Services Intelligence organisation has clients who are extremists in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Pakistan doesn’t require F-16s either to fight China. The two nations are strategic partners; Washington Examiner, Pakistan even authorised China to construct a covert naval station at Gwadar to provide the People’s Liberation Army Navy with access to the Indian Ocean.
Sales to competitors have more serious repercussions. Instead of defending NATO against its Russian financial allies, Turkey is much more likely to use its F-16s to threaten Greece or Armenia as it turns.
The United States’ F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was no longer available to Turkey as a result of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s pivot toward Russia. Since then, Turkey has intensified its hostility toward the United States.
Similarly, Pakistan solely wants F-16s so that it can use them as a threat against India. Given the stance of Turkey and Pakistan, granting Ankara or Islamabad access would entail indirectly providing Moscow and Beijing with the most advanced military technology available, Rubin.