Turkey currently hosts 90 U.S B-61 gravity bombs at the Incirlik Air Base – and they’re outdated
Bell and Loehrke 09 (Alexandra is a Truman National Security Fellow and Benjamin is a grad student at the U of Maryland, “The status of U.S. nuclear weapons in Turkey”, accessed at http://www.thebulletin.org/web-edition/features/the-status-of-us-nuclear-weapons-turkey on 6/21/10//dml)
For more than 40 years, Turkey has been a quiet custodian of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons. During the Cold War, Washington positioned intermediate-range nuclear missiles and bombers there to serve as a bulwark against the Soviet Union (i.e., to defend the region against Soviet attack and to influence Soviet strategic calculations). In the event of a Soviet assault on Europe, the weapons were to be fired as one of the first retaliatory shots. But as the Cold War waned, so, too, did the weapons' strategic value. Thus, over the last few decades, the United States has removed all of its intermediate-range missiles from Turkey and reduced its other nuclear weapons there through gradual redeployments and arms control agreements. Today, Turkey hosts an estimated 90 B61 gravity bombs at Incirlik Air Base. Fifty of these bombs are reportedly assigned for delivery by U.S. pilots, and forty are assigned for delivery by the Turkish Air Force. However, no permanent nuclear-capable U.S. fighter wing is based at Incirlik, and the Turkish Air Force is reportedly not certified for NATO nuclear missions, meaning nuclear-capable F-16s from other U.S. bases would need to be brought in if Turkey's bombs were ever needed. Such a relaxed posture makes clear just how little NATO relies on tactical nuclear weapons for its defense anymore. In fact, the readiness of NATO's nuclear forces now is measured in months as opposed to hours or days. Supposedly, the weapons are still deployed as a matter of deterrence, but the crux of deterrence is sustaining an aggressor's perception of guaranteed rapid...