World: Trump appears to confirm U.S. nukes are in Turkey, an admission that would break with longstanding protocol - - PressFrom - US
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World Trump appears to confirm U.S. nukes are in Turkey, an admission that would break with longstanding protocol

06:26  17 october  2019
06:26  17 october  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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President Trump has often said things he perhaps shouldn’t have and has repeatedly disclosed sensitive information as president. On Wednesday, he did it again, appearing to confirm that the United States has nuclear weapons in Turkey . Trump was asked about those weapons’ security

US President Donald Trump appeared to confirm that the United States has nuclear weapons in Turkey . " US and NATO officials do not, as a matter of The document from a Canadian senator for the Defense and Security Committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly said the US nukes were

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.”

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Trump tried to cajole Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his Turkish counterpart, into negotiating with Syrian Kurds instead of invading, an extraordinary letter released by the The president has struggled to sidestep blame for the bloodshed that followed his decision to withdraw U . S . troops from northern Syria.

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.

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In his response, Trump appeared to break with the long - standing Trump denied that he had "greenlighted" Turkey ' s invasion of Syria in a phone call earlier this month Without being specific, Trump said the U . S . troops still in Syria were in a safe region and would soon be in more secure areas.

Turkish forces that launched multiple artillery rounds near a U . S . Special Operations outpost in northeastern Syria on Friday have known for months that The officer said Turkey knew there were Americans on the hill and that it had to be deliberate. The service members vacated the outpost after

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, a later-deleted document 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.

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White House also released extraordinary letter Trump sent to Turkish president Erdogan asking him not to invade Syria and saying: 'Don't be a tough guy!' The president has struggled to sidestep blame for the bloodshed that followed his decision to withdraw U . S . troops from northern Syria.

Trump suggested that the US shouldn't chide Turkey for violations of civil liberties. Trump was also asked about the recent attempted coup in Turkey , praising President Recep "This is a longstanding commitment that has been strengthened under the leadership of President Obama," Earnest said.

“Under the present circumstances, that is not a simple logistical or security feat.”

The security of those weapons has been a growing concern this week. The New York Times reported that State Department and Energy Department officials were looking at how to remove the weapons from Turkey if the situation in the region deteriorates.

As an Air Force Times report this 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 information with top Russian officials in 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 the New York Times. Two months ago, Trump tweeted what appeared to be an image from a classified satellite or drone in Iran.

Presidents have broad authority to declassify whatever they want, but that doesn’t mean the disclosures are necessarily beneficial to the U.S. government.

More than 100 ISIS prisoners in Syria are on the loose following Turkey’s invasion, US envoy says .
More than 100 Islamic State militants who were being held in Kurdish prisons in Syria are now on the loose following Turkey’s invasion there, President Trump’s Special Representative for Syria Engagement revealed Wednesday. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); James Jeffrey’s disturbing admission comes as Russian forces moved into Syria Wednesday to conduct joint patrols with Turkish troops along its border.

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