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US nuclear bombs in “hostages” in Turkey?

Ядерные бомбы США в «заложницах» Турции?

To keep weapons of mass destruction on the Incirlik air base is like playing the lottery.

Amid a sharp deterioration of U.S.-Turkish relations in connection with the purchase of Russian air defense systems s-400 and the invasion of Ankara in Syria, Washington had another hot issue. In the White house scratching their heads (and spears), as it is now to withdraw the nuclear bombs, sleeping in a Turkish air base near the town of Incirlik, which is 130 kilometers from the Syrian border and 400’s from a Warzone. According to Western media and non-governmental organizations, on the basis of the stored order of 50 nuclear bombs B61. They could carry American bombers, in particular, the F-16 and new F-35.

Notice, however, that the problem of “host” and the security of these bombs relating to tactical nuclear weapons, did not arise today. For the first time about her talked about in 1974, when Turkey invaded Cyprus. Then American nuclear weapons, according to CNN, were taken from Greece and placed in Turkey deliberately put out of working condition. Congress also imposed a ban on deliveries to Turkey of conventional arms. In response, Ankara announced that all U.S. air force base in Turkey — here was their network will change state and will go into the use of the Turkish air force. And it was not empty words — in accordance with the commitments to the NATO force there are two of them in Izmir and Incirlik. In 1978, the U.S. embargo was canceled and was signed by the American-Turkish “Agreement on military and economic cooperation.” After that, at the Incirlik air base was modernized infrastructure, and the object used by the United States to their advantage. In particular, during operation “desert Storm” of the Incirlik American bombers flew to Kuwait. Later for departures and the bombing of Yugoslavia.

And in 2001, after a mysterious attack on the world trade center in new York, the Americans used the base to transport troops and supplies in Afghanistan.

The second time the topic of storage of the atomic bombs the United States in Turkey surfaced in 2016 during the attempted coup d’état — military coup. Turkish General Bekir Ercan to van, then head base in Incirlik, was arrested and taken to the capital, he was accused of involvement in the coup. (The United States refused, then the rebel General for political asylum.) It’s interesting that this American base with nuclear weapons flew Turkish F-16 planes that bombed the presidential Palace and the Parliament building in Ankara. Then, after the suppression of the coup, Turkish troops loyal to Erdogan, took the base into the ring under the guard. And I disconnected her from harm’s way.

As he wrote recently, journalists of the edition The Drive, “these bombs have become a particularly serious problem for security after U.S.-Turkish relations began to cool after the coup attempt and removing the head of Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016. There are still a completely unfounded conspiracy theory that the us military was directly involved in the failed coup, which involved units of the Turkish air force at Incirlik. Since then, in Turkey, there are calls to hold investigation against American military personnel…”

In the international press after the suppression of the in 2016, the Turkish military coup exaggerated rumor that supposedly the Americans out of the base of Incirlik their nuclear bombs in Romania on the Deveselu base (built by Soviet specialists). However, as it became clear the other day, nothing had happened. In addition, according to some, in Turkey now there are (based on including) from two to five thousand us troops.

Today, judging by the massive leaks in the American media from the White house and the Pentagon, America is greatly concerned about the fate of its nuclear weapons at a base in Incirlik. The journalists of the edition The Drive in the article “the U.S. is considering the possibility of removing the nuclear bombs from Turkey. Tell them how they could do it,” “the U.S. government is positioning several plans to eliminate about 50 nuclear gravity bombs of the B61” driven by the Americans from the Turkish airbase of Incirlik. The Pentagon decided that it was time to find them a “more secure storage”. According to the media, U.S. officials assure that the threat that nuclear weapons will “fall into the wrong hands” and be used “minimal”. It is, allegedly, protected from unauthorized use: to activate the fuse you need to enter a secret code of 12 digits.

However, according to the authors of the recent report of the Washington non-profit organizations Stimson center (Stimson Center) about atom bombs on the Turkish base, from the security point of view and continue to store these weapons at the Incirlik air base is like “playing the lottery”.. That US nuclear weapons, the authors argue, may fall into the hands of terrorists and “other hostile forces”. Will not help, say non-governmental experts and “trusted protection” in the form of a secret code, when any wrong combination of numbers brings the bomb down, destroying the control of thermonuclear charge electronics. Even in this case, the bomb can turn into a “dirty” radioactive munitions that can cause the infection of all living things.

According to U.S. media with reference to its sources in the government, the removal of nuclear weapons from Turkey is associated with great difficulties. And the main American military user. According to them, the air movement of nuclear weapons must be accompanied by enhanced security measures. Military transport aircraft C-17 Globemaster from the special squadron of the U.S. air force engaged in transportation of nuclear materials, it is forbidden to fly over the areas of “unstable situation”. This area now is the way to go from Incirlik to the East and South. In addition, such operations for transportation by air of nuclear weapons is fraught even without a military entourage. There are many cases when the U.S. air force banal lost atomic bombs, moving them to transport the aircraft from point A to point B.

In a recently declassified report from the U.S. Department of defense under the heading “Report on accidents relating to nuclear weapons of the United States” (“Narrative Summaries of Accidents Involving U. S. Nuclear Weapons”), these accidents are defined as “an unexpected event involving nuclear weapons or components of nuclear weapons”.

Such occurred twice over the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and the Mediterranean sea. On the territory of the allies in Spain, Greenland, England, Morocco, and another unnamed overseas base. And also in the States of Arkansas, California (twice), South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana (twice), Maryland, new Jersey, new Mexico (twice), Ohio (twice), South Dakota, Texas (twice) and Washington. (I wrote about this in detail in the article “judgment day” will come randomly?”)

It would seem that the simple solution to a dangerous situation with fifty nuclear bombs near the war — an attempt to move them (as interim option) to other European US bases, where they also stored their nuclear weapons. For example, in Belgium, Germany or the Netherlands. However, first, according to investigations by Belgian and Dutch journalists, the base with bombs (at least several years ago) was protected from outside penetration very badly. So it remains to be seen, where it is easier to get close to him to terrorists. Secondly, the public in these countries, especially Belgium and Germany, opposed a permanent American nuclear bases on its territory. There has even been adopted for the treatment of MPs calling for the authorities to remove them. However, after the coup in Turkey in 2016 near the base in Incirlik too, from time to time, rally the people demanding from their government and from the Americans to shut it down.

However, there are other options that do not fit into the plans of the White house. In light of the recent complaints Erdogan regarding the possible establishment of the Turkish atomic bomb it is quite possible that Ankara will put the US and its “sanctions.” As recently stated by Turkish foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu local TV channel, Turkey can respond to US sanctions due to the purchase of s-400: “If the US will impose sanctions, we will give the necessary response. Can be taken a step against the airbase Incirlik. This is not a threat and not blackmail, but a natural position in these conditions.” As he wrote recently in The New York Times, “These bombs are now essentially hostages Erdogan”.

Although the US has spread itself (and probably the world) straw. Turkey is the only host nuclear weapons country that is not part of the agreement of the Alliance’s nuclear sharing, giving to others involved NATO countries access to this weapon in close coordination with the United States during the crisis. (Although, I note all this is contrary to the Treaty on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, which was signed by European countries and the USA.) So Turkey, as noted by some experts, there is no aircraft that could deliver a nuclear bomb in a crisis. However, others cite the fact that Turkey in 2015, upgraded 117 combat aircraft F-16 Turkish air force precisely so that they could carry, including, and missiles with nuclear warheads. Meanwhile, U.S. is excluded from the production program of advanced F-35 fighter after the start of deliveries of Russian air defense systems s-400. Separation of Ankara from the program will be completed before the end of March 2020

And the last option, which has not yet voiced Washington. Although probably guess about it. If it goes on like this, Turkey may be the first and only country NATO base in Incirlik which will be based the Russian air force.

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