Back in 2015 this blog was something of a lone voice in advocating kicking Turkey out of NATO for its support for ISIS and Sunni terrorism in return for stolen Iraqi oil - oil that made Erdogan's son very rich indeed. It was also a time at which Turkey had practically isolated herself - I wrote
Erdogan is now skating on very thin ice; the EU is reeling from his policy of actively pushing migrants into Greece, with Turkey's old ally France in particular grief at this betrayal, he's lost Russia's support and now the US has turned against him. The generals must surely now be taking quiet soundings from these international players as to the likelihood of sanctions and international opprobrium if they act to remove Erdogan. If they get an answer that a coup will mean a deal of disapproving noise but nothing concrete followed by a swift move to co-operation if Turkey both halts the migrant flow, takes the pressure from the Kurds and closes the border to ISIS then Erdogan's days are numbered.Well, the coup was tried - and failed. Tens of thousands of civil servants have been dismissed, hundreds of the most senior military officers imprisoned, and at least a score of them judicially murdered in custody ('fell out of a window' 'had a heart attack' etc). Erdogan appreciated his isolation and moved to make an ally of Russia, with $20bn of arms purchases. It is pertinent that at least some of that money comes from the EU, the billion-Euro bribes for not sending migrants across the Greek border. Again, I wrote back in 2015
Make no mistake; Turkey and the KSA are our real enemies, and the real threats to peace. We need to pour money and troops into Greece to secure Europe's Eastern flank against Turkey, and give full support to Russia, Syria and the Kurds in blocking Turkey from the South. Only then will peace start to return to Iraq and Syria, and the tsunami of migrants into Europe actively facilitated by Turkey start to stem. Oh yes. We need to kick Turkey out of NATO.Maybe we should have kicked Turkey out of NATO in 2015 - but the US then needed Incirlik for its anti-ISIS operations. Well, now Erdogan has forced the move again; his purchase of Russia's S400 system has forced the US to exclude him from the F35 programme. And our old friend Con Coughlin has, for once, been lunched at the expense of the right MoD briefer; he writes in the Telegraph
When Turkey joined Nato back in 1952, the idea was that it would help to protect Nato’s eastern flank from Moscow’s aggression. Now that is clearly no longer the case, and European leaders should join their American counterparts in facing up to the fact that Turkey under Mr Erdogan is a lost cause. The days when Turkey had a genuine interest in cementing its ties with the West by joining the European Union are long gone. Instead, we have a country that openly associates with those who wish to do us harm.There is one matter that Con has missed - perhaps his briefer avoided it. It's the US loan of B61 nukes to both the EU and Turkey - in 2017 I wrote
Consequently, now that Mr Erdogan has demonstrated that he feels more at home in Moscow than he does in Brussels, we should acknowledge where Turkey’s true interests lie, and terminate its Nato membership.
As I've posted below, I think the timing is important. EU free-riders will not now increase their NATO spending by a cent. The EU is calculating what's needed to make a Common EU army and national expenditure will be so directed; the spending may be badged as 'NATO' in the short term, but this will be mendacious. They've almost certainly also got an outline idea of how to fudge the divorce.Well, I ask the question again - with vdL now in post with an almost fanatical commitment to
Which brings me to an interesting footnote - shared Nukes. The US, to help little countries without the bomb to feel included, has distributed 180 B61 air-launched nukes to Turkey, Germany (?), Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands. These 'dial-a-yield' devices can be set on loading to yield from 0.3 to 170 kilotons (Hiroshima was 15) and they can be launched from a variety of national NATO aircraft - but need US consent to 'unlock' them. Will Mr Trump now ask for them back?