One of the two amendments banning the modernization or sale of Viper-level F-16 fighter jets to Turkey was adopted after approval by the relevant committee of the US House of Representatives, but with one important detail.
It (the amendment) allows U.S. President Joe Biden to eventually go ahead with the sale, provided he confirms to Congress that the sale is in the vital interests of U.S. national security and details the steps being taken to ensure that F-16s are not used. for unauthorized flights over Greek territory.
In short, there are many “ifs”…
Surely this reservation passed under pressure from the Biden entourage itself and the foreign policy and national security adviser Naz Durakoglu, who has … Turkish origin.
Joe Biden has officially, publicly, and passionately advocated Turkey’s delivery of the F-16 Viper, even characterizing it as essential to NATO interests (and thus vital US national interests).
For now, the Democrats are letting the game play out based on what the president wants but his legislators don’t want, so they can act accordingly.
It is clear that they want to put pressure on Erdogan to behave more “pro-American”, but do not want to “push” him out of NATO.
So this diplomatic “double bottom” game is the best they can do at the moment. After all, even if the amendment is adopted, the window for the transfer of the F-16 to Turkey is “open”.
The amendment still needs to be approved by the entire Congress, which is estimated to happen by the end of July.
According to the amendment, the sale of new F16s, upgrade kits and upgraded technologies to Turkey and any organizations associated with Turkey is prohibited.
The amendment, which will be included in the US Department of Defense budget, states the following:
“The President (U.S.) may not sell or authorize the export of new F-16 aircraft or F-16 upgrade technologies or upgrade kits under any authority under the Arms Export Control Act (22 USC 2751 et seq.) to the Government of Turkey or any agency or representative of Turkey, unless the President (U.S.) provides to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Congressional Defense Committees that:
This transfer is in the national interest of the United States and details the specific measures taken to ensure that such F-16s are not used by Turkey for repeated unauthorized flights over Greece.” according to ERT.
Two amendments were made by Representatives Chris Pappas and Frank Pallon, Congressmen of Greek descent.