Is Donald Trump playing nuclear chicken with Turkey?

Is Donald Trump playing nuclear chicken with Turkey?

October 16, 20192 min read

As Elvis Presley used to sing “Wise men say, only fools rush in…” and it seems America’s hasty retreat from northern Syria and its seemingly unprepared rhetoric with Turkey may have landed America in a bit of a pickle.

Unbeknownst to most, the United States has an arsenal of nuclear weapons in Turkey, and senior officials are now scrambling with what they can or may have to do.

“And over the weekend, State and Energy Department officials were quietly reviewing plans for evacuating roughly 50 tactical nuclear weapons that the United States had long stored, under American control, at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, about 250 miles from the Syrian border, according to two American officials.

Those weapons, one senior official said, were now essentially Erdogan’s hostages. To fly them out of Incirlik would be to mark the de facto end of the Turkish-American alliance. To keep them there, though, is to perpetuate a nuclear vulnerability that should have been eliminated years ago.

“I think this is a first — a country with U.S. nuclear weapons stationed in it literally firing artillery at US forces,” Jeffrey Lewis of the James Martin Center for Non-proliferation Studies wrote last week.” October 14 - New York Times

It’s quite the conundrum, and if you are a journalist covering this escalating issue – let our experts help.

Dr. Glen Duerr's research interests include comparative politics and international relations theory. Glen is available to speak to media regarding this topic– simply click on his icon to arrange an interview.

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  • Glen Duerr, Ph.D.
    Glen Duerr, Ph.D. Professor of International Studies

    Dr. Deurr's research interests include nationalism and secession, comparative politics, and international relations theory

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