Jim Townsend, a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for European and NATO policy, said the United States has been successful in terms of managing the balance between the two NATO allies despite their many spats over the years and would not let things get to a point where that balance could significantly shift. Townsend is currently an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security Transatlantic Security Program.
U.S. experts previously speaking to VOA suggested that a deal on F-16s for Turkey could be dependent on whether Ankara drops its objection to Sweden and Finland’s joint NATO membership bid.
Townsend argued that the administration’s position on F-16s may be a bargaining chip if it signals it’s prepared to work with Congress and use its leverage to get the sale approved — provided that Turkey gives them assurances on NATO’s enlargement.
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