The report prepared by the Stimson Center nonprofit think tank, titled ‘B61 Life Extension Program: Costs and Policy Considerations’, questions the safety of American nuclear weapons stored at Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base.
The failed military coup in Turkey on July 15 resulted in the base’s commander being arrested over alleged participation in the agitation.
Turkish authorities blocked the Incirlik base off completely, cutting the facility’s electric power and prohibiting any aircraft from flying in or out of the airfield.
“From a security point of view, it’s a roll of the dice to continue to have approximately 50 of America’s nuclear weapons stationed at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, just 70 miles from the Syrian border,” said report co-author Laicie Heeley. “These weapons have zero utility on the European battlefield and today are more of a liability than asset to our NATO allies,” said Heeley, a fellow with the Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense program at the Stimson Center.