Weekend Reads Trump appears to confirm U.S. nukes are in Turkey, an admission that would break with longstanding protocol
US to step aside for Turkish assault on Kurds in Syria
US to step aside for Turkish assault on Kurds in SyriaTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened for months to launch the military operation across the border. He views the Kurdish forces as a threat to his country. Republicans and Democrats have warned that allowing the Turkish attack could lead to a massacre of the Kurds and send a troubling message to American allies across the globe.
President Trump has often said things he perhaps shouldn’t have and has repeatedly disclosed sensitive information. On Wednesday, he did so again, appearing to confirm the United States has nuclear weapons in Turkey.
Trump was asked about the security of those weapons, now that Turkey has gone against U.S. wishes by invading northern Syria after Trump ordered a withdrawal of U.S. troops from the region. He didn’t explicitly confirm the weapons were there, but he went along with the premise, saying “we’re confident” they’ll be safe “and we have a great air base there — a very powerful air base.”
Trump mocked for claim of 'great and unmatched wisdom' in Syria tweet
Critics said Donald Trump showed anything but wisdom in suddenly announcing a U.S. troop withdrawal from northern Syria."My great and unmatched wisdom.
U.S. government officials have long avoided disclosing or even confirming widely believed locations of U.S. nuclear weapons.
“As a matter of policy, the Defense Department does not comment on the presence of nuclear weapons in Turkey or anywhere else in Europe,” said Kingston Reif, the director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Association.
“U.S. and NATO officials do not, as a matter of policy, confirm the existence, locations or numbers of tactical nuclear weapons deployed in Europe,” said Jessica C. Varnum, deputy director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
Canada condemns Turkish military incursion in northern Syria as destabilizing
OTTAWA — Canada has joined its major allies on Wednesday in firmly condemning Turkey's military incursion into northern Syria. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland made Canada's position clear in a series of late-afternoon tweets, saying the unilateral action by Turkey risks rolling back the progress against Islamic State militants, also known as Daesh. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland made Canada's position clear in a series of late-afternoon tweets, saying the unilateral action by Turkey risks rolling back the progress against Islamic State militants, also known as Daesh.
The existence of the weapons in Turkey isn’t exactly a secret, though. Reif pointed out “the Air Force, in its fiscal year 2015 budget request, noted the presence of ‘special weapons’ at ‘storage sites in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey.'" Other experts noted it’s not easy to hide such weapons.
In July of this year,published by a NATO-affiliated body appeared to confirm nuclear weapons were being housed in those same five countries. The document from a Canadian senator for the Defense and Security Committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly said the U.S. nukes were in Incirlik in Turkey.
Vipin Narang, a nuclear proliferation expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, highlighted another issue with Trump saying that “we have a great air base there.”
“Incirlik is Turkey’s air base, not ours,” Narang said. “And that is essentially the problem. We store these nuclear weapons in secure vaults on a Turkish air base, where we either have to secure them under the present circumstances, or bring transport aircraft to the base, move them on a Turkish air base and then fly them out of Turkish airspace if we wanted to extract them.
Trump defends abandoning the Kurds by saying they didn't help the US in WWII
When asked whether he felt his treatment of the Kurds sent a poor message to other potential US allies, Trump said, "Alliances are very easy."This came amid reports Turkish ground troops were crossing the border into Syria following airstrikes that began earlier in the day.
“Under the present circumstances, that is not a simple logistical or security feat.”
The security of those weapons has been. The that State Department and Energy Department officials were looking at how to remove the weapons from Turkey if the situation in the region deteriorates.
Asthis week showed, though, officials would still avoid confirming the locations, even if they seemed obvious:
In an interview this summer with Air Force Times on the future of Incirlik amid rising tensions with Turkey, former Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James would not confirm or deny the presence of nuclear weapons there. But, hypothetically speaking, she said that if nuclear weapons did have to be removed from that base, it would be a complicated operation. It would require negotiations with the nation that would become the weapons’ new host, James said. And it would require a great deal of logistical and security work.
If the Air Force found a new nation willing to host the nukes, James said, it would have to take “the greatest of care” in their removal and transport. If the receiving base did not have the facilities or security necessary, James said, it would require a significant construction effort. And NATO would likely be involved.
Trump in May 2017 shared highly classified informationin the Oval Office — information U.S. officials worried could jeopardize a valuable intelligence source. He also reportedly told the Philippine president in April 2017 that the United States had two nuclear submarines off the coast of the Korean Peninsula, according to . Two months ago, Trump tweeted what appeared to be .
Presidents have broad authority to declassify whatever they want, but that doesn’t mean the disclosures are necessarily beneficial to the U.S. government.
The guardrails are off the Trump presidency .
Get over it. That apt mission doctrine for a presidency blazing with abuses of power, conflicts of interest and unhinged behavior is the work of White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, whose barn burner of a briefing sent a clear message.Get over it.
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