Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Turkish Press Leaks That 70 U.S. Nukes Are Deployed In Turkey
Today the Turkish Haberturk news agency leaked the disturbing news that the U.S. has 70 B61 nuclear bombs stored at America's Incirlik Air Base in Turkey.
The U.S. military leases Incirlik from the Turkish government.
According to the report, the nukes are more or less stranded there because the Islamist regime in Turkey refuses to allow planes to land at Incirlik that are capable of transporting them, in spite of repeated U.S. requests. Presumably, the Turks aren't allowing them to be transported by land or sea either.
The obvious conclusion is that the Turks see the nukes at Incirlik as a ready made Turkish nuclear arsenal should they decide to simply confiscate them in the future. The F-16's we sold Turkey are fully capable of transporting them to a different facility under their control, or to a target for that matter.
This story gives rise to several questions. If it's true that the Turks are refusing to allow planes capable of moving these nuclear bombs to land at Incirlik, that would most of the more useful types of U.S. combat planes, thus making the base useless for most of our purposes. It's a lot more probable that the Turks are simply refusing to allow the nukes to be moved, period, and the Obama Administration is going along with it.
Given that Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan is one of President Obama's favorite foreign leaders, that's fairly plausible.
One also has to wonder what we're doing about this.
One of the many consequences of our participating in the overthrow of Libyan leader Moamar Khaddaffi is an increased appetite in the Middle East for nuclear weapons. Many of the region's leaders noted that Khaddaffi gave up his nuclear weapons and started cooperating with the U.S. during the Bush Administration, but was sold out by an American president just the same. The lesson is not lost on them, and I doubt Tayyip Erdogan didn't catch on to the obvious and start wanting nukes pronto. especially with neighboring Iran pressing steadily towards nuclear capability.
I only hope President Obama had the foresight to order someone to quietly disarm the weapons an dmake them useless if we weren't wiling to simply go in, seize our property and take it elsewhere.
The idea of the Islamist government of Turkey being nuclear armed when they already have the largest conventional forces in NATO outside of our own is not a comforting thought.