International Forecaster Weekly

Turkey has a NATO Nuke Problem

...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.

James Corbett | July 23, 2016

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?

The actual nukes (officially acknowledged to be) stored at Incirlik are B61 gravity bombs. They are "dumb" bombs first developed back in the days when a tactical nuclear bomber raid of the Soviet Union's Eastern European flank was a plan kicking around the offices of RAND's real-life Strangeloves. In other words, they serve no conceivable use in any current day situation.

So of course the US just spent $8 billion upgrading them to B61-12s by adding moving fins so they can be more effectively steered toward their targets after they're dropped. Controls have also been added so that the bomb's yield can be adjusted before they're deployed, all the way down from their full yield of 170 kilotons (11 Hiroshimas) to 0.3 kilotons (a measly 2% of a Hiroshima). The idea is to make these nukes "small" enough so that their use is conceivable and acceptable to the public...the entire opposite of the MAD doctrine that was used to promote their development and stockpiling in the first place.

So as spectacular as the Turkish coup and all of its myriad internal and geopolitical ramifications no doubt are, one of the most spectacular stories coming out of post-coup Turkey has centered on Incirlik. On July 16th, as the coup plotters lost control of the event, power was cut to Incirlik. Shortly thereafter the base's commander, General Bekir Ercan Van, was arrested in the post-coup purge.

Now, any time a week-long disturbance of this sort takes place at a major US Air Force base in a strategic location housing the forces for a key, ongoing tactical operation, that is a big deal. But given Incirlik's role as a NATO nuclear stockpile, that's a very big deal indeed.

CNN and various other MSM sources are attempting to downplay the utility of these bombs to any would-be raiders, be they Turkish government officials, military personnel, deep state operatives, Islamic terrorists or some combination thereof. The bombs are protected by internal coded switches known as Permissive Action Links (PALs) that require a correct code to be entered into the device before it can be armed.

The PALs are, of course, touted as utterly unbreakable security features that ensure they can never be used without official sanction by the US military chain of command. But given that this is coming from the same military that literally used "00000000" as the launch code for every Minuteman silo in the US for two decades, perhaps we should take that claim with a grain of salt.

Here's how The New Yorker puts it in their piece about the H-bomb security threat in Turkey:

"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."

Feel safer yet? Don't worry, it gets worse. We know that the same elements in the US government that organized 9/11 have been warning about a terrorist nuclear event for years. And given that they're the terrorists, they should know what they're talking about.

So the real threat here is not merely that Incirlik (or any of the other NATO stockpile bases) could be raided by Islamic extremists or other rogue groups, but that events like the coup in Turkey could be used as a cover for one of these weapons to "go missing." And if a "missing" nuke were to be "found" when it's detonated in a major American or European city, who do you think would be left to ask the tough questions about who was really behind the bombing?

If 9/11 gave us the 15 year nightmare known as the "war on terror," do you want to contemplate what a nuclear false flag event would lead to? I sure don't.

But don't worry. The latest report is that power has been restored at Incirlik (nearly one week later) and news reports from the base are desperate to paint a picture of a minor disturbance that has been smoothed over as "there is a steady flow of hot food, water, and fuel to support U.S. service members and civilians in Turkey."

Nothing to see here folks, move along.