Autonomy in Arms: Turkey’s Weapons Procurement and the S-400 Missile System

    This policy outlook outlines why Turkey is in genuine need of the S-400 air defence system and why Washington’s opposition to this procurement is not based in sound reasoning.

    For decades, the Turkish defence system has relied on support and permission from both NATO and United States. However, decades of failure from the United States to adequately support Turkey’s defence needs has prompted Ankara to develop its defence system through external means. Turkey’s recent acquisition of the S-400 system reflects a valid need to protect itself against regional threats. Washington’s opposition to Turkey’s purchase of the defence system, demonstrated through sanctions, shows less of American concern for Turkey’s military actions and more of American fear over Turkey’s-as well as other countries’-future intentions to diversify the suppliers of its defence industry. However, the US should recognise Turkey’s need to maintain peace and stability in the region and backtrack on its rhetorical and sanctions-based opposition to the purchase of the S-400 defence system.

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