U.S. Sanctions Will Not Stop Turkey's Shift Towards Russia

By Enea Gjoza

The political crisis resulting from Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense system has profoundly damaged U.S.-Turkish relations, and things could soon get worse. Turkey flouted U.S. threats of sanctions and an end to F-35 sales to acquire the system, and Washington responded by freezing Turkey out of the F-35 program. Now, Congress is pushing for the administration to execute legally mandated U.S. sanctions on Turkey—a step that might permanently damage relations with a NATO ally.

Turkey’s refusal to cancel the purchase is the latest in a long line of U.S. sanctions failures. Many policymakers view sanctions as an antiseptic solution to political disputes, but sanctions rarely work when a target’s core national interests are at stake. Instead, punitive sanctions often sour relations and cause target states to double down on their recalcitrance.

This piece was originally published by The National Interest on August 14, 2019. Read more HERE.