US said considering plan to remove nukes from Turkish base near Syrian border

  
Via:  krishna  •  one month ago  •  25 comments

US said considering plan to remove nukes from Turkish base near Syrian border
American military believed to keep some 50 tactical nuclear bombs at Incirlik in southern Turkey; official says bombs effectively hostage to Erdogan

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A US Air Force F15 fighter jet takes off at Incirlik Air Base near Adana, Turkey, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015. (AP Photo)

US officials met in recent days to review plans to remove some 50 nuclear weapons housed under American control at the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey amid growing tensions with Ankara, the New York Times reported Monday.

While the Pentagon does not discuss where it stores nuclear assets, the B61 gravity bombs are believed to be kept at Incirlik as a deterrent to Russia and to demonstrate America’s commitment to NATO, the 28-member military alliance that includes Turkey.

Two officials told the paper that State and Energy Department officials were quietly examining ways to remove the tactical nukes, with one official saying they were effectively hostage to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.


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Krishna
1  seeder  Krishna    one month ago

Erdogan has recently expressed his frustration at not having nuclear weapons, saying last month that Turkey should be allowed to have nukes if Israel does.

“Some countries have missiles with nuclear warheads, not one or two. But (they tell us) we can’t have them. This, I cannot accept,” the Reuters news agency quoted him as telling his ruling AK Party members in the eastern city of Sivas.

“There is no developed nation in the world that doesn’t have them,” Erdogan said, even though most developed nations do not have nuclear weapons.

Israel is also believed to have nuclear weapons, a fact alluded to by Erdogan.

“We have Israel nearby, as almost neighbors. They scare (other nations) by possessing these. No one can touch them.”

Yes-- Israel has nukes. (Which is one reason madmen like Erdogan haven't attacked Israel...yet!)

 
 
 
Krishna
2  seeder  Krishna    one month ago

Two officials told the paper that State and Energy Department officials were quietly examining ways to remove the tactical nukes, with one official saying they were effectively hostage to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

" quietly examining ways to remove the tactical nukes".

Nice to hear that they are doing it "quietly".

But how to keep it quiet? 

I know-- have an article about that be published all over the Internet!

(But only if the site owners that publish it promise not to mention it to anyone..that'll "keep it quiet fer sure!". jrSmiley_9_smiley_image.gif )

 
 
 
dave-2693993
3  dave-2693993    one month ago
US officials met in recent days to review plans to remove some 50 nuclear weapons housed under American control at the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey amid growing tensions with Ankara, the New York Times reported Monday.

Putin is winning all the way around on this deal.

 
 
 
Krishna
3.1  seeder  Krishna  replied to  dave-2693993 @3    one month ago
Putin is winning all the way around on this deal.

At first had thought the reason Trump did this incredibly stupid thing (total betrayal of one of our closest allies...plus doing something that would obviously increase the effectiveness of ISIS) was the phone call with Erdogan. After all, he had to please Erdogan whom he greatly admires.

But then I realized, he could kills two birds with one stone (to say nothing of numerous Kurdish civilians)- he must have realized that withdrawing our troops would please his pupped-master (Good 'Ole Loveable Vladimir Putin) greatly!

 
 
 
dave-2693993
3.1.1  dave-2693993  replied to  Krishna @3.1    one month ago
But then I realized, he could kills two birds with one stone (to say nothing of numerous Kurdish civilians)- he must have realized that withdrawing our troops would please his pupped-master (Good 'Ole Loveable Vladimir Putin) greatly!

Well, you know we have at least 1 expert on this board who will tell you the close proximity of nukes has no bearing whatsoever on defensive and offensive capabilities.

He should have talked to JFK about that and told him to just cool his jets.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
3.1.2  FLYNAVY1  replied to  dave-2693993 @3.1.1    one month ago

Nukes are an all but worthless weapon.  With the exception of deterring actual aggression against you on your own soil, they, if used as directed will end up destroying that which one hopes to protect.

A strong attacker will not make use of offensive nuke weapons as it 1) creates contamination problems for their own forces. 2) opens the door to reciprocal use of nukes by your foe.  Best to keep at it with conventional weapons. 

 
 
 
Ronin2
3.1.3  Ronin2  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @3.1.2    one month ago

I actually agree with you.

Anyone with a superior military would much rather use it to win conflicts.

Of course countries like Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea have (and want them) to deter more powerful countries from attacking them. "Attack and I will nuke you" is not an idle threat to them.

 
 
 
dave-2693993
3.1.4  dave-2693993  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @3.1.2    one month ago
With the exception of deterring actual aggression against you on your own soil, they, if used as directed will end up destroying that which one hopes to protect.

What you say makes sense and is the path one would hope most reasonable thinkers would take.

"Reasonable thinkers"; a thinning herd on the world stage.

Nonetheless, we and others have strategically placed nukes. Only hoping the current round of lunatics in charge can keep their "trigger fingers" off the buttons. 

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
3.1.5  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Ronin2 @3.1.3    one month ago

Then obviously you have spent some time studying the different aspects of the Cold War, and have reflected on the ever changing Geo-Political landscape.

Your comment of "Attack and I will nuke you" is spot on target as a political survival tool.  America was the first one I believe to make use of that approach.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
3.1.6  FLYNAVY1  replied to  dave-2693993 @3.1.4    one month ago

In my studies of the Cold War over the years, one line of thinking has become clear.

When everyone is in the same boat with nuclear weapons, all the occupants get really nervous when someone in that boat starts rocking it.

What gets scary is when one has access to nukes, and they feel that they have nothing to lose by using them.  This is why Islamic terrorist, or anyone that is ready to "meet their maker" are the biggest danger to humanity.

My big fear is with the Islamic regime in Pakistan having nukes.  They say they have them well secured, but as their military becomes more radicalized, it is quite possible that fissile material or worse ends up in the hands of some group that is ready to yell "Allahu Akbar" and push a button.

 
 
 
Kavika
4  Kavika     one month ago

Russia/Putin is the new power broker in the M/E...

His visits with Saudia Arabia and the UAE are showing that they, Russia, are growing in influence in the M/E.

Joint ventures were discussed between SA and Russia. 

If Americans think that the world isn't geo/political they are fooling themselves. We can, of course, withdraw from international fronts but will pay a price at the end of the day. 

Our influence is waning in South America, South Pacific and Asia to China. Africa to China. The M/E to Russia..

 
 
 
dave-2693993
4.1  dave-2693993  replied to  Kavika @4    one month ago
Our influence is waning in South America, South Pacific and Asia to China. Africa to China. The M/E to Russia..

Hey, that stabbing allies in the back thing is starting to pay off already.

 
 
 
bbl-1
5  bbl-1    one month ago

Consider this.  Why would the US Military deem it necessary to 'have at the ready' tactical nuclear weapons at any foreign location controlled by a government and leader which has autocratic tendencies?  And why did not the US Military remove those weapons years ago when Erdogan plainly revealed his anti-democratic hold on power?

This too:  Is Erdogan's Turkey really any more of an asset to Western democracy than The Saudi Theocratic Monarchy?

Another question:  Would America's and the West's interests be better served if it abandoned support for the standing Middle East's regimes and instead focused on the needs and desires of the people living under the weight of those regimes?

Four questions.  Each one worthy of discussion.

 
 
 
Krishna
5.1  seeder  Krishna  replied to  bbl-1 @5    one month ago

All good questions-- and all relevant. Don't have time now to attempt to answer all of them.

But it should be pointed out that before Erdogan came to power, the Turkish government was better in many ways. (Though still a bit authoritarian). 

But our government has a long history of supporting horrendous dictators-- as long as they are allied with us against the "Enemy du Jour".

For example, for many years in Latin America the U.S. supported the most barbaric dictatorships-- as long as they were anti-Communist. (or even if they said they were).

A while back I came across this article in Wikipedia about U.S. support for the horrendous dictator in Cuba (pre-Castro) Its worth a read: Here's but one excerpt"

Fulgencio Batista

Back in power, and receiving financial, military, and logistical support from the United States government,[7][8] Batista suspended the 1940 Constitution and revoked most political liberties, including the right to strike. He then aligned with the wealthiest landowners who owned the largest sugar plantations, and presided over a stagnating economy that widened the gap between rich and poor Cubans.[9]  

Eventually it reached the point where most of the sugar industry was in U.S. hands, and foreigners owned 70% of the arable land.[10] 

As such, Batista's repressive government then began to systematically profit from the exploitation of Cuba's commercial interests, by negotiating lucrative relationships with both the American Mafia, who controlled the drug, gambling, and prostitution businesses in Havana, and with large U.S.-based multinational companies who were awarded lucrative contracts.[9][11] 

To quell the growing discontent amongst the populace—which was subsequently displayed through frequent student riots and demonstrations—Batista established tighter censorship of the media, while also utilizing his Bureau for the Repression of Communist Activities secret police to carry out wide-scale violence, torture and public executions.

These murders mounted in 1957, as Fidel Castro gained more publicity and influence. Many people were killed, with estimates ranging from hundreds to about 20,000 people killed.

 
 
 
bbl-1
5.1.1  bbl-1  replied to  Krishna @5.1    one month ago

American history is-----------sordid.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
5.1.2  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  bbl-1 @5.1.1    4 weeks ago

Name a country whose history is not sordid in one way or another. It is a matter degree in the end.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
5.2  FLYNAVY1  replied to  bbl-1 @5    one month ago

The reason why those nukes are there, and Turkey's importance to NATO goes back to the Cold War.  So much of this comes down to being able to keep Russia bottled up, and having to watch their southern flank at all times. 

The Bosporus straights are a natural "Naval" choke-point and a way of keeping Russian submarines and surface fleet bottled up and out of the Mediterranean.  In some ways that has been negated now by the warm water port the Russians have secured at Tartus, Syria.

Secondly, the thinking during the cold war was if Russia was going to attack the west through East Germany, or Poland, that their entire southern flank would/could be used to as a point to counter-attack via Turkey. 

The stationing of nukes in Turkey goes as far back as the mid 1950s with the Jupiter missiles stationed there.  The damn things were more of the threat to explode in Turkey by accident than actually make it to their targets in Russia.  Just to make everyone feel comfortable, the prime contractor for the Jupiter missiles was the Chrysler corporation.....

One of the lesser know points about the Cuban Missile Crisis is that part of the reason that Khrushchev removed the missiles from Cuba was the quietly keep agreement by Kennedy to remove the Jupiter bases in Turkey.

 
 
 
bbl-1
5.2.1  bbl-1  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @5.2    one month ago

The 'Cold War' thinking is well known.  The trade off  agreed to during The Cuban Missile crises although less known is historical fact.

However, my contention is--The US must never place nuclear weapons on foreign soil unless the circumstance demands their use.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
5.2.2  FLYNAVY1  replied to  bbl-1 @5.2.1    one month ago

However, my contention is--The US must never place nuclear weapons on foreign soil unless the circumstance demands their use.

That point was well discussed in the 50s &60s.  Regional commanders convinced the American civilian leaders that in the event of offensive actions by the Russians, Chinese, and Koreans, that there may not be time to get the needed tactical nukes where they needed to be so they could be used.  Hence them being forward deployed to Turkey, West Germany, Guam, Korea, Etc.

The kink in the armor was that the battlefield commander had to get approval from Washington to use the nukes.  That might take as many as 24 hours by which time the situation on the ground would have changed.

A good read on the subject is the book "Command and Control".  This book also details the explosion of the Titan II base in Damascus, Arkansas in 1980, and other nuke related near misses on American soil during the Cold War.   

 
 
 
bbl-1
5.2.3  bbl-1  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @5.2.2    4 weeks ago

Nuclear weapons are not safe.  So, are they necessary?

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
5.2.4  FLYNAVY1  replied to  bbl-1 @5.2.3    4 weeks ago

Put our nuclear deterrent on submarines and dismantle the rest.  There they are well protected, safe and hidden at that point.

 
 
 
Kavika
5.3  Kavika   replied to  bbl-1 @5    one month ago

Excellent questions...

As Krish said we have a long history of supporting dictators. We also have a history of meddling in the internal affairs of other countries and a few times this has come back to bit us in the ass.

Iran is a case in point. In 1953 we helped overthrow the legitimate government of Iran and installed the Shah in his place when led to years of the US being comfortable but the people of Iran suffering. 

IMO, what we are dealing with today is a result of that action.

 
 
 
bbl-1
5.3.1  bbl-1  replied to  Kavika @5.3    one month ago

Correct.  The 1953 over throw of the democratic government of Iran and our installation of an ( OIL friendly ) autocrat is the root of the West's Middle East problems.

This is tricky, but the US decimation of the Baathist Regimes in the ME permitted religious extremism to flourish.  And nearly all of it financed and nurtured by the House of Saud.  ( Iraq.  Libya.  Syria. )  Not excusing their authoritarian tendencies, but they were secular and would deal with the West.

Had the US not chose the side of "What the wealth of OIL will bring," and instead focused on the welfare of the populations, the end result may have been stability.  This too, if the ME was stable and prosperous---the OIL wealth would have occurred anyway, except it would have been more evenly distributed. 

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
5.3.2  FLYNAVY1  replied to  bbl-1 @5.3.1    one month ago

I don't know if the Shaw was so much "pro oil", as much as being "reliably Anti-Soviet and Anti-Communist". 

It fits with our support in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, of leaders you wouldn't invite into your house, but it was just that they wouldn't side against the West.  The really good countries at the game were those that would scream "help me or the communists will take over", and then get involved we would.

We are still dealing with the poor but at the time necessary choices we made to oppose the Soviets and Communism since the end of WWII.  Call it the gift that keeps on giving! 

 
 
 
bbl-1
5.3.3  bbl-1  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @5.3.2    4 weeks ago

The Shah was both and only for the convenience of it.

In essence, in the 50's and 60's the US looked at the ME in the same manner it looked at Central America.  WW2 was over, America was the only nation not having to recover and rebuild from that war and was far ahead in nuclear weaponry.  US had carte blanche for everything and used it.  And to often to our own future detriment and the immediate detriment of the nations we self involved ourselves in.  Banana Republic means exactly what it implies.  Billions were made on bananas, fruit----while the native populations toiled in perpetual serfdom.

The Cold War was eloquently explained in Eisenhower's farewell address.  We did not listen.  We did not learn.

 
 
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