A US think tank called on the next administration to remove American nuclear weapons stored in Turkey and review the full breadth of its foreign policy towards Ankara.
In a 95-page report titled “Recalibrating US Global Relationships,” the Center for American Progress recommends that the country “actively deleverage itself from its relationship with Turkey, especially on security matters” in the first 100 days.
The first step should be for the next administration should work to “quietly remove all nuclear weapons from Incirlik Air Base.”
This should be “done immediately, without a lengthy interagency review, to allow the administration to a empt to rebuild relations from a more realistic foundation.”
At the same time, the US should review issues of security, economic, and diplomatic relations with Turkey, the report continues. “The goal should be to craft a more realistic and updated strategy for dealing with a more assertive Turkey that is willing to take unilateral action and defy alliance norms.”
The think tank recognizes that Turkey “will remain a major player” in both the Middle East and Europe, however the next administration should “send early signals that it will be taking a new approach.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sought “to chart a more independent course with less deference to traditional Western security partners…The next administration should recognize this reality and adapt,” it explains.
“That does not mean lurching to a purely punitive approach—but given the depth of corruption and autocracy in Turkey, it does mean the United States should work to reduce its reliance on Ankara.”