“How Turkey Could Become the Next Pakistan” ISW. Nuclear Safety at Incirlik – New Yorker


"The failed coup attempt by elements of the Turkish Armed Forces on July 15 will enable President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to establish himself as an authoritarian ruler in Turkey. His priorities in the next few months will be to solidify the loyalty of the Turkish military establishment and complete the constitutional reform necessary to replace Turkey’s parliamentary democracy with an executive presidency, his longstanding goal. A post-coup Erdogan is much less likely to submit to American pressure without major returns. Erdogan immediately demanded the extradition of political rival Fethullah Gulen from the U.S., accusing Gulen of plotting the coup and condemning the U.S. for harboring him. Erdogan will likely deprioritize the fight against ISIS, undermining the counter-ISIS mission in Syria, as he focuses on consolidating power. He may even revoke past concessions to the U.S., including permission to use Turkey’s Incirlik airbase for counter-ISIS operations."  ISW


"With a few hours and the right tools and training, you could open one of NATO’s nuclear-weapons storage vaults, remove a weapon, and bypass the PAL inside it. Within seconds, you could place an explosive device on top of a storage vault, destroy the weapon, and release a lethal radioactive cloud. NATO’s hydrogen bombs are still guarded by the troops of their host countries. "  New Yorker


These are very interesting pieces of work exploring the prospects for developments in Erdogan's Turkey. 

IMO the Turkish military will soon  be reduced to a quivering mass of fearful people looking over their shoulders while waiting for dismissal or worse.  This will produce a security vacuum in the country that is bound to be filled by Islamists.

Jennifer Cafarella raises the possibility that Erdogan will turn to AQ seeking an ally against his internal and external adversaries.  If this occurs then the safety of American assets in Turkey will be severely compromised. 

I will say once again that the US nuclear weapons at Incirlik air base should be removed while we still have the ability to do so without having to fight to remove them.

Think of the potential for blackmail inherent in the possession of one or more of these weapons in the hands of our enemies.

They couldn't arm it?  Do you really want to bet on that?  pl  



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145 Responses to “How Turkey Could Become the Next Pakistan” ISW. Nuclear Safety at Incirlik – New Yorker

  1. BabelFish says:

    Long past time to exit them from NATO, which should be disbanded as well (should have been in the early 90s). And, slight tangent, gold plated serving tray for support for additional Ford class carriers at $13 billion a pop, not including the air group.

  2. Fred says:

    “Think of the potential for blackmail inherent in the possession of one or more of these weapons in the hands of our enemies.”
    What might the JCS be telling Obama? Have any of the senior officers taken the initiative to move any such weapons which may be stored in Turkey out? What is the National Security Advisor Susan Rice advising now that it is obvious Turkey is no longer stable nor likely to be a stable ally.

  3. TV says:

    Another Obama foreign policy “success.”

  4. Pat Lang,
    That those weapons weren’t quietly removed years ago signifies lack of imagination in addition to previously mentioned cold war inertia.

  5. SmoothieX12 says:

    Erdogan will likely deprioritize the fight against ISIS, undermining the counter-ISIS mission in Syria
    This is debatable, to put it mildly. US is not the only “fighter” with ISIS in Syria but this statement is made obviously on the basis that US IS the only fighter. Reality on the ground does not support such conclusions.

  6. Trey N says:

    Second the motions to have Turkey out of NATO and to have that worthless, toothless, dangerously destabilizing joke of a “military organization” disbanded.
    If, when and how Turkey leaves NATO, the shock waves from this magnitude 10 geopolitical earthquake are going to reverberate far and wide — especially in the SE Europe Balkans region of the old Ottoman Empire. I wonder which way the terrified Romanians, Bulgarians, etc will jump: will they abandon the sinking NATO ship ASAP and turn back to their traditional protector, Russia — or will they close their eyes and cling even tighter to the drowned carcass of NATO and sink into the abyss with it…?

  7. SmoothieX12 says:

    and turn back to their traditional protector, Russia
    Dostoevsky in his Writer’s Diary wrote quite explicitly about all those nations. I don’t think modern Russia really wants to “protect” Romania or Bulgaria or whoever.

  8. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    I trust (hope?) that a crash project has been started to develop a Plan E or F for in situ dismantling of the nukes and the rendering the parts and materials therein as difficult and costly to reuse as possible, and hopefully impossible.

  9. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Yes, but it’s not just Obama. It’s an indictment of US policy since the collapse of the USSR.

  10. Marc says:

    could this be catalyst for larger conversation on nuclear disarmament in the region? and I have patted my pockets: sorry but I won’t be able to contribute my share to the $1,000,000,000,000 upgrade of our arsenal. couple of kids in college.

  11. irf520 says:

    You think you’ll be given a choice? Either it’ll come out of your taxes, or they’ll just magic the money into existence which will eventually show up as higher prices for stuff you need.

  12. oofda says:

    Understand that there are about 90 aircraft-borne bombs in Incirlik- with no planes certified to carry them. Supposedly 50 are for the USAF and 40 for the Turkish AF. There are no nuclear-certified USAF squadrons stationed there; and purportedly the Turkish AF has no squadrons certified to carry them. If they were ever to be employed, USAF (or other NATO) units that are certified to deliver such munitions would have to be brought in. This all heightens the question of why these weapons are still there- if indeed they are.

  13. SmoothieX12 says:

    Debka is a fraud of first degree.

  14. turcopolier says:

    You appear to be quoting me. None of these weapons are in Turkish custody as yet. pl

  15. Babak Makkinejad says:

    May be Bulgaria?

  16. jld says:

    Yes but on second or third degree (or more?) it is what the Mossad want you to believe, still interesting if you can decipher the intention.

  17. Bill Herschel says:

    Okay, so Erdogan’s family has been brokering millions of dollars worth of stolen oil for ISIS, perhaps a little less now that Russia has bombed some of the tankers. Turkey, our NATO ally, hosts American jets attacking ISIS at Incirlik. But they are nervous hosts, having blamed the U.S. for a coup-attempt and having shut down Incirlik and apparently still not having turned on the electricity.
    Now let’s change perspective. I’m the head of ISIS. Am I saying to myself, “Self, angry loners with trucks are good, but hydrogen bombs are much, much better.”? I would say I am.
    We’ve got one Presidential candidate who clearly doesn’t want to be President (Donald Trump Jr. to Kasich, “The Vice President will be in charge of Foreign and Domestic Policy.” Kasich, “But what will President Trump do?” Donald, “Make America Great Again.”), and another who is probably fretting that she might not be able to bomb Russia from Incirlik.
    It reminds me of something a friend said. Leaks in your roof never get better. Who’s going to fix all this?

  18. jsn says:

    Does anyone have any idea what Kerry was doing at the kremlin with Putin last Thursday?

  19. Kunuri says:

    I was wondering if anyone within US administrations or intelligence community might have had the foresight to render the bombs inoperable and free of radioactive material long time ago, in secrecy. After all, it is nothing but a deterrent, and had been more than 40 years, before the time of nuclear submarines. A weapon does not always have to be locked and loaded, ready to fire, only the enemy must absolutely believe that it is. Especially if there are also many other weapons out of reach of the enemy with much more powerful loads.
    It seems, from the discussion here that the delivery of these systems is a complicated affair, and entirely within the whim of the host country which controls the air space in and around the base. And Turkey has been branded an unreliable ally since the first Iraq war. If their use is dependent on the whim of an unreliable ally, why even risk the actual bombs falling into the hands of the bad guys.? As long as the Russians and the rest of the world believe that they are there and can/maybe used.
    Recently, talk of a possible coup has been all around the think tank circles, I would imagine someone would have thought and speculated about the fate of the bombs in a possible bloodbath after a contested, or prolonged upheaval within the country.

  20. Thomas says:

    Waiting for the big news coming from the Sultan’s Security session, it would be the best move to announce a Nato Exit and tell the US to remove these weapons from sovereign Turkey since they are needed no more.
    If Recep’s long term goal is him and his brothers ruling the hood, the Islamic State and other non-Brotherhood jihadis will need to be removed, one way or another. Having others do the job would be perfect leaving him the tasks of sealing border and dealing with any of his supporters publically backing the jihadists. By putting his people in charge of the Army and Police he can now make this happen.
    His actions are of a man planning for war.

  21. Bob says:

    My (limited) experience in working with Turkish field grade army officers in the Arab World and at CENTCOM over the last 15 years makes me agree completely with your assessment the “Turkish military will soon be reduced to a quivering mass of fearful people looking over their shoulders while waiting for dismissal or worse. This will produce a security vacuum in the country that is bound to be filled by Islamists.”

  22. bth says:

    Would anyone familiar with the base care to speculate on why the electrical grid to the base keeps getting cut after 5 days? What is it preventing?

  23. jsn says:

    I’m not clever enough to make sense of all this, but Kerry was meeting with Putin on Thursday in the Kremlin:
    And Erdogan was tipped of by the Russians on Friday:
    What do I know, but it looks like Obama’s State Dept. may have plumbed a new depth of incompetence.

  24. oofda says:

    I probably am- I couldn’t recall where I read it, but gladly credit you. Why hasn’t the U.S. media or even the Congress brought this up?
    And in more ominous news, Erdogan is furthering his crack-down- moving to teachers and university deans. He also has targeted the civil service.

  25. Tunde says:

    I haven’t had the time to check the various threads but has anyone spoken of Turkey’s realignment from a Eurocentric approach to an Asiatic one wrt to the Chinese “One Belt One Road” project ?
    A prerequisite to cementing Turkey as a partner in the project I imagine would be a strategic and political “disengagement” from “Western” alliances. Erdogan has, probably correctly, assessed that Turkey will never pass the EU ascension hurdles. The EU as an economic block has an uncertain future, constrained by its immediate term austerity policies and deepening fiscal burdens of aging societies. The EU is set up to be played by Erdogan on the refugee/migrant issue. He has successfully extracted tribute from the EU in return for keeping at bay the pressing hoardes from Syria and elsewhere. Besides, “Muslim” and democratic seem increasingly disconnected in Erdogan’s mind, judging from his recent pronouncements. And the Euros are increasingly discomforted by his creeping authoritarianism.
    I see the coup as a pretext for a cleansing not only of the military (whom value their alliance membership and hence would act to remain within perceived European norms of democracy and market driven capitalism) but also of the political viewpoint that is Eurocentric. I have no evidence just a hunch. The subsequent arrests and firings seem premeditated considering their scope. Could it be that Erdogan has lumped his future with the East ? I note that Russia is, at least, in a spirit of cooperation with the Chinese project. Perhaps Erdogan fancies some of the projected dosh ?

  26. ISL says:

    Dear Colonel, very friendly and gentle thought, as Turkish events clearly are unfolding that have 1. enormous geostrategic significance, and 2. could develop in many different directions, each with implications that extend far outside Turkey, perhaps it might be a topic for a wargame simulation.

  27. EEngineer says:

    Anyone else here read JC Collins’ blog “Philosophy of Metrics”? He writes about geopolitics from the perspective of international finance and how the Bretton Woods/IMF/dollar era might be morphing into a more multi-polar/AIB/SDR world. In that light he seems to see recent events as Turkey realigning from US/NATO to the BRIC based Eurasian trading block. The following post is a 50,000 foot level view of the how he sees the transition playing out. I don’t agree with all of his ideas, but this seems to fit with a lot of the long term tends that I seen happening over decade plus time frames.
    FYI, I found the book “The Battle of Bretton Woods” by Benn Steil to be a fascinating account of how the post WW2 world came to be.

  28. different clue says:

    Perhaps “deprioritize the fight against ISIS” means that the Erdogist 2.0 government will resume helping ISIS every which way it can get away with, and will resume helping the alphabet jihadis even harder. Certainly al Qaeda would make strong support for the al Qaeda allied jihadis in Syria a condition for becoming muscle for Erdogan inside Turkey.
    Can Russia make a CREDible threat to Turkey to starve and degrade and attrit Turkey’s economy all the way down to the ground if Erdogan resumes support of jihad in Syria the way he wants to? Would Russia be able to make Turkey as poor as Mauretania in order to make Erdogist support for ISIS and other jihadis not-very-effective?

  29. different clue says:

    ex-PFC Chuck,
    Put them all inside a room made of Iran’s very best most super-duper Ultra High Performance Concrete, and figure out a way to fill the room with nerve gas while sealing it off air-tight from the outside world with more UHPC.
    So if anyone can chop their way into the room, they find themselves operating in a nerve gas atmosphere.

  30. Willy B says:

    That’s why I never read it, but MSM reports are that the base has been on a high security alert, that the US government ordered the families of US military and diplomatic personnel out of the country weeks ago and that commercial power (as of last night) still has not been restored to the base, meaning it’s running on internal power, still.

  31. Haralambos says:

    I trust this is not too long and self-indulgent for those here.
    A few thoughts on Turkey and recent events
    We have two close friends (an American woman and a Greek woman) who design robotic systems for use in the textile industry. Over the past five years they have set up an office in Istanbul and maintain one here in Thessaloniki as the Greek textile industry declined dramatically. They made it out of Istanbul on one of the last flights before the coup attempt. Their rented apartment there is in a Turkish neighborhood. Their lives are obviously topsy-turvy at the moment.
    We have taught Turkish students here whose parents (fathers) were moved here for business or for NATO duties plus a number of Greek students whose families have businesses that export to Turkey or are partnered with Turkish companies. We have also visited Istanbul a number of times over the past 35 years, often to visit French friends living there and doing research, as well as Ephesus about 12 years ago.
    Greece and Turkey have a very long and complex history and present, especially here in Thessaloniki. My Greek teacher lives in an apartment she owns in a building she and her sister own. It belonged to a Turkish butcher. His brother was a tobacco merchant in Smyrna (Turkish Izmir) who employed the Greek as an accountant. With the exchange of populations and “normalization” of relations, the families exchanged deeds.
    Relations between these two NATO members, Turkey and Greece, remain strained in many ways due to the Cyprus situation post-1974, air incursions over Greek air space in the Aegean islands, disputes over the continental shelves and mineral rights in the Aegean and more issues like the Turkish minorities’ rights in Greece, largely the result of various agreements but basically the situation of Turkish folks here, who have rights that mirror the Ottoman millet system allowing for local administrative rights, education and other rights. This is fascinating and ongoing. I edited a book several years ago: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Old-New-Islam-Greece-International/dp/9004221522/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1469038994&sr=1-3-fkmr0&keywords=Tsitselikis+The+Two+Islams This is not to toot my own horn.
    The current mayor of Thessaloniki, Yiannis Boutaris, has attempted to promote Turkish and Jewish tourism to the city due to the history of the city. Over the past several years, many Turks have come to visit to see Ataturk’s birthplace, now the Turkish Consulate here and a museum Quite a few come for weddings as well. I believe many Jews and Israelis also come, since before the Second World War, I believe it had the largest Jewish population in Europe: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Thessaloniki
    For those interested in the confluence of Ataturk and the Jews here, I suggest Andrew Mango’s biography of him, since many found him a crypto-Jew due to his birth here and his alcohol use.

  32. bth says:

    Any news out of the other base at Izmir? Power on?

  33. Balint Somkuti says:

    Could it be true that 14 turkish warships are missing?
    That is half of their fleet or something?

  34. bth says:

    Is there anyone on the blog that is familiar with the sequence of events regarding Turkish closure of US bases during the Cyprus crisis in the 70s. I’m wondering how that went down and if power outage and blockade was also the order of the day? Also were any US personnel attacked?

  35. Marc says:

    I sent in my check for the f-35, and I’ve been assured I won’t have to contribute to the nucular black hole. (praise has been heaped on the wwII generation for not exploiting the opportunities for profiteering – too much; the same can’t be said for contemporary leaches in the era of the gwot.)

  36. asx says:

    I had brought up similar concerns/similarities in another thread. Reliance on non-state actors always results in more terrorism for the region.
    Pakistan’s blackmail involved shutting down supply routes to Afghanistan, pilfering supplies and hosting the Quetta Shura which was responsible for American/NATO deaths. And yes, officially they have 100+ nuclear weapons. Turkey is adopting the same playbook. If Pakistan is the model, then we can soon expect some form of American aid for Erdogan as well!
    We are so eager to subject ourselves to these kinds of leverage from Islamists. Which is worse, a Russia under less constraints/threats and with more freedom to act, or us getting hobbled by making these choices/concessions to confront and box in Russia?
    We can do a lot better if ex-Eastern/Central Europeans with their historical grudges against the bear are not in charge of our foreign policy. They can see no evil in Islamists as they cling to their cold war world.

  37. Marc says:

    He can take some credit for avoiding an escalation of hostilities into Iran and Syria. That counts for something and probably took a deft hand given all of the rat f*ckers scheming. Not that he’s not pathetic, I say, having cast my first and last ‘history-making’ vote for president. (sorry Hillary.)

  38. turcopolier says:

    Is it not obvious that this a not so subtle way of exerting pressure on the US. That kind of “signaling” is traditional in the ME. pl

  39. turcopolier says:

    I thought you lived in Vegas for thirty years. That is far too underhanded and clever for us (not me). the great majority if Americans (including in the government) would have thought that disloyal to an ally. pl

  40. Keith Harbaugh says:

    FWIW, I totally agree that those hydrogen bombs do not belong in such an insecure location.
    Also, I agree with oofda:
    why is no one in Congress addressing this?
    Is John McCain too busy plotting new ways to involve the U.S. in foreign entanglements to concern himself with this real national security issue?

  41. The Beaver says:

    No it was his brother in law who tipped him off according to his interview on AJ.
    Now he may be playing us all …

  42. Kunuri says:

    Merhaba Komsu, maybe we can meet over Raki and meze in a meyhane in Istanbul next time you are around. If OK with you, we can find a way to connect. Best regards.

  43. turcopolier says:

    No. It was a four star general who he had appointed after earlier purges of the Turkish Army. pl

  44. SmoothieX12 says:

    Can Russia make a CREDible threat to Turkey to starve and degrade and attrit Turkey’s economy all the way down to the ground if Erdogan resumes support of jihad in Syria the way he wants to?
    Russia already did this by shutting down tourism, import of fruits and vegetables from Turkey and, could still shut down Turkish construction firms who operate in Russia–that will be a devastating blow. What was done did work, hence pre-coup Erdogan’s rapprochement with Russia. Currently I am waiting on confirmation (or otherwise) of one “small” fact (I don’t trust FARS) and if there was any involvement of Russian special services in warning Erdogan about impending coup–this changes whole picture not only in the region but globally. For now I don’t have, satisfactory for me personally, credible information on that. Having said that, one other angle is HOW Turkey may benefit by cooperating with Russia and those benefits are strategic. I am still waiting for all available details to surface.

  45. Harry says:

    There is a phrase the Russians use ” A chicken is not a bird, and Bulgaria is not abroad”. I think it clarifies their view of the little brother.
    However Thrace was always a funny old place and I have a few friends there. They are watching events in the old empire closely.

  46. b says:

    From the post:
    ” NATO’s hydrogen bombs are still guarded by the troops of their host countries.”
    1. These are not NATO but U.S. weapons.
    2. There are two (at least) guarding units involved. The outer one is a host country unit. Years ago these were rotating regular units from front-line battalions trained especially for a week or two of guard duty. (This has likely changed) I had the dubious fun of doing such duty twice as platoon leader. We trained a lot for it and there was some serious certification process.
    There were sophisticated defense position around the storage area and quite some firepower. But we were only the cannon fodder in the outer positions. The inner position, to which we were (officially) not allowed, was held by U.S. troops well trained for that job. They had enough firepower to chomp us up within minutes should we have tried to go against them. It would have taken a huge effort (and lots of casualties) to overrun them.
    In the end a big unit would be able to take the bunkers but with sealed storage and disabled, inert weapons. Why bother?

  47. The Beaver says:

    Hence my comment that he is playing us – mostly his audience- all.

  48. turcopolier says:

    As you should know I have stated repeatedly that these are US weapons, not NATO weapons. You are quoting one of the cited articles. There are no US ground combat troops at Incirlik guarding these weapons. you are assuming that the weapons would be rendered harmless before captured. That is a very big assumption. pl

  49. Marc says:

    Can someone recommend the best history on modern turkey available in English?

  50. Kunuri says:

    Albayim, I never thought of it this way, but certainly members of the 4th Division who were not allowed to enter Iraq through Turkey thought that Turks were being disloyal to the alliance.This opinion has been conveyed to me in many instances by the various friends who served in the war. The Neocons thought so, at the time I thought so also, in fact was shocked.
    Yes, I am a Las Vegan, I was a redneck until I got a decent education in a state college, I met and know many clever and underhanded people. I don’t think that a ruse de guerre which would prevent a nuclear attack from Turkish soil, and render the nukes in Turkey harmless in case of unforeseen instability will count as disloyal, especially if completely secret.
    Speaking about underhanded and clever, CIA involvement in the 1980 coup, and the connections of the junta following is well documented, albeit under cold war conditions. One general, to my personal knowledge, had through training in interrogation techniques in the US and was tasked with ferreting out the communists who were interned after the coup. In the end, I am not even sure most Turks would have approved to host nuclear weapons on their land, if asked.
    If I am being naïve, I will take it, but I am not too naïve to believe that double crossing and disloyalty does not exist in the jungle of international relations, alliances and secret operations where national interests trump all.

  51. bth says:

    Understood. Just wondered what the backup fuel supply looked like. Seven days? 30?
    Also I think we have people at Izmir AB and Mugla. I’m not finding anything on twitter with regard to those locations and American facilities. Curiously not finding anything at all?

  52. turcopolier says:

    I would lay off the alcohol in public. you have made the classic mistake of thinking that US government people are as smart and underhanded as the ones you knw in Nevada. Actually, “rednecks” are often the cleverest of all. It is a long time since 1980. The CIA professional who manipulated Turkish politics are long gone. Now the US government is run by identity politicians and jumped up graduate students. pl

  53. The Beaver says:

    Something is weird; RTE was giving an exclusiveinyerview to AJ. Then he was called away and he never resumed his interview. In the meantime Hurriyet published the following in the link I responded to Thomas:
    [ quote]“I went to Marmaris for a vacation. The news came to me about this coup attempt. My brother-in-law informed me first,” Erdoğan told Al Jazeera on July 20.
    “I didn’t take it seriously. I didn’t want to believe it first. But then we took the necessary steps after confirming this from intelligence and several other channels. I was with the Energy Minister at the time. We took the necessary steps to leave the hotel. Then we went to Istanbul from Dalaman,” he also said.
    Saying that he believed foreign countries might have been involved in the failed coup attempt, Erdoğan declined to name any.[EOQ]
    now Hurriyet has changed the story

  54. FB Ali says:

    You are looking in the right direction. (I’m rather surprised at the attention being paid to the nuclear weapons at Incirlik – it’s certainly a sensational topic, but an unlikely scenario).
    The real significance of the aftermath of the Turkish coup is how it affects Turkey’s foreign policy. I have suggested here earlier that it probably presages a shift away from the West towards Russia and Iran (in his reply to Rouhani’s congratulations, Erdogan said, “We are determined to resolve regional issues by joining hands with Iran and Russia, and with our efforts to return peace and stability to the region.”).
    The answer to your question lies in Erdogan’s ‘planning horizon’. If it is 10-15 years, then, yes, his likely moves will be to align Turkey with the coming One Belt, One Road megaproject. In that case his move towards Russia would be an interim step in that direction.
    If his horizon is about 5 years, then it’s just a move to align with Russia and Iran, based on regional dynamics.
    What commentators and analysts in the West seem to ignore is the importance of Turkey’s past in Erdogan’s thinking, including its relationship with the Arabs, and therefore his attitude to the recent Saudi-led Arab moves in the region. That is why I suspect that Jennifer Cafarella’s thesis (in the ISW article) that Erdogan may well team up with AQ is quite unlikely. AQ is an Arab and Saudi-backed organization.

  55. Kooshy says:

    FYI if you haven’t seen
    “(CNN)More than 9,000 military officers are in detention already and the number keeps climbing.
    The question is, when does this NATO ally hollow out its armed forces to the point of failure?”

  56. Thomas says:

    The Beaver,
    Thanks. It is solid move for Recep, it buys him time to get his ducks in a row.

  57. turcopolier says:

    Kooshy et al
    IMO Erdogan will be using an AK Party (i.e. Islamic) militia to police the system soon. US airmen at Incerlik are running out of supplies, generator fuel will be gone soon. What does Obozo intend to do about it? pl

  58. Thomas says:

    If he was wise he would listen to the professionals counsel and follow their advice to the letter.

  59. crf says:

    I was reading about the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty on Wikipedia. There is an argument that allowing countries (like Turkey) to host nuclear weapons for others (in Turkey’s case, the United States, under a NATO agreement) is a violation of the NPT.
    Wiki notes that agreements the US made with certain allies about Nuclear Sharing remained a secret when the NPT was negotiated. Deterioration of the situation in Turkey may invite other nuclear actors, such as India, Russia or China, to allow other non-nuclear states to host their nuclear weapons, even in current weapons-free zones, and runs the risk of undermining other nuclear weapons treaties that had been negotiated when the extent of NATO’s weapons sharing was secret (like the treaty of Tlatelolco). Imagine Venezuela with nuclear weapons under, say, Chinese control.

  60. FB Ali says:

    For a coherent account of the coup (and how it went wrong), see:
    It sounds plausible, and I guess is largely correct.

  61. VietnamVet says:

    This is the first shock in the seismic breakup of NATO. The Turkish counter coup is more destabilizing than the Iranian Revolution. An Islamist is consolidating power, rounding up over 50,000 secular Turks. The American President vocally supports Turkish democracy while pretending that 90 nuclear weapons and thousands of military personnel are not hostages. The White House will likely try to keep the Incirlik Air Base a quiet standoff while the West is extorted for billions more in the hope of making it through the November elections without the people’s repudiation of the Democratic Party’s incompetence. A civil war between secular urban Turks and rural Islamists seems inevitable. The West will covertly attack the Erdogan Regime with hybrid warfare to spread chaos. The Kurds will try to secede. Turkey will need Russian protection like Syria or become another failed state. Vladimir Putin will require the sealing of the Turkish border and the end of the support for the Sunni Caliphate. Russia may try to arrange the safe removal of nuclear weapons and NATO troops from Turkey in exchange for the end of sanctions. If a Grand Alliance is formed that brings peace to the Middle East and Europe, Orthodox Europe will ally with Russia, China, Turkey and Iran. Perhaps, Germany too to keep its economy going.
    Mankind will be lucky to avoid a nuclear war. Will America remain united after the humiliating loss of power and wealth?

  62. oofda says:

    Just announced that Erdogan has declared a “state of emergency” for three months. He did so under Article 120 of the Turkish constitution allows a state of emergency to be imposed “at a time of serious deterioration of public order because of acts of violence.”

  63. different clue says:

    Bill Herschel,
    Wait, WHAT!? Did Donald Trump Jr. REALLY say that to Kasich? Or is that a joke? If you are claiming he really said that, do you have an irrefutable link to him really having said that?

  64. different clue says:

    FB Ali,
    If the Erdogist government takes Turkey this way over the next 10-15 years, that would make Turkey perhaps more of an adversarial competitor, but less of a threat than it could be if it went in an A Q direction.
    If Turkey does what you predict, that would not be the worst thing that could happen.

  65. different clue says:

    Thessaloniki had largest Jewish population in Europe before the War? I believe the Jewish population of Poland up to the moment before the War was 3 million people. Was the Jewish population of Thessaloniki even bigger than that?

  66. Fred says:

    FB Ali,
    “What commentators and analysts in the West seem to ignore is the importance of Turkey’s past in Erdogan’s thinking, …”
    I am certain you are correct. To the new poli-sci trained advisors the past is, well, past.

  67. Degringolade says:

    For the last six moths of my less-than-illustious military career, I spent time in a leg unit in the good old FRG. The BC couldn’t quite get a handle on what to do with the likes of me….way overqualified E-4 with a Bachelors, a GT score of 160, and a crypto clearance. I was very much an odd duck.
    Anyhoo….When they found out that I could both type and could nest recursive clauses, I spent a shitload of time editing and rewriting op-plans (infantry officers have a uniquely poor grasp of the English language).
    Reforger, NATO dep, etc, etc. I went through them and edited the shit out of them.
    One thing that I distinctively remember is the “Denial Operations” aspect of these pieces of screed.
    I would posit, that if push came to shove, and Erdo got too frisky, that the 40-80 dial-a-nukes at Incirlik can be rendered moot in a single strike. They won’t do much good if where they used to be is at the bottom of a radioactive crater.
    I would also posit that even Erdo knows this. What he is trying to discover is: Do anyone have a pair in Washington?
    Maybe BHO doesn’t, but I would also posit that there are a bunch of AF O-8 through O-10 who damn sure won’t let Erdo have their toys.
    For that matter, if it comes to that, Vlad P would probably look the other way.

  68. Babak Makkinejad says:

    US & EU can wage the same economic warfare they waged against Iran and Turkey will go belly up in a year or less.
    Egypt, 4 weeks.
    Saudi Arabia, one week.

  69. Babak Makkinejad says:

    He will rebuild the Turkish Army in his own image. An he will stay in NATO and get them armed by US-EU weapons on the cheap.
    Erdogan and AKP will not leave NATO and NATO will not kick Turkey out.

  70. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Look how many people on this forum had problems with the Diocletian Line and the Makkinejad Theses.

  71. turcopolier says:

    The state of emergency will be renewed over and over until he has consolidated absolute power behind his Islamist street mobs. IMO what he has in mind at present is to humiliate the US as he easily humiliated the EU. He is operating on the theory that the US is a feeble, weak minded “paper tiger.” Others (Qaddhafi, Saddam and some of his predecessors) operated on the same theory. He wishes to make the Sunni world community believe that he has mastered the US by his superior force of intellect, character and adherence to what is essentially Muslim Brotherhood ideology. In re the air base at Incerlik, the power is still off, fuel supplies are dwindling as are all other kinds of supplies. the US part of the larger Turkish base is essentially besieged. He intends to force the US to extradite Gulen and in that way demonstrate his superiority. Depending on the outcome of that ploy he will decide how much father he can go at present with regard to the US. pl

  72. turcopolier says:

    fb ali
    You don’t want to hear it but I will tell you again that the plotters were betrayed to Erdogan by a senior officer who pretended to lead them. pl

  73. Kunuri says:

    Understood and noted, will weigh in your remarks in my future comments and reading of information coming in.

  74. Walrus says:

    The software to detonate the bombs resides in the weapons delivery computer in an aircraft. I don’t know but I would expect that all that resides in a safe weapon is a boot loader that downloads the operating system from the aircraft. The weapons, I think I’ve read, can be safed by deleting the boot loader in the bombs memory. after that I would expect it will take disassembly at a U.S. Facility to reload the software. My WAG.
    My concern is that while I don’t expect that the Turks can reverse engineer the firing system, I’ll bet the Israelis can, even if they haven’t already stolen the source code from us.

  75. Sam Peralta says:

    Col. Lang
    If Obama folds to this provocation then he needs to be impeached. It seems we should inform the Sultan that he is out of NATO and that we are removing all our assets from Turkey. If he thwarts our exit in anyway then we should use overwhelming military force and send him on his way to enjoy the virgins.

  76. turcopolier says:

    OK. The possession of these weapons by the Turks would not bother you at al. pl

  77. Sam Peralta says:

    Col. Lang
    This post on ZeroHedge discusses the faux elements of the coup.

  78. FB Ali says:

    I have no ‘horse in this race’. What you’ve heard may well be true.
    I am just mentioning what other seemingly knowledgeable reports say. The Al Monitor report says the Turkish intelligence agency MIT first learned of suspicious activity through electronic intercepts.
    Another report says that the Russians, through the same means, were the first to discover the coup preparations, and warned the MIT.
    As the saying goes, “….and Allah knoweth best”!

  79. FB Ali says:

    The Israelis already have some 200 nukes of their own. (And they most probably have the source code, too).
    What should give cause for worry is if they were to be turned over to the Russians.
    However, I doubt if Erdogan will push this stand-off to the point of actually seizing the weapons. That would invite a drastic US response; why should he risk that for no appreciable gain?

  80. Fred says:

    You left out the weapons grade uranium/plutonium.

  81. Chris Chuba says:

    Having old fashioned gravity nuclear bombs in Turkey in this day and age seems pointless, I don’t see any advantage to it considering the potential trouble it causes. Under the best of circumstances, it is an unneeded operational expense.
    Great, we have 50-90 bombs in Turkey that have to be dropped from planes, what does this get us? The F15 and F35 has a combat radius of 500 miles so most of Russia is out of range and I don’t think we can count on in flight refueling over their air space. Well, then we have Iran. Okay, let’s suppose we wanted to do the unthinkable. We have aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, ICBM’s, and the B2, why can’t we stick to that arsenal? It’s not like Iran can take out our triad with a first strike. Get those bombs out of Turkey now.
    On another subject, some have already brought up the Fars news claim that Russia tipped off Erdogan about the coup attempt http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950430001452
    I know that the Col considers this junk and it probably is but I find it interesting that both Iran and Russia took such a strong and early anti-coup / pro-govt posture. They must think that they can reconcile with Erdogan, or at least build a Detente with him in Syria. Either that or they have a near suicidal devotion to civics. Russia and Iran’s reaction to the coup attempt really surprised me.

  82. kooshy says:

    Colonel Lang I completely agree with you, that for safety of everyone including Turks, those US nukes in Turkey must be removed ASAP, specially with the authoritarian regime Erdo is setting up in Turkey. But what you recommend is also true and beneficial to and for every walking citizen of Turkey. That is, because of those nukes and in case of a nuclear exchange, they the Turks are in first line of fire to be nuked and for who and what and why, if I was a Turk, I would have asked myself what is in it for me?

  83. bth says:

    Chinese hacking of nuke designs a couple of years ago leads me to conclude we must maintain physical possession.

  84. EEngineer says:

    I see many factors motivating Erdogen, but there’s so much BS flying around that I can’t ascertain whether he’s actively riding the horse or just adept at staying on the bucking bronco and not getting trampled under it.
    I wonder if he truly thinks the US aided or encouraged the coup attempt (regardless of whether it did or not). I could see a wily politician playing that card in public just because it was to his advantage, but knowing his motivation is the key to predicting his likely future course of action. If he thinks he’s up against the wall he might act like a cornered rat, even if he saw the coup coming for miles.

  85. bth says:

    I wonder if the carriers are returning to the Med? And if so how soon?

  86. bth says:

    I don’t think so. We need to be contemplating what a NATO without Turkey will look like. The American public will go ape shit if those airmen or those nukes are actually harmed or taken.

  87. bth says:

    I would love someone to ask him why he offered Incirlik to Russian access on the 4th. We need to be taking a look at the time line here. Perhaps an indication of what was happening related to his offer to the Russians two weeks before the coup attempt.

  88. asx says:

    If he is that delusional, he is digging his own grave.
    Hope and change does not work anywhere. 70 years of communism did nothing to Orthodox Christianity in Russia. And did not alter the basic nature of Russian society. 100 years of Kemalism has zero change on Turkey as well. They were and will be a country of throat slitters and head choppers.
    We should not yield to blackmail and submit. Secure our men/weapons and GTFO. He can go be Putin’s BFF, and that end up a better way to diminish Russia.

  89. Walrus says:

    Col. Lang,
    The possession of those bombs by the Turks would worry me greatly, but not as an immediate thermonuclear threat. I would be concerned about ISIL grinding up Plutonium for a dirty bomb, and longer term, the Turks reverse engineering the firing circuits possibly with help from Israel, Pakistan or some other misguided soul.
    I also wonder if the weapons would be more vulnerable to interference if we tried to move them in a hurry right now, or if we left them where they are in their vaults until the situation was perhaps more stable and we have time for a set piece operation.
    What are Erdogans intentions going to be? Will he care if they are removed? Does he really think he can hold the bombs and servicemen hostage with impunity? Does he think he can wheather a sanctions regime? His F-16s won’t be serviceable for long without spares.

  90. Old Microbiologist says:

    You may find this unbelievable, but I was stationed in Germany in the early 70’s and as an E-5 I pulled a lot of duty when our company was in garrison. One of those duties was Sergeant of the Guard for a nearby nuclear weapons storage facility. We had 4 junior enlisted roving guards and me. The soldiers carried M-16’s but no bullets. I was issued a 45 and a single bullet to be fired only as a warning. This was during the Bader-Meinhoff days and also back when drug abuse in the military was somewhere around 70%. I know things have changed but I doubt they changed much. I recall my second wife was the finance disbursing officer for the 21st TACOM back in the late 90’s and she picked up the K-town cash from the American Express (around $25 million a month in $20 bills using her POV again a (now a 9 mm) pistol and a single bullet with no escort. My point is security in the US military has always been lax. Assuming the weapons are highly secured is a bad assumption. This is after all the same military that sent nuclear weapons by FEDEX a few years ago.

  91. crf says:

    Russia and Iran may have quickly analyzed the situation and realized that the coup likely wouldn’t work. But would have accepted it if it had worked. (The US probably thought the same about Ukraine: they expected the coup to fail (which it easily could have), but it ended up working: what an unexpected bonus!)

  92. Bill Herschel says:

    “But according to the Kasich adviser (who spoke only under the condition that he not be named), Donald Jr. wanted to make him an offer nonetheless: Did he have any interest in being the most powerful vice president in history?
    When Kasich’s adviser asked how this would be the case, Donald Jr. explained that his father’s vice president would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.
    Then what, the adviser asked, would Trump be in charge of?
    “Making America great again” was the casual reply.”
    Irrefutable? Who knows. But, it sounds right. Trump is a complete fraud who just wants to fly around the country tweeting in a 747 at taxpayer expense. He has no intention whatsoever of actually running the country. That would be work.
    I have written some of the most caustic stuff in these comments against Hillary Clinton and I completely sympathize with anyone who sits this one out, but I am going to vote for Hillary with both hands, because I dread a chaotic Trump Presidency that spirals out of control into WWIII.
    Let’s take NATO. Putin trumped, you should excuse the expression, the CIA in Ukraine (recall Brenner made an emergency visit to Kiev after Putin annexed Crimea). That really pissed off every neocon under every rock in the U.S. So NATO had to be “strengthened” if for no other reason than to show it still existed. But let’s get real, appearance is not reality. Yes, Putin is close to berserk over the fact that we have nuclear missiles in Europe on his borders with 1000km range able to hit most of his military in minutes. And he should be. But the “first strike” contingent would not prevail, I hope, under Clinton. Under Trump? Who the f*ck knows? The point is Trump will be tweeting in Air Force One and some speech writer in Trump Tower will be fingering the button.
    This situation is completely, absolutely, undoubtedly, unequivocally, and unbelievably the fault of the Republican Party. Who knew that a buffoon could out-racist, out-insult, and out-perform the best of the best? Anyone who didn’t want Hillary Clinton as President should have lobbied the Republican Party to field candidates who weren’t Adelson wannabe lapdogs running on empty.

  93. Bill Herschel says:

    I still would rather have Clinton facing off against this guy than Trump. Trump is chaos, and chaos won’t work here. Clinton is a Council of Foreign Relations robot. A bad choice, but I’ll put the COFR in my prayers.

  94. turcopolier says:

    Bill Herschel
    IMO there is a greater danger from Clinton. He is a showman and dealmaker but inherently cautious about exposure to risk. Clinton is IMO a pathological personality who acted as Sec State as the world’s chief tourist. She does not know much of anything about how the world really works and will imagine that her post grad school staff’s fantasies can be achieved if you push the Russians and the Chinese hard enough. As for Trump’s expressed intention as to how he would run the Executive Branch (the president is not the CEO of the country). There is a certain business model for how to run a large entrepreneurial company centered on an owner figure at the top. In that model, the boss swans around pressing the flesh and wining and dining prospective business partners and allies while an Executive Vice President actually runs the company day to day, referring extraordinary decisions to the boss wherever he is. That appears to be his intention. that is worrisome as Pence is a hard right ideologue who is not particularly bright and who does not seem to have an open mind. pl

  95. turcopolier says:

    “but not as an immediate thermonuclear threat” Please tell me where I said anything about an immediate thermonuclear threat. As I stated yesterday Tayyip is engaged in a massive power play to consolidate his power in Turkey and then to use the mirage of his domination of the infidel West as a means to achieve real leadership in the Sunni World. Beyond that, if he somehow came to possess the B-61s the possibility of reverse engineering the triggers is quite real. The possession of detonation capable weapons would give him immense weight in the world contest for power. As for “spares” for the F-16s I used to be in the business of buying military equipment for reverse engineering on the white, grey and black arms markets. So many countries have F-16s that money changing hands will bring you the spares you need any day, any day. I think we should send several cargo aircraft to Incirlik and remove the weapons. We will then see if he will try to stop us. That should clarify the situation as to his real positions. pl

  96. turcopolier says:

    You must have been part of that team of killer grunts that b was talking about. pl

  97. bth says:

    Discussion about Qayara air base in Iraq becoming permanent US position. http://rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/200720161

  98. Fred says:

    “back when drug abuse in the military was somewhere around 70%. …”
    I find that number hard to believe but am happy to assume you and your 2nd wife were in the 30%.

  99. turcopolier says:

    I am pleased to tell you that, I too, was in the 30%. pl

  100. The Beaver says:

    @ bth
    Al-Sadr does not like that idea – read something about that 2 days ago. Will post it should I see it again

  101. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    “Assuming the weapons are highly secured is a bad assumption.” Point taken. Based on a few posts from a separate thread, I had assumed that such dangerous stuff would be treated less cavalierly. BTW I do not think any groups in Adana will be tasked by the tayyip regime to move against the B-61s in Incirlik. Currently there is a huge “gulenist” hunt underway. They are even activating some old seculars to aid in this hunt.
    Col. Lang,
    You were right. Seems like REMFs and clowns are running the world. Pity.
    If you do not know what you are doing-and very people in the world will know how-trying to dismantle a plutonium device would be VERY detrimental to your health and of those around you. This is not benign stuff. Re-processing said plutonium into a dirty bomb is not as easy as some here have suggested.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  102. bth says:

    We are letting critical time slip by and we need to take the initiative away from Erdogan with regard to the Incirlik hostage situation. I simply do not understand what Obama is doing. There are some on the thread that think Russia will benefit, tipped Erdogan off and got a proposal early this month to use Incirlik. But even if all true, I can’t believe Putin would want an unstable person like Erdogan with B61s in his possession.

  103. Bill Herschel says:

    Pence would never have made it past the first round of debates in the Republican Primaries. Trump would not even have wasted ammunition on him. Now he’s going to be Executive Vice President, “a hard right ideologue who is not particularly bright and who does not seem to have an open mind”.
    The Republican ticket isn’t “Good Cop, Bad Cop”. It’s “Playboy Cop, American Erdogan”. I can’t vote for that, and I don’t want it to win. One person, one vote.

  104. Joe100 says:

    In 2005 when he was NATO supreme commander, Jim Jones attempted to pull our nuclear weapons out of NATO countries. His attempt was apparently met with extreme resistance from NATO countries who argued that the nuclear weapons are “an essential political and military link” between NATO members and help maintain alliance cohesion…

  105. The Beaver says:

    @ bth
    His PM denied that that offer was made to the Russians. One wonders where the truth lies

  106. The Beaver says:

    Anyone seen this:
    Yet communication between the U.S. and Turkish military has been limited since the Turkish military attempted to take over the democratically elected government on Friday. Pentagon officials say Carter and his Turkish counterpart have not spoken. Instead, lower-level communications between the two militaries have focused on logistical concerns.

  107. Bill Herschel says:

    “As hundreds of delegates chanted “Vote for Trump!” and “Say it!” Mr. Cruz tried to dismiss the outburst as “enthusiasm of the New York delegation” — only to have Mr. Trump himself suddenly appear in the back of the convention hall. Virtually every head in the room seemed to turn from Mr. Cruz to Mr. Trump, who was stone-faced and clearly angry as he egged on delegates by pumping his fist.”
    Can’t vote for him. Impulsive moron only interested in himself with a soft understanding of the First Amendment at his own Convention. It’s a really, really bad situation. Will Clinton try to prove herself right about Ukraine and Libya (and Syria and Iraq)? She will. It’s a really, really bad situation.

  108. SmoothieX12 says:

    If Debka is a Mossad front (which I think it is related in some ways to Israeli special services) then they do a really shi..y job since they often publish a complete absurd which is easily debunked even by people who are mildly informed, let alone by people who are in the know.

  109. SmoothieX12 says:

    Could it be that Erdogan has lumped his future with the East ? I note that Russia is, at least, in a spirit of cooperation with the Chinese project. Perhaps Erdogan fancies some of the projected dosh ?
    You asked the most important question-the pivot on which the whole situation hinges as of now. The starting point is this: ask the question (or create a table of pros and cons) which orientation benefits Turkey in general and Erdogan personally more? Consider, while thinking about it, that Russia’s pivot gives Turkey the gas pipe to Europe, it gives a completion of Akkuyu nuclear power plant and, with it, a massive nuclearization of Turkey’s energy sector. It also gives Turkey the access to Russia’s and Chinese capital and, what is most important, nobody will be pressing Turkey for “human rights” or Erdogan being a de facto dictator–nothing personal, just business.

  110. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think the Chief-of-Staff of the White House is that Executive VP that you are talking about and not the VP.

  111. Babak Makkinejad says:

    None of that unless NATO gives up the idea of containment of the Russian Federation in her Near Abroad.
    I agree with FB Ali that the nuclear weapons in Incirlik, if any by this time, are a very minor side show.

  112. turcopolier says:

    That is not the case. The WH CofS is the doorkeeper who controls access to the president and keeps riff-raff out. Lincoln is no longer president. Thank God! There has never been anything like the setup described with an Executive Vice President given such power. Not even Cheney had anything like that much delegated power. pl

  113. turcopolier says:

    You do not understand the significance of these weapons in the hands of malevolent people. pl

  114. LeaNder says:

    “Clearly, the US policies on Syria are floundering. The Syrian forces have laid siege to Aleppo and the US-backed rebels are trapped inside the city, while Turkey may have begun disengaging from reaching aid to them. Washington has no option but to engage Moscow to work out some sort of face-saving compromise formula.”
    Interesting, jsn. You already posted that link somewhere else. No?
    I wonder on what precise evidence basis, he/we can get a grasp of the diverse alphabet Islamists/unicorns in Aleppo supported by both Turkey and the US. Do they always match? There seems to be dissent at least concerning the Kurds.
    I once tried to get a grip of the diverse rebels at the Aleppo headquarters, looked like a rather diverse group with diverse coalitions. Stable coalitions? …
    But interesting article.

  115. LeaNder says:

    “And Turkey has been branded an unreliable ally since the first Iraq war.”
    Is that so? Since when? Since the gulf war or Operation Desert Shield? Wasn’t Turkey a member of the coalition at that point in time?
    What should I recall. Will you enlighten me?

  116. rakesh wahi says:

    turkey is not pakistan
    Pakistan has no history, after Bangla Desh split off the original rationale as a home to south asia’s muslims dispaapeared. the country from its inception has based itself on hate for India. It is wrapped into an Arabian identitiy – the centuries old Arabian invaders are desscribed as its historical heroes. Turkey has its history and non Arabian muslim identity, more Turks are religious than not but do not look to Arabia for guidance, Turkey has a distinct culture , cuisine etc etc. There is no such thing as distinct Pakistani culture or cuisine. Turkey’ s government may start reflecting a more religious and less secular outlook as dictated by its people but becoming Pakistan no not in my view. Of course time will tell

  117. bth says:

    I went back and read the interviews and my conclusion is that he jumped the gun by 10 days and then had to retract. I think the offer is part of a broader move by Turkey to break from EU and eventually from NATO.

  118. bth says:

    Yes Sadr threatened US troops on Monday based on rumor he had of permanent air base opening.

  119. turcopolier says:

    in the 2003 invasion of Iraq a key part of the plan was for the US 4th Mechanized Infantry Division (an armored force of about 20,000 men and a lot of armor and artillery) to enter Iraq from eastern Turkey. This had been agreed to by Turkey in contingency plans for years. The division landed at Iskenderun in Hatay Province and moved by rail and road several hundred miles to its jump-off positions just north of the border. At that point Erdogan decided that he would not let the US invade a Muslim (mainly) country and withdrew his agreement. This necessitated taking the division back to Iskenderun, loading it on ships and going through the Suez canal to land them at Basra. pl

  120. SmoothieX12 says:

    Bulgarian “elites” are staunchly Russophobic and so is, to a large extent, younger generation. NATO and EU indoctrination worked well, forget about the fact that current Bulgaria is a definition of a sh.thole. But then again, Bulgaria fought against Russia/USSR in both world wars. So much for “brothers”. Again, Dostoevsky gives all those nations a wonderful definition.

  121. Sam Peralta says:

    Col. Lang
    Why did the US continue any kind of relationship with Erdogan after that kind of stabbing in the back? The Pentagon should have been royally pissed!

  122. Ulenspiegel says:

    “Consider, while thinking about it, that Russia’s pivot gives Turkey the gas pipe to Europe,….”
    Russia has already excess pipeline capacity to Europe, why invest into a project that may simply become a stranded asset (Europe does not need it). BTW: Is it really in interest of Russia to give Turkey leverage against Russia by shutting down North Stream for your project? Replace Ukraine with Turkey? “Smart” move.
    “it gives a completion of Akkuyu nuclear power plant and, with it, a massive nuclearization of Turkey’s energy sector.”
    Even Russian NPPS (that BTW are only annouced but not built) would be more expensive than alternatives. Turkey has not the cash for such a nonsense. As long as NPPs so not deliver cheap electricity they are dead as dead can be.
    “It also gives Turkey the access to Russia’s and Chinese capital”
    Russian capital. Dream on. Russia has difficulties to get money for her own industry. You really assume they could finance the needs of a state with 80 million citizens?
    China could indeed be an alternative. Will be interesting to watch.

  123. Haralambos says:

    ‘The invitation of the Sephardic Jew’s expelled from Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella, was an Ottoman demographic strategy aiming to prevent the Greek population from dominating the city, as it had in previous years.[6] Sephardic Jews, Muslims and Greek Orthodox remained the principal groups in the city for the next 400 years.[6] The city came to become the largest Jewish city in the world and remained as such for at least 200 years, often called “Mother of Israel”. Of its 130,000 inhabitants at the start of the 20th century, around 60,000 were Sephardic Jews.[7] Some Romaniote Jews were also present.[8]’

  124. James Loughton says:

    I agree that we should remove the weapons. As for their presence in NATO countries, I have always assumed that part of the reason the US insisted on storage in NATO countries was precisely the risk you describe as endangering the host nations. In order to be protected under the US “nuclear umbrella” the beneficiaries of our guaranty should also share in the risk of becoming a nuclear target themselves, just as the US is. Gives them skin in the game.

  125. LeaNder says:

    “Diocletian Line”
    well it isn’t easy to accept one is some type of inferior “human material” since born just outside the empire at a certain time in space.
    a little leniency from your high civilizational Seljuk outlook would be in order. Don’t you think?

  126. James Loughton says:

    Yes Sir. Send in the C-17s and give the Turks an hour’s notice that they will shortly be entering their airspace. Make it clear behind the scenes that we will tolerate no interference.

  127. The Beaver says:

    @ bth
    Barzani would be making some $$$$$

  128. bth says:

    And it required 173rd Airborne to do combat parachute drop. None of the complications Erdogan created are lost on 4th ID or 173rd. I would keep an eye on 173rd status in Italy.

  129. turcopolier says:

    Yes and the 173rd had to fly in from their home station in northern Italy. They could not stage through Turkey. pl

  130. turcopolier says:

    Sam Peralta
    The Bush neocons and the Obamanite Borgists were successfully deceived by Erdogan’s cleverness. He loved that. it was yet further proof for him of infidel stupidity. The US military were not allowed an opinion. pl

  131. Fred says:

    I figured that out a long time ago. I know it was bad but 70%?

  132. SmoothieX12 says:

    Russian capital. Dream on. Russia has difficulties to get money for her own industry.
    Then, I guess, you didn’t see 2015-16 numbers of real economic sector (industry) growth of Russia. If you read The Economist or WSJ on this issue–good luck, but don’t be surprised with a pathetic level of West’s situational awareness about Russia. And yes, how would I know, I just returned from there. I usually try to avoid direct links but if you have a sincere interest in knowing, here is a small piece you may find peculiar:

  133. Old Microbiologist says:

    This was during the Vietnam war years. It was amazingly bad and perhaps even higher than I stated. In most units things like ours things like marijuana were considered “okay”. Most lifers who spent a year or more in the Nam did something. I worked in the 3rd Infantry Division and it was bad. The real problem was heroin and the epidemic of hepatitis B so we began handing out needles at our TMC to cut the infection rate down. This was during a period (3 or 4 years) when drug testing was ruled unconstitutional. That all changed with Reagan.

  134. Old Microbiologist says:

    Lol. I was a medic at that period of my life. But I could type so became the training NCO on top of being the motor pool sergeant, x-Ray technician, lab technician, preventive medicine technician and ambulance driver. Our unit was typically at around 60% strength (most of the effort was going to Vietnam and the dregs and burn outs ended up in FRG). I also spent time as a cook as well in that same unit as we were chronically short on cooks and I was a fry cook at night during high school. We did 3 month rotations in support of training in the training areas so one company was left behind while the other 3 were out pulling medical support. So the 3 months or so in garrison meant pulling a ton of duty. We actually preferred to be out in the field which was laid back duty just pulling duty on the ranges sitting and waiting for the eventual accident. Hands in breach blocks of the M-60’s was common. But we had a lot of weird stuff like guys eating the wafers from mortar rounds believing they would get high. Those were crazy times.

  135. Keith Harbaugh says:

    So maybe the nukes in Europe are being well protected.
    At least some of the time.
    But look at the way our strategic nuclear forces have, sometimes, lowered their standards.
    There certainly is the possibility of disaster.
    The question needs to be asked, is it worth the risk?
    This needs to be debated.

  136. turcopolier says:

    “the dregs and burn outs ended up in FRG” Yup and there they were in Berlin (and other places) trying to be friends with LeaNder when she was a student barmaid. In addition to the dregs two year draftees typically had five or six months to go after year in VN before being released. To find something to do with them many were sent to the FRG. A lot of them were addicts having been hooked in VN by the virtually free heroin that the VC sold them to undermine the quality of US forces. Once in Germany they spread the habit. It was awful. pl

  137. turcopolier says:

    Yes. We need to tell all these civilians that after Reagan was elected the US Army purged itself of druggies and the user rate is very low now. pl

  138. LeaNder says:

    Thanks for the link, Χαράλαμπος. Interesting context.
    I stumbled across this earlier contribution:
    “Personal status of Greece’s Muslims : A legal anachronism or an example of applied multiculturalism?” 2004
    and this upcoming publication:
    I know this is off-topic. But some type of nutshell on matters? I am aware of the Turkish-Greek population exchanges. But some were still left behind on respectively “foreign” ground? No? Thus had to be dealt with based on Turkish – Greek treaties? …
    Concerning your friends. There seems to be something like a Turkish Greek economic cooperation network. Or is that a paper tiger only ?

  139. Fred says:

    Thanks for the clarification. I went on active duty the year Reagan was elected. Submarines had a different caliber of men but we did have our share of deadbeats, including the reactor operator whose dear nana left him a few million in her will. Missed movement right before UNITAS. Took a few others on a pot/coke party ride the day before we sailed. They got transferred off the ship about a week later.

  140. turcopolier says:

    It should be remembered that the US Army of that era was a mixed force of professionals and draftees. The draftees served for two years. They were selected by “selective service” which was basically a machine for conscripting those without enough influence to evade the draft through deferments like Cheney and so many other presently prominent politicians like Trump, and Bill Clinton. Sadly Johnson’s political decision to not allow the Army to call up its organized reserves made these components havens for more draft Dodgers like GW Bush. In these conditions it is astonishing that draftees fought so well in VN for so long. Nevertheless as the years of combat passed the social revolution going on in the States affected the spirit of the incoming junior enlisted men. The further effect of the VC campaign to provide heroin to these draftees had an effect and many of these men took that addiction to the Army in Europe. The elimination of the draft and Reagan’s attitude facilitated the elimination of the problem.

  141. different clue says:

    Bill Herschel,
    If Trump Junior really said that, meaning Trump Senior really authorised that; is there any reason to think that a VP Pence would not be given the very same power of “foreign” and “domestic” policy? And since Pence supports Free Trade Treason Agreements, doesn’t that mean that our economic”policy” under a Trump/Pence Administration would be the same Clinto-Hillaroid Trade Treason policy as if the Clinto-Hillaroids were elected, no matter what Trump says to an adoring public?
    Writing-Sanders-In keeps looking better and better.

  142. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Here is how tayyip rides an Arabian:
    The horse has horse sense. Seems like most of us Turks do not.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  143. Eric Newhill says:

    The Incirlik situation is far from resolved. Do the Jihadis become nuclear soon? Not a peep on MSM.

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