Did Biden just accidentally ban arms sales to Turkey?
Feb 16, 2024
By Michael Rubin*
After more than a year of negotiation and brinkmanship, President Joe Biden believed
he found the magic formula to compel his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan
to lift his hold on Sweden’s NATO accession. The same day Turkey’s rubber stamp parliament
ratified Erdogan’s approval of Sweden, the White House called members of Congress
to urge them to lift their hold on a multibillion-
Two weeks later, on Feb. 9, 2024, Biden signed a presidential memorandum to authorize
a swift cutoff of military assistance to countries that violate international protections
of civilians. Motivating Biden was a desire to virtue signal. Politically, he hoped
to assuage an important Arab and Muslim constituency in Michigan upset at his administration’s
support for Israel in its fight against U.S.-
Biden’s implied criticism of Israel was also unfair: Hamas violates international law by holding hostages and uses Gaza’s civilian population as human shields. Urban warfare is always brutal, but the U.S. destruction of Mosul and Raqqa in the name of their liberation from the Islamic State was as deadly if not as destructive as Israel’s operations in Gaza.
Biden, however, did not write the presidential memorandum narrowly. He directs the United States government to cut off military aid swiftly if not immediately to all countries that violate international protections.
It is time for Congress to tell the White House that its F-
Turkey’s occupation of Cyprus likewise now nears its half-
Northern Cyprus, however, was part of a sovereign, independent country that Turkey
occupied and ethnically cleansed. Nor, despite its rhetoric, does Turkey seek to
protect Muslim natives of Cyprus. Rather, it seeks to replace them with Muslim natives
of Turkey. It is modern-
The same holds true for Azerbaijan, which has used American weaponry to ethnically
cleanse the indigenous Armenian community in Nagorno-
Biden’s presidential memorandum is reality. Whatever the White House desire, any
sale of F-
*Michael Rubin is a contributor to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog. He is director of policy analysis at the Middle East Forum and senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.