I’m not surprised by the reports that Pakistan let China see the American stealth helicopter that was damaged and subsequently scuttled during the successful raid to capture Osama Bin Laden. China is a predatory power, and Pakistan has always been an unreliable ally. The Pakistani action is lamentable but given the higher value of killing Bin Laden, President Obama was correct to take the risk and use the choppers on the mission.
The Pakistan crash and leak was an accident. Providing the completed F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Turkey is simply incompetence on a grand scale. Turkey has already allowed its air force to exercise with their Chinese counterparts behind the Pentagon’s back. The evisceration of secularists in the Turkish military’s leadership in the wake of the last time I raised this subject in COMMENTARY make the issue more urgent. Simply put, the Obama administration, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and Senate Armed Services Committee leaders Carl Levin and John McCain appear determined to provide Turkey with our latest stealth technology without so much as a Pentagon report to Congress or the White House on the vulnerability of our cutting edge technology to leakage should the Turkish government continue its turn to America’s adversaries.
Obama may hope that Bin Laden’s death will remain his national security legacy but if he continues to hew his current path, he will be wrong. Instead, he may become known as the president who allowed through both inertia and incompetence China (and Iran) to acquire America’s top technology. Giving Turkey stealth technology is as stupid as it is suicidal.