Michael Gaynor
Is Turkey still paying the USA back for withdrawing the Jupiter missiles?
By Michael Gaynor
October 14, 2014

Time to move on, Turkey.

Turkey is a NATO member, but when the United States decided to depose Iraq's Saddam Hussein, Turkey was immensely uncooperative.

Is that United States military action the reason for Turkey's lack of support now?

Or is the United States still paying a price for offending Turkey during the Cuban missile crisis?

When the Cuban missile crisis was resolved in October 1962, the resolution essentially was depicted by the Kennedy Administration as a triumph and the only cost appeared to be that the United States publicly pledged not to invade Cuba (mooting any need for Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles in Cuba).

I didn't believe then that was the whole story.

It wasn't.

"In his negotiations with the Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin, US Attorney General Robert Kennedy informally proposed that theJupiter missiles in Turkey would be removed 'within a short time after this crisis was over'" (Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_missile_crisis)).

After negotiations to place the Jupiter missiles in France failed, the United States successfully turned to Italy and Turkey.

In October 1959, the United States and Turkey made an agreement to deploy one Jupiter squadron in Turkey. A squadron totaling 15 missiles was deployed at five sites near Ýzmir, Turkey from 1961 to 1963. It was operated by United States Air Force personnel. The first flight of three Jupiter missiles was turned over to the Turkish Air Force during the crisis, with the United States retaining control of nuclear warhead arming.

"Throughout the crisis, Turkey...repeatedly stated that it would be upset if the Jupiter missiles were removed" (Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_missile_crisis)).

Nevertheless, all of the United States' Jupiter medium range ballistic missiles MRBMs were removed from service by April 1963, "as a backdoor trade with the Soviets in exchange for their earlier removal of MRBMs from Cuba" (Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_missile_crisis)).

Those missiles were pronounced "obsolete" by the Kennedy Administration and removed from Turkey as well as Italy.

Italy was fine with removal. Its Prime Minister Fanfani, then also Foreign Minister ad interim had offered to allow withdrawal of the missiles deployed in Italy as a bargaining chip to end th crisis.

Turkey was upset.

Time to move on, Turkey.

If not, it's time for NATO to seriously consider whether Turkey's NATO membership should be terminated.

© Michael Gaynor


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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)


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