19 July 2016

Well, this is Reassuring

Did you know that there is a bunker at Incirlik air base that contains dozens of nuclear weapons?

With the attempted coup and other recent developments in Turkey, this fills me with a sense of dread:
The U.S. and NATO face serious questions about the wisdom of stationing nuclear weapons in Turkey after commanders at Incirlik air base, which houses potentially as many as 50 B61 thermonuclear weapons, were implicated in the attempted overthrow of President Recep Erdogan.


Incirlik is located outside of Adana in southern Turkey, just 100 nm from the so-called Islamic State terrorist group’s headquarters in Aleppo, Syria. Since Turkey agreed to allow counter-Islamic State air operations from the base one year ago, it has become an epicenter for attacking ground targets within Syria.

Now, as Erdogan “purges” his military and police ranks of opposition elements, and as the commander of Incirlik is arrested and replaced, how does America reconcile the fact that a longstanding NATO ally lost control of its military with U.S.-owned nuclear weapons in the mix?

“I can’t remember another time when a base where the U.S. has nuclear weapons was directly involved in a coup, and also where the host government cut off the ability to operate in and out of the base,” says Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists. “The physical protection of the weapons is not the issue because they have their own security unit and backup power, but it’s a precarious situation that requires the U.S. to rethink why it has nuclear weapons in Turkey. The situation is so unique, and it’s evolving so rapidly that this is just not a place you want to have nuclear weapons deployed.”
As an FYI, the B-61 is a "dial bomb", and it's yield can vary from 0.3 to 360 kilotons.

And it's in a country that just had a violent attempted coup which is run by a paranoid megalomaniac who has been given carte blanch by the attempted coup.

Pleasant dreams.


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