U.S. should review, downgrade relations with Turkey, think tank says

The United States should "actively deleverage itself" from its relationship with Turkey, especially on security matters, said the Center for American Progress (CAP), a nonpartisan U.S. think-tank.

CAP said it has prepared an ambitious 100-day plan for foreign policy and national security outlining how the next U.S. administration could begin to reverse many of "the damaging policies of the past four years". 

The next U.S. president should downgrade ties with NATO member Turkey after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan charted an assertive, more independent course for his country, deepening relations with Iran, China, and Russia, CAP said in a 95-page report entitled ‘Recalibrating U.S. Global Relationships’.

"The next administration should recognise this reality and adapt," the think-tank said. The United States should work to reduce its reliance on Turkey, it said, citing "the depth of corruption and autocracy" in the country.

"As a first step, the next administration should work to quietly remove all nuclear weapons from Incirlik Air Base," CAP said.

Speculation among analysts over the future of İncirlik, which hosts U.S. nuclear warheads about 160 kilometres (100 miles) from Turkey’s border with Syria. has intensified following a period of soaring tensions between Washington and Ankara last year.

Washington should review an array of issues regarding security, economic and diplomatic relations with Turkey, CAP said.

“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,” it said.

Erdoğan’s recent foreign policy has caused U.S. officials to speed up preparations to withdraw from İncirlik, a senior Republican senator and U.S. analysts told the Washington Examiner in September.


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