Time for President Donald Trump to Bury the U.S.-Turkey Alliance

August 27, 2018 Topic: Security Region: Europe Blog Brand: The Skeptics Tags: TurkeyRecep Tayyip ErdoganNATOAKPTrump

Time for President Donald Trump to Bury the U.S.-Turkey Alliance

The alliance was already dead—just not everyone realizes it yet.

Third, Washington should withdraw non-essential weapons and personnel from the country, principally at the Incirlik airbase. The nuclear weapons stationed there are vulnerable and should be brought home. Washington should reduce Americans' profile in Turkey and prepare for a time when the United States is forced to yield the facility. That might even be a positive for America since the very ease of intervening militarily out of the Incirlik airbase appears to encourage Washington to meddle nearby when no vital or important interests are at stake.

But, nothing is set in stone forever. NATO has lost its raison d'etre for America since the U.S. presence no longer is necessary to protect Europe. And Turkey's participation in the transatlantic alliance has lost its raison d'etre since Ankara's loyalties increasingly lie elsewhere. It's time for a divorce, as amicable as possible.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is the author of Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire .

Image: Reuters