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If Erdogan blocks Sweden and Finland, will NATO boot Turkey?


We have reached one of the most important moments in the seven-decade history of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization: Sweden and Finland are set to join the alliance, just as the Russian war on Ukraine reaches its first anniversary.

Yet Turkey — alone of all the members — is slowing this vital chance to bring Stockholm and Helsinki on board. It is time to stop this exercise in unilateral obstruction and simply say “yes.” Turkish reticence, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is a gift to a heinous war criminal, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In 2009, when I became supreme allied commander of NATO, the first capital I visited was not London, despite the U.K. being the strongest supporter of our collective efforts in Afghanistan other than the U.S. Nor did I choose to go to Paris, Berlin, Rome, Madrid — not even Athens, despite my Greek American heritage. The first place I went to was Ankara, Turkey. I wanted to recognize everything the Turks had done for NATO before and after the fall of the Soviet Union.

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