NATO, Nuclear Weapons, And Turkey?

February 8, 2017

 

After months of threats from Turkey did Erdogan just recently threaten the wrong President?  Has he finally gone too far with his bombastic attitude in an attempt to bait the new U.S. President?  From his issuing threats in January of potentially banning U.S. personnel from the NATO shared Incirlik Air Base, discontinuing U.S. access to the airbase and finally all together shuttering the base and finally putting an end to the U.S. - Turkey NATO Alliance?  

 

Better yet, has the United States finally done what it has been contemplating for months?  Did Washington quietly give the go ahead to move its nuclear arsenal to what the U.S. determines a safer location after talks between the United States and Turkish Government continue to prove counter-productive? 
 

Every since, last July's failed coup,Turkish President Erdogan and former U.S.  President Obama could not agree on little if anything except that the former President wanted to fold up the U.S. tents and leave the Middle East, and President Erdogan was happy to see the U.S. go but without "his nukes." That turn of fate, forced the U.S. as a NATO Country to stay and protect the nuclear weapons and left President Trump with yet another Obama quagmire to clean up.  

 

However, did President Trump change direction and turn the tables on Erdogan, deciding that the U.S. will once again become the formidable opponent and ensure the safety of our nuclear weapons?  It seems a high probability that our weapons are still in Turkey, with the rapid removal of an Iranian missile from a launchpad within the past days according to an exclusive news report from Fox News.[1]  However, how much longer can the U.S. and NATO trust the uncertainty or mental stability of President Erdogan?

 

Although the Obama administration did not fully disclose their involvement in the decline of relations with Turkey, all conversations took a nosedive when Turkey refused to relent on their clamp down of the 1,500 US air and ground crews held on intermittent lock-down since last July's failed coup.  At that time airmen were using the base to run the US air campaign against ISIS in Syria just 112 km away.  All talks finally ground to a halt last year, after Turkey's continued insistence on assuming control of the nuclear arsenal and America’s rejection of their demand.
 
While the continued deterioration of the NATO alliance between Ankara and Washington grew it was minor in the stark contrast to the recent establishment of the newly formed and harmonious relationship between the Russian and Turkish governments.  In which Turkish President Erdogan and Russian President Putin formed a new alliance between their two countries during a meeting in St, Petersburg, on August 8.  Allowing Moscow much to Russia's delight, the capability to rapidly expand its air force footprint in the region adding to the other recently newly acquired agreements for new base use in Iran and Syria. Russian bombers and fighters in a show of might began stepping up operations in all three countries while at the same time Russian warships carrying Kalibr cruise missiles gather in the Mediterranean and Caspian Seas.
 
The irony of the past year's events shows just how quickly decade old alliances can be broken in a short period of time.  The following is what I wrote in the weeks after last year's failed Turkey coup attempt.  I am leaving it here to show just how quickly alliances can change.


Turkey's failed coup in July, the relationship between the U.S and Turkey has become strained at best.  As NATO powers, even contentious ones, Turkey and the US have shared obligations.  Which have for now all intensive appearances fallen apart.

 

While U.S. President Obama, has done little to soothe the ego and temper of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the days after July's failed coup, the Turkish Government did everything in their power to provoke or engage a response from others within the International Community.   Including, President Erdoğan's continual demand that the United States hand over Erdogan's long time rival and founder of the Gülen Movement, Fethullah Gülen.  His first of numerous ultimatums was for the U.S. to hand-over Gülen to Turkish prosecutors immediately.  When the U.S. refused to acknowledge this particular demand, Erdogan decided to turn up the heat.  He ordered Turkish police this week to search the U.S./NATO shared Turkish Incirlik Air Base under the guise of looking for evidence that Gülen supporters.  

 

Never mind the fact that during the recent inspection by Turkey no stone was left unturned.  Forget the fact that the long history of Turkey and the United States working together since 1951 when construction of the airbase began.  Ignoring the fact in 1955 the U.S. Air Force and Turkish Staff signed a joint agreement allowing the base to be used by both countries and that the name was changed from Adana to Incirlik only three years later.  Even during the early years of its existence provided a valuable presence to counter the Soviet Union's threat during the U.S. Russian, Cold War era, but other crisis in the Middle East, including Lebanon and Israel. [2]


Forget it is home to both the Turkish and U.S. Air Forces who have until now proved just how well nations with different beliefs could work together and is home to an unspecified number of U.S. B61 Tactical Nuclear Bombs stored in underground bunkers close to the US airstrips since the 1970's. Better yet, maybe we shouldn't forget but remember who is in charge of those nukes and begin acting like it.

 

 

[1] Fox News 7 February 2017 

[2] google.com wikipedia

[3] alternatehistory

[4]informationclearinghourse.com

 

 

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