In the wake of last week's coup in Turkey, it has finally come to light that "several dozen" (potentially, as many as fifty) US-built B61 variable-yield tactical nuclear weapons are actually housed at the NATO air base at Incirlik Air Base, and have been, for decades.
This forward basing scheme is a leftover of the Cold War, when a base packed with powerful nuclear weapons was a major point of intimidation against the Soviet Union. Some twenty-five years after the Cold War's end with the collapse of the Soviet threat, the wonder is why these powerful weapons were left in situ.
The continued basing of these powerful weapons at Incirlik - a mere four hour drive from the Syrian city of Aleppo, until recently, controlled by the so-called "Islamic State" - calls into stark question the strategic military and political competence of NATO's command echelons directly, to say nothing of that of the United States National Command Authority. Since the rise of the so-called 'Islamic State', keeping these weapons within easy striking range of a motorized column (something perfected as late as World War 2, by the British Royal Army), must lead any rational person to the conclusion of either staggering incompetence, or raises the spectre of collusion.
These weapons need to be withdrawn immediately, as last week's events have conclusively demonstrated that these actual "Weapons of Mass Destruction" (as opposed to the fever-dream version of certain politicians) are not in anything approaching a secure environment.
The sheer irresponsibility - even incompetence - in not having done so long ago is simply staggering.
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