President Trump has proven time and time again that he’s nobody’s puppet.
Although he’s gathered the best and brightest advisors around him, Trump has always remained his own man – and he demonstrated it yet again this week.
In talks with Turkish prime minister Tayyip Ergodan, Trump agreed to conduct a study evaluating the integration of the F-35 fighter jet with the S-400 missile system.
The Washington Times reports:
President Trump and his Turkish counterpart this week agreed to form a study group examining the compatibility of the F-35 fighter jet with the Russian-made S-400 missile system, according to media reports, with Mr. Trump overriding objections from advisers in the Pentagon and State Department.
For months the administration has warned Turkey that going ahead with its planned purchase of Russia’s S-400 would likely kill the potential for Ankara to also buy F-35s. The fear inside the White House and Defense Department has been that the F-35’s security could be compromised by operating in conjunction with the S-400.
But Mr. Trump seems to be keeping more of an open mind.
The Times continues:
The decision also puts the president on a collision course with Congress. Lawmakers of both parties remain deeply concerned about pairing the S-400 and F-35, and the massive National Defense Authorization Act — currently working its way through Congress — contains language explicitly barring F-35 sales to Turkey unless the nation abandons plans to buy missile systems from Russia.
Congress is right to be concerned about Turkey, but its worth noting that Trump hasn’t given the final go-ahead either. Most likely, the President is negotiating with the carrot and stick method, and if his plan works, he may just succeed in drawing Turkey out of the Russian orbit, into ours.
Read the full story here.