The Aviano air base [owned by the United States Air Force] in northeastern Italy is prepared to receive atomic bombs previously hosted by Turkey, at the Incirlik NATO air base, according to Il Messagero. The idea behind such a move was voiced as early as 2016, when the Turkish President was carrying out internal purges to rid himself of plotters involved in the [tacitly US approved] coup attempt. Erdogan cut power to Incirlik, putting the local American contingent on pause. The episode was resolved, even though tensions between Washington and Ankara amplified over time.
Talking to Bloomberg, four star general and former commander of the 31st Fighter Wing from Aviano during 1995-1997 Chuck Wald said that, given the rising anti-american sentiment in Turkey and Erdogan’s desire to get closer to Russia, the US has to urgently move its atomic bombs from Incirlik, and their new home could be the Aviano air base in Italy, given that from a logistics point of view, the operation shouldn’t be too difficult. Around 50 nukes could land in Italy from Turkey, adding to the 30 nukes already stocked at Aviano. The base is set to receive improvements, a tightening of security protocols, plus new clinics and laboratories to handle the delicate operations and devices.
Were this move to happen, Aviano would become the largest atomic depot in Western Europe, and would neutralize to a large extent Erdogan’s ability to hedge between Russia and Washington. Like the ancient saying goes, one can’t serve two masters – at least not for long. If Erdogan values ambition over prudence, he’ll likely face an unprecedented wave of political instability at home, and if he doesn’t relinquish power in such a scenario, things will get bloody fast. Moscow won’t babysit him and won’t bend international law to accommodate his faction’s neo-Ottoman aims. The problem such leaders face is hubris, they believe to have been divinely ordained for some great task. They mistake fortune’s blessing on one or two separate occasions for permanent immunity against mischance and adversity.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.