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Turkey’s Burgeoning Defense Technological and Industrial Base and Expeditionary Military Policy

As the incumbent Turkish administration strives to pursue more aspiring goals in foreign affairs, Turkeys military policy is fast developing in line with this vision. The nations defense technological and industrial base can now produce various conventional weaponry. Of these, without a doubt, Turkeys drone warfare assets have garnered the utmost attention among the international strategic community. In tandem, the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) have gradually gained an expeditionary posture with forward deployments across a broad axis, ranging from the Horn of Africa to the Gulf and the Mediterranean. Turkeys proxy warfare capabilities have also registered an uptrend in this respect. Nevertheless, Ankara will have to deal with certain limitations in key segments, particularly 5th generation aircraft and strategic weapon systems which, together, represent a severe intra-war deterrence gap in Turkeys defense posture. The Turkish administration will have to address this specific shortfall given the problematic threat landscape at the nations Middle Eastern doorstep. This study covers two interrelated strategic topics regarding Turkeys national military capacity in the 21st century: its defense technological and industrial base (DTIB) and its military policy, both currently characterized by a burgeoning assertiveness.

Turkey s Burgeoning Defense Technological and Industrial Base and Expeditionary
 

 

 

 

Introduction: Turkey’s Military Capacity in a Geopolitical Context

The intersection of Turkey’s geography and political-military affairs has never been easy for the Turks to navigate. Turkey remains a NATO nation bordering, Iran, Iraq, Syria, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, and the Caucasus. A few decades ago, Turkish governments had to deal with Hafez al-Assad of Syria and Saddam al-Hussein of Iraq as neighbors. Many flashpoints, ranging from the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict to the hydrocarbon bonanza in the Eastern Mediterranean to the Syrian civil war revolve around Ankara’s immediate doorstep. Geopolitically, this unfavorable positioning situates the nation at a crossroads of various armed conflicts, either happening or in the making. The country also faces various hybrid risks ranging from the Salafi extremist terrorist networks of ISIS and al-Qaeda to the ethno-separatist terrorism championed by the PKK and its PYD/YPG offshoots. Thus, the Turkish military has to ensure a high level of readiness to tackle national security threats across a broad spectrum.

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