The Phaserl


Turkey has a NATO Nuke Problem

by James Corbett, The International Forecaster:

The dust has yet to fully settle on last week’s failed coup attempt in Turkey. Accusation has followed counter-accusation, but in the minefield of blatantly biased media and agenda-driven anonymous reports sourcing unnamed officials there is so much confusion that only those involved in the plot know for sure what really happened (or maybe not!).

Nevertheless, some things we can say with a degree of certainty. For one, it seems that the real winner of the whole event (at least in the short term), is Erdogan himself. Taking a page from the Churchill / Emanuel school of crisitunity, Erdogan declared the coup a “gift from God” and went about purging thousands of soldiers, officers, judges and other personnel using the evident threat to national security as an excuse to transform the country. Given how much that sounds like post-9/11 America, it’s perhaps no surprise, then, that both Obama and Trump have refused to criticize the crackdown.

As listeners to my recent conversation with Sibel Edmonds (and my various conversations with Edmonds over the years) will know, however, the situation in Turkey is considerably more complex than the mainstream narrative that is being so widely parroted now by newly-minted “experts” who can’t pronounce Erdogan’s name let alone differentiate between the different players in Turkey’s deep state landscape. There are the AKP and the Kemalists and the Gulenists all vying for control through various state and deep state channels, with alliances of convenience made between competing factions as necessary to achieve short term objectives and each group looking to wrest the upper hand from their foes. And of course there is also the CIA/NATO/Gladio structure that has been colluding with the Turkish deep state for decades and that was exposed so spectacularly at Susurluk.

But there’s a whole other aspect of what’s happening in Turkey right now that is receiving relatively scant attention. That aspect involves Incirlik Air Base, a 3300 acre base strategically situated on Turkey’s southern coast within striking distance of Syria. The base is used primarily by the US Air Force and Turkish Air Force, but the Royal Air Force and Royal Saudi Air Force also make use of it. Oh, and did I forget to mention NATO? Yes, it also hosts NATO’s largest (acknowledged) stockpile of nuclear weapons.

The base was built after World War II by the US Army Corps of Engineers and has been a strategic base for NATO since Turkey’s accession to the organization in 1952. It was the main regional base for U-2 reconnaissance flights of the Soviet Union from 1956 until Gary Powers was shot down sabotaged in 1960. It hosted a US Tactical Air Command Composite Air Strike Force during the Lebanon crisis of 1958 and was used as a training facility by the US Air Force throughout the 1970s. The base was expanded and modernized in the 1980s and served as a base for support operations after the First Gulf War and in preparation for and support of the Second Gulf War and subsequent post-9/11 operations. It has also, needless to say, served as a key base for US covert support of the war in Syria, and as Sibel Edmonds first reported back in 2011, the head of the “Free Syrian Army” defectors based his operations at Incirlik. Incirlik again entered the news last year when the US reached its agreement with Turkey to use the base to launch strikes in a quest to create “ISIS-free zones” in Syria. Turkey immediately responded by interpreting “ISIS-free zones” as “Kudish-free zones” and started bombing the Kurds.

But perhaps the most interesting news out of Incirlik pre-coup was last March’s order by the Department of Defense for all dependents of military personnel stationed at the base to evacuate. The order came in the midst of increasing security concerns in Turkey and fears that US military personnel would be targeted. Some 700 spouses and children at Incirlik were forced to leave Turkey. The question now is whether the US was preparing for a threat from ISIS extremists or an internal threat in a coup-prone and highly unstable country.

This is where the nukes come in. Did I mention the nukes?

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