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  • Turkey Going Nuclear - A Game Changer

    The World Tribune’s Gregory Copley has broken the news that “U.S. powerlessness and EU confusion” have opened a “window of opportunity” for Turkey to seriously consider acquiring nuclear weapons. Just last month, Turkey defied its traditional allies, including the United States and Israel, by voting against a fourth round of U.N. sanctions against Iran, in punishments for Tehran’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons. Further, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has displayed growing Islamist sympathies and exercises an undemocratic stranglehold on power, raising legitimate questions about Turkey’s commitment to secular democracy as well as to NATO.

    The news that Turkey is considering “going nuclear” is a game changer, and it should shake the Obama Administration to its core. A nuclear-armed Turkey would ride a coach-and-horses through Obama’s chief foreign policy goal of “getting to zero,” and it would expose his profoundly foolish strategy of neglecting traditional allies in order to engage America’s enemies. It would legitimize Iran’s illicit pursuit of nuclear weapons, and it would so profoundly change the balance of power in the Middle East that the ramifications could not be predicted with certainty for decades.

    U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recently stated that Turkey’s strategic drift away from the West is due in part to the European Union’s reluctance to grant Turkey full EU membership. Certainly the EU is not negotiating with Ankara in good faith, but Brussels cannot be entirely to blame. Ankara has distanced itself from Europe and the U.S. and has instead prioritized its relations with Russia and the Muslim world, especially Iran.

    Turkey’s formerly close relations with Israel have deteriorated steadily since the AKP’s rise to power, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has demonstrated that he is willing to exploit anti-Israeli sentiments to boost his own political popularity. On its current trajectory, Turkey’s traditional strategic relationship with the West will devolve into a looser affiliation, while Ankara simultaneously enters into a closer alliance with Iran and other Middle Eastern powers hostile to U.S. leadership.

    Much of this is entirely predictable. President Obama’s policies—namely, his commitment to eradicating nuclear weapons per se, the uncertainty surrounding the future of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, and his water-treading missile defense program—have raised significant doubt in Turkey’s mind about the reliability of the half-century-old U.S./NATO nuclear and defense umbrella.

    President Obama and NATO should not stand idly by and watch this happen. The destabilization brought to the European continent from a premature removal of American nuclear weapons, or an unacceptable degradation of its force, would be a major setback for global security and stability. America should stand behind its nuclear guarantee to Europe and adopt a protect-and-defend strategy that includes robust missile defenses.

    Washington should also make clear to Turkey that Ankara’s acquirement of nuclear weapons will not be tolerated and would cost it both its strategic relationship with the U.S. and potentially its membership of NATO.

    In 2006, now-Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Philip Gordon said the U.S. would soon have to ask itself, “Who lost Turkey?” Unless he wants the answer to be “President Obama,” the Administration should address this issue as a matter of urgency.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to Turkey Going Nuclear - A Game Changer

    1. Atilla T. / Newcastl says:

      You say: "Washington should also make clear to Turkey that Ankara’s acquirement of nuclear weapons will not be tolerated and would cost it both its strategic relationship with the U.S. and potentially its membership of NATO."

      - I do not believe Turkey has any intention of acquiring or developing nuclear weapons.

      - Turkey does, however, wish to make use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes to satisfy its increasing energy needs.

      - Do you not see any double standard in your article?

      - Why should the world be under any obligation to tolerate US nuclear weapons?

      - If you agree that nuclear weapons cannot be tolerated, than you should begin working on destroying your own.

      - Talking of NATO, which is no ones personal property; perhaps the US should also seriously consider applying self-discipline and withdraw from NATO until it destroys its own nuclear weapons stockpiles.

      - If members of the international community are expected to abide by certain rules, then there should be no exceptions; the US should as well.

    2. Kasaa Jonson says:

      You want to tell the world that it is okay, if NATO looks after the defense of Turkey, but it is not good enough for Turkey to look after it own defense. Israel, US and Russia are fine to look after their own defense, but for Turkey, that will be best left to NATO.

      Just do not get the logic. So if Turkey goes nuclear, we should also arm ourselves more with nukes. How is this making anybody safe. Madam, I just do not understand your logic. Best logic is everybody should do away with their weapons.

    3. Wayne Ragland says:

      With the "turkey" we have in the White House, we may see N. Korea and Iran get Nuclear weapons. I guess we need to send Hillary over to apologize (again)for the USA being the greatest contry in the world!!

    4. Mark says:

      Bush and his Republican policies lost Turkey, not Obama. And republicans should stop blaming Obama for Bush's garbage.

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    7. Armageddon Thru To Y says:

      Welcome to the soon coming war of Gog & Magog (Book of Ezekiel, Chapters 38 & 39).

      Get ready folks. It's almost showtime!

    8. John Vesikar says:

      Yet more paranoia from uninformed reporters looking for sensationalism. Turkey has vibrant economy with a young an motivated population (average age is 27!!). This is driving growth of the economy and the needs of its people as a consequence. There is more need for electrical power in that country then ever before. The reality is that none of its neighbours produce a surplus in the amounts needed by possibly approaching 80 million population. Furthermore, Turkey has signed treaties to keep its CO2 emissions on target to agreed minimums. Turkey doesn't have a Yangtze River to dam nor does it have the massive black or brown coal reserves for that power source. It is mostly mountainous and treachorous in winter thus failing on the wind and solar paths. That only leaves either trillions of mice running in those little flourescant plastic wheels or nuclear. I wish this reporter got off the paranoia train and just focus on the objective needs of a nation like Turkey. Thank you.

    9. Dennis Wyatt Melbour says:

      More and More of The Republicans GODFORSAKEN HYPOCRISY!When are you EVIL people going to cut it out!The whole world knows you are the biggest NUCLEAR WEAPONS LOVING HYPOCRITES on The WHOLE PLANET! Either Get rid of America's Nuclear weapons or shut up lecturing IRAN, NORTH KOREA or TURKEY,you and Israel are nothing but a bunch OF SATANIC WARMONGERS! You Fascists have no credibility after what you did under George W. Bush!Your hellbent on spitting in the face of your allies and DESTROYING THE WORLD!You UNREPENT Liars, Slanders,Kidnappers,Torturers,and Murders and in no position to be talking about civility to anyone!PUT UP OR SHUT UP!

    10. An american, middle says:

      Although, I enjoy a bit of hearsay as much as anyone this blog is really full of it. A country looking to build, not even yet actually building, nuclear power plants is not the same as attempting to acquire nuclear weapons. The thrid rate source you cite in the beginning of your article does not provide a single fact or reliable source and it is doubtful that (with their lack of credibility and contacts) they have any insight.

      More importantly, even the acquisition doesn't change the basic arithmatic in the region that every country in the region wants and is justified in acquiring nuclear weapons due to the fact that Israel has a massive existing stockpile. Ultimately, Israel is the country that opened the nuclear pandora's box in the ME not anyone else. So if there is a true interest in keeping weapons of mass destruction out of the middle east, this articles and the right wing's focus should be in disarming Israel and removing that incentive/justification for others in the region to acquire the same weapons.

    11. Sevgi, Turkey says:

      What news? Turkey is thinking of acquiring nuclear weapons??? I am living in Turkey and I think as one who follows the news on a daily basis, I would have heard about it!! The author's starting statement is absurd.

      Turkey is not considering acquiring nukes.

      What broke the news last week was a decision to build a nuclear power plant (for energy) in southern Turkey.

      Surely the author is not going to argue the West has the right to monopolize nuclear power facilities, especially considering that energy is one of the main issues governing foreign policy and determining the future viability of nations???

    12. charles darwin says:

      1. real world

      2. fantasy..world

      what Nation on Earth does Not want to be in "nuclear club" pride. club status?

    13. Murcio, Spain says:

      "In 2006, now-Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Philip Gordon said the U.S. would soon have to ask itself, “Who lost Turkey?” "

      Ahm, they, through themselfs? Through turkish imperial policy.

      Excause me, is Turkey a Baby which must be pampered in every case?
      What is the worth of Turkey to the west??? And please NO geo-political bull as an answer for this. That sounds like hard core socialism to me.

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