DEBKA By bowing to Ankara’s demand to omit Iran, Syria and their ballistic missiles as a threat from the NATO agreement to establish a missile shield base in Turkey, President Barak Obama has devalued any US security guarantees offered Israel – as well as negating the facility’s avowed purpose.
The missile shield and its location in Europe were conceived in the first place for detecting and defusing Iranian and Syrian ballistic missile before they reached Europe or the United States. “For the first time we’ve agreed to develop a missile defense capability that is strong enough to cover all Nato European territory and populations as well as the United States,” Obama declared Friday, Nov. 19, at the NATO summit in Lisbon. The US president did not say against who or what. Neither did he reveal the full scope of US and NATO’s surrender to Turkey.
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the covert clauses in the deal additionally provide for the missile base to come under the command of a Turkish general. President Abdullah Gul held out on this point in discussions with President Obama and NATO leaders, following the lead given him by Prime Minister Tayyep Erdogan of Monday, Nov. 15: “Turkey would demand that NATO assign a Turkish commander to oversee the shield. Especially if this is to be place on our soil…,” said Erdogan.
Turkey’s leaders are very close to the Islamic Republic’s
extremist rulers and see nothing amiss in their deploying large portions of Iran’s missile arsenal on Syrian and Lebanese soil (in Hizballah’s keeping). A Turkish general in command of the NATO missile shield cannot be expected to regard threatening missile action by Iran, Syria or Hizballah in the same light as would President Obama or NATO Secretary-General Andres vog Rasmussen. He would simply follow the orders of his own prime minister.
So NATO’s forward missile interceptor may be physically and technically located in Turkey but, under a Turkish commander, its usefulness as an operational shield for the West against the most concrete perils facing NATO members is nil.
In these circumstances, there is not much point in Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu holding out for American security guarantees, even after the US State Department spokesman stated Friday, Nov. 19, “The United States is prepared to offer Israel written security guarantees if it would help to restart stalled Middle East peace talks.” Those guarantees were awarded Turkey at the NATO summit in Lisbon and, by extension, to Iran, Syria and their radical allies, whose missiles are poised on Israel’s borders facing in only one direction.
It is important to remember that American missile defense systems are closely inter-linked with and slotted into corresponding Israeli missile interceptors, air defenses and intelligence. How can this vital collaboration continue after a Turkish commander has his hand on the levers of NATO’s defense shield for the United States and Europe?
TURKEY TO OBAMA: “Exclude Israel from missile shield.” (Or else what?)
Ivarfjeld Islamic Turkey demands that US exclude Israel from a new missile intelligence system that will include all NATO nations.
Turkey has asked the US to make an official policy statement that no non-NATO countries would be privy to intelligence. This military information will be gathered by a network of radars and guard posts set up as part of a planned missile shield to guard NATO from ballistic missile threats.
In the ongoing diplomatic campaign against Israel, Turkey has asked the US to make an official policy statement. The Islamic nations demand that non-NATO countries should be privy to intelligence gathered by a network of radars and guard posts set up as part of a planned missile shield to guard NATO from ballistic missile threats.
Turkey has previously protested the tone of the plan which they said unfairly singled out Iran as the likely source of such threats, and this latest move is believed to be directed primarily at Israel.
“Any clear reference to Iran or any other neighboring country as a threat… runs counter to Ankara’s chief foreign policy objective: ‘zero problems’ with neighbors,” said an editorial in a prominent Turkish newspaper recently.
In response to the Turkish request, the Pentagon assured all its NATO allies that the intel gathered by the system would not be available to non-NATO members.