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Friday, September 02, 2011

Turkey to host NATO early warning radar system

Turkey has agreed to host a NATO early warning radar system as part of NATO's missile defense shield.
A ministry statement emailed to journalists said discussions on NATO-member Turkey's contribution to the alliance missile defence shield had reached "their final stages."

It did not say when or where the U.S. early warning radar would be stationed.

NATO members agreed to an anti-missile system over Europe to protect against Iranian ballistic missiles at a summit in Lisbon last year. A compromise was reached with Turkey, which has cultivated close ties with its neighbour Iran and had threatened to block the deal if Iran is explicitly named as a threat.

Under the NATO plans, a limited system of U.S. anti-missile interceptors and radars already planned for Europe — to include interceptors in Romania and Poland as well as the radar in Turkey — would be linked to expanded European-owned missile defences. That would create a broad system that protects every NATO country against medium-range missile attack.

Turkey has built close economic ties with Iran and has been at odds with the United States on its stance toward Iran's nuclear program, arguing for a diplomatic solution to the standoff instead of sanctions.

But the agreement over hosting the radar comes at a time when Turkey and Iran appear to be differing on their approach toward Syria, with Turkey becoming increasingly critical of Iranian ally Syria's brutal suppression of anti-regime protests.

The ministry statement made no mention of Iran. It said the system would strengthen both NATO and Turkey's own defence capacities.
But there's another issue here. Turkey was opposed to real-time sharing of the information with Israel. The US has apparently told Turkey there is nothing they can do to stop that sharing.
U.S. officials told Turks that the United States has a "separate and robust" missile defense relationship with Israel, where the United States based a high-powered X-Band radar in 2008 to bolster Israel's missile defenses. The system is identical to the radar going to Turkey.

That radar can track any Iranian missile aimed at Israel.

But the U.S. made clear that data from any U.S. radars around the world may be fused with other data to maximize the effectiveness of its missile defenses.
Turkey agreed to station the radar on its territory to shore up its relations with NATO and to improve its relations with the US. Given that the Turks have just expelled Israel's ambassador to Turkey, they probably decided they had to do something to keep relations with the US from getting any worse.

More here.

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4 Comments:

At 3:27 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Turkey will walk the fine line to not be eliminated from NATO, but I would guess will try to set up a method of cutting off or interfering with the data Israel gets. So I bet the IDF is already setting up parallel systems and sources. It's like "Drill, baby, drill" for independent energy supplies, water supplies, and ISR data!

 
At 11:33 PM, Blogger free said...

I am concerned with who will be manning this radar station. The last thing we need to happen is for Iran or china to get a look at how it works and figure out how to defeat it.

 
At 9:34 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Free,

The US mans all x-band radar stations itself. That was a big topic around here when Bush gave the Israelis one as a parting gift toward the end of his term in office. But the US mans the station here and the station in Japan. I find it hard to believe that it will be any different in Turkey.

 
At 9:20 AM, Blogger free said...

Carl, as you said Bush did, that doesn't mean Obama will. Remember how he bowed to russia and screwed Poland and The Czech Republic. But I hope you are right.

 

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