US Nuclear Bombs Assigned to Turkish Air Force

christopher_lee180-11

Christopher Lee

20 July 2016, London

Forty American nuclear warheads have been assigned to the Turkish Air Force in the event of a nuclear conflict.

Those warheads are already in Turkey today, 20 July 2016.

There are 90 US primary thermonuclear bombs based in Turkey at Incirlik.

The weapons are part of an American nuclear deployment of approximately 200 nuclear bombs in what is called the US Enduring Stockpile retained after the end of the cold war between the West and the USSR in the late 1990s.

The bomb is called the B61.  It has a maximum yield of up to 340 kilotons according to the US Department of Defense and US Department of Energy.

The latest version is called the bunker buster and was once assumed to be a weapon that could be made available to Israel in an offensive against Iranian nuclear weapon manufacturing.

One of the B61 pilot’s targets from Europe would be the Russian wartime bunker beneath 1000 feet of granite at Kosvinsky Kamen in the northern Urals.

The reason for the B61 bombs in Turkey is part of a rarely discussed NATO plan. During a past NATO heads of government meeting it was agreed that under a scheme called Nato Nuclear Sharing Policy, 180 B61 bombs would be deployed in five countries in Europe: Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Turkey.

Ninety B61 bombs were sent to Turkey and stored at Incirlik with an agreement that in time of war that moved towards “nuclear release” 40 of the bombs would be given to the Turkish Air Force.

This single arrangement demonstrates that Turkey is a major military member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Turkey joined NATO in 1952 just three years after the Alliance was formed on 4 April 1949. It has held a senior position at the table of equals ever since.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, President John F Kennedy agreed to remove US Jupiter ballistic missiles from Turkey in return for Russia’s climb down from the event that took the world close to nuclear war that year.

Today, NATO commands do not downplay the importance of Turkey that maintains the second biggest standing army (after the US) in the Alliance – around 640,000.  Turkey keeps its 8,000-troop high readiness 3rd Armour Corps entirely assigned to NATO. The Alliance Land Command HQ is at Izmir along with major NATO training centres and some 300 Turkish officers are in NATO commands.

Turkey may be the only Muslim state in NATO and may be more Asian to some than European but the country and its leadership however described is in no way fringe NATO – anyone who floats the idea of kicking out Turkey better read the list of its membership credentials, starting with the B61

 

 

 

 

 

 

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