Failed Coup Raises Concerns About US Tactical Nukes in Turkey

Retired General: Bombs Have no Military Usefulness

In the early hours of this month’s failed military coup in Turkey, the power was cut to the Incirlik Air Base, a base which houses not just a significant number of US troops and planes, but underground vaults which hold dozens of American B61 tactical nuclear bombs.

The low-yield nuclear weapons were designed in the 1960s, and only about 200 remain in service at this point, mostly deployed around Europe as a throwback to the Cold War era. That’s included a substantial deployment to NATO member Turkey.

But given Turkey’s long history of military coups and growing instability along its borders, there is increasing concern about stashing nuclear weapons in what amounts to the basement of an air force base there. Retired Air Force Gen. Eugene Habiger is among the critics.

Gen. Habiger, quoted by the San Antonio Express News, insisted that having nuclear weapons deployed anywhere is always a risk, and that it was particularly unwise in the case of the B61s in Turkey because they “no longer have any military usefulness.”

Turkey has seen more than a few coups d’etat, and so far none has impacted the US military assets deployed there. This has some insisting that the concerns are “unjustified,” but with no conceivably situation in which the US would need tactical nukes in Turkey, the odds of them becoming a problem seem very much beside the point.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • curmudgeonvt

    I bet those nukes are pretty tempting to someone who sees boogeymen around every corner and under every bed – and has just fired most of his senior military leadership group.

    • John Wells

      Exactly. The removal of the nukes will be attempted because of Erdogan, not because of any future military coups.

  • NobodysaysBOO

    LOOSE H-BOMBS are a big deal with all the refuse traffic going to England and England falling to the ZIONIST jehadist.

    POPULATION control by H-BOMB is really STUPID !

    LOOK for a huge increase in False flag attacks for PROPAGANDA and a GREATER Israel .

    Olympic games ,elections , dictators. refugee as excuses for terror in PEACEFUL Europe, ect.

  • Grant Grant

    I thought removal of Turkey-based, US nuclear missiles was part of the agreement following the Cuba missile crisis. Moreover, weren’t these missiles actually ‘fake’?

  • Greg Burton

    Quoting the good general: “…B61s in Turkey because they “no longer have any military usefulness.”?

    Really, I guess you guys at Antiwar.com haven’t been keeping up on the updates to the B61-12? At 12 feet long, it is short enough to fit into the back of a pick-up, and used to nuke any city, perhaps a US city, if we ever lost control of one of these weapons, which puts a special emphasis on determining whether this “coup” was designed to fail or not.

    Obama pledged to reduce nuclear arsenal, then came this weapon
    https://www.revealnews.org/article/new-mexico-thrives-on-nuclear-bomb-despite-us-pledge-to-reduce-arsenal/