Monday, July 25, 2016

Elections, Turks and Nukes

So much going on in the world right now.  The Republican National Convention managed to finish up lat week in Cleveland somehow without the Cuyahoga River being set on fire or more police being shot or more police shooting black people.  Well done Ohio, well done….

The Democratic National Convention may not fare as well, the DNC chairwoman had to summarily resign after emails were leaked showing she intentionally derailed Bernie Saunders.  Attendees all seem to hate Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Hillary and her VP running Time Kaine with equal hatred.  Not a lot of love going on the city of "Brotherly Love".

Ok, now that my obligatory smart-ass remarks about realpolitik are out of the way, I'd like to look at our misbegotten NATO ally…Turkey.

Mr. Obama supported Mr. Erdogan, he of the recent military coup attempt, and are rewarded by the lock-down of Incirlik AB…including the 3,000 US airmen stationed there.  Now the plot gets murkier, initial reports were that the families of those airmen had been safely evacuated.  Oh not so fast there Hondo…brand newly minted CoS of the USAF, Gen David Goldfein, didn't have a lot of answers for some very angry family members who claimed their non-military family members had most assuredly NOT been evacuated from Incirlik!

Run-roh Reorge….now its bad enough the US military personnel and their families are trapped on Incirlik but now comes the other issue.  See the US and Turkey have had this unusual relationship for years.  In exchange for allowing the US to stage B61 thermonuclear devices at the base (which may or may not still currently reside there…don't know, ask your member of Congress), the White House and State Department have turned a blind eye to many of Turkey's decided non-NATO tendencies (like trying to wipe out the Kurdish people).

In exchange for staging our air campaigns (first against Saddam Hussein and Iraq, now ISIS and Syria) the US has provided Turkey with F-16s and other high tech weapons.

US intelligence apparently failed to detect the coup attempt in time to evacuate personnel from Incirlik.  Worse, the B61 devices can't just be loaded on to any aircraft, so by the time the coup had occurred it was already too late to remove the nuclear devices.

Ah but now things get even more interesting.  For you see the B61 thermonuclear devices are a legacy of the Cold War, their presence at Incirlik can never be confirmed or denied.  For doing so would have tipped the strategic scales in favor of Moscow and might have caused the Kremlin to increase the presence of their nuclear devices in the region.

So now the US is faced with a dilemma, confirming the presence or absence of thermonuclear devices at Incirlik will create some unknown response from Mr. Putin (who already has no respect for Mr. Obama and company).  To confirm presence means destabilization and increased presence of modernized Russian nuclear weapons in the region; to confirm absence means Russia has free reign to move around the region as they see fit and NATO basically loses its eastern flank.

The farce of our Presidential Election process has further emboldened our enemies.  Race relations are at their worst since segregation.  If you were an attacking force, it doesn't take much at all to foment more hatred and chaos in the US.  If a civil war of even a moderate size were to break out, consider it an open invitation to run amok.  They wouldn't need to even invade, just surreptitiously feed both sides with arms and supplies and sit back.

Maybe we are already in the Walking Dead…..

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