Turkey’s unwillingness to agree to Finland and Sweden’s membership in NATO is driving the alliance into a trap.
NATO leadership and Western governments may try to put pressure on Ankara to influence its position. For example, the United States may suspend an F-16 export deal with Turkey, and other members of the alliance may limit the interoperability of the Turkish army with the armed forces of other members of the organization.
However, this does not mean that such steps by the West can have unpleasant consequences. For example, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may “double down”.
For example, as he did in response to Western sanctions after his decision in 2017 to import Russia’s S-400 missile defense system.
NATO does not have a mechanism for excluding countries from the bloc, and it is unlikely that Erdogan will decide to leave it on his own. As a result, a “offended Turkey” could weaken the alliance from within for decades to come.
Earlier, Erdogan delivered an ultimatum to Sweden and Finland to join NATO.