Wednesday, September 21, 2016

General Schuyler & his Mansion

Schuyler Mansion, Albany, NY

The Schuyler Mansion (http://nysparks.com/historic-sites/33/details.aspx) is a gem from our American Colonial and Revolutionary past. Fans of the hit musical Hamilton have been flocking there to see where Alexander Hamilton married Elizabeth Schuyler in 1810.  Elizabeth Schuyler was the daughter of Philip Schuyler.  The three Schuyler sisters grew up here.
General Philip Schuyler
General Schuyler is one of the great unsung heroes of the American Revolution.  In 1777 Schuyler was in charge of the Northern Department for the Patriot forces.
Wallpaper Schuyler Mansion, Albany, NY
Historian Richard Ketchum wrote, "Schuyler resembled General George Washington, with whom he had struck up a warm friendship after they met in 1775 and to whom he was indebted for his present command (Northern Department).  Like Washington, he was wealthy, with large landholdings.  He was a member of one of the oldest and most prominent families in the Hudson Valley and related to many of the others -- the Van Schaicks, Livingstons, and Van Rensselaers, one of whom was his wife, Catherine."  (Source: Saratoga: Turning Point of America's Revolutionary War, 1997, www.amzn.com/0805061231).

In 1777 General Burgoyne invaded New York from Canada with about 8,000 troops.  He hoped to rendezvous with Lord Howe in Albany cutting the rebel colonies in two.  Burgoyne seized Fort Ticonderoga (the "Gibraltar of the North") after its American Commander, St. Clair withdrew his forces that were outnumbered about 3 to 1.
Hudson View, Schuyler Mansion, NY
The Continental Congress, disappointed with the loss of Ticonderoga, replaced Schuyler with Horatio Gates (see...http://americanconservativeinlondon.blogspot.com/2016/09/american-forts.html).  Even before "Granny" Gates could assume command, however, Burgoyne's offensive was in trouble.  On August 16 Burgoyne's "Hessians" (many were in fact from Brunswick, and other parts of Germany) were defeated at the Battle of Bennington.  After the battles fought around Saratoga in upstate New York Burgoyne ended up surrendering his entire army of nearly 6,000 men.  The Battle of Saratoga led directly to French intervention in the American Revolution culminating with victory at Yorktown in 1781.
Benedict Arnold Window
St Mary's Bayswater, London
Schuyler's selection of Benedict Arnold was a key ingredient for American success in the Saratoga campaign.  Gates famously argued with Arnold and even dismissed him from command.  Arnold, disregarding his dismissal and fueled by rum, provided the inspirational leadership in the battle of the Wheat Field on October 7, 1777.
Interior Schuyler Mansion
After Burgoyne's surrender he was briefly held as prisoner of war at General Schuyler's home in Albany.  It was at the Schuyler Mansion that Burgoyne wrote letters back to England blaming his defeat on the failure of Lord Howe to cooperate in his offensive.  Howe had captured Philadelphia rather than supporting Burgoyne's southern thrust.  Burgoyne wrote, "I have been with my Army within the Jaws of Famine, shot (through) my hat and waistcoat, my nearest friends killed around me."

Another Schuyler estate in New York worth some 10,000 pounds was burned by Burgoyne's forces during the Saratoga campaign.  When Burgoyne expressed regret at its destruction Schuyler, the consummate gentleman, shrugged it off as being "the fate of war".
Alexander Hamilton, Schuyler's son in law
Schuyler Mansion, Albany, NY
Burgoyne's surrender was the ultimate vindication for General Schuyler.  Fort Ticonderoga proved to be a trap for the British Army.



Signed Copies of America Invades may be purchased here...www.americainvades.com

Regular copies may be found on Amazon...
www.amzn.com/1940598427/

An Adventure in 1914 is NOW available for 
Pre-Orders here...www.anadventurein1914.com




Monday, September 19, 2016

The Pig War

Sign at English Camp, San Juan Island, WA

Question: The final borders of what American State were determined by a German Emperor?
Answer: Washington State

Question: What famous Civil War general was deployed to the San Juan Islands during the Pig War?
Answer: George Pickett of Virginia who would famously or infamously lead a disastrous Confederate charge at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863

Question: Which American State was partially occupied by Royal Marines from 1860 to 1872?
Answer: San Juan Island in Washington (though it did not really become a state until 1889).


In the Canada chapter of America Invades we wrote, "And then, we come to the famous, or possibly infamous, Pig War of 1859. The San Juan Islands lying between Vancouver Island and the North American mainland were the subject of dispute between the United States and Britain. In 1859, things got serious, particularly for a certain pig, after an American farmer on the island found it in his garden and shot it. Unfortunately for the situation between the United States and Britain, the pig had belonged to an employee of the Hudson’s Bay Company. The conflict began to escalate. US troops landed on the island, and soon after that, British warships turned up. A tense stand-off began. In the end, however, the dispute did go to arbitration, and the United States got the islands. The only casualty of this “war” was porcine.
American Camp, San Juan Island, WA
As absurd as the Pig War may seem to us now, it raises some fascinating historical conjectures. What if President James Buchanan had led the United States into a shooting war with Great Britain in 1859? Would the US Civil War have been postponed or deferred as all states, slave and free, rallied against a common enemy ... over bacon?"
NOT a bore but entertaining history!
Much more detail about this curious part of Northwest history can be found in Mike Vouri's The Pig War: Standoff at Griffin Bay (www.amzn.com/0914019627).

American Camp Visitor Center, San Juan Island, WA
In this volume you will learn how Lyman Cutlar, an American squatter, shot and killed a Berkshire boar that belonged to the Hudson's Bay Company on June 15, 1859.  Both American and British authorities escalated the conflict by deploying troops to the disputed island.  Senior officers on both sides were called in to settle the conflict.  Rear Admiral R. Lambert Rainey of the Royal Navy and Commander of the Pacific Station declared, "Tut, tut, no, no, the damn fools."   The corpulent head of the US Army, Winfield Scott, traveled all the way New York and was similarly appalled by the prospect of war between two great nations over such flimsy concerns.
English Camp, San Juan Island
The disputed island was subject to a joint occupation for twelve years from 1860 to 1872.  About one hundred soldiers did garrison duty at either end of the island.  All accounts and my recent inspection confirm that the English Camp with its manicured garden was a more enviable posting than the American Camp on the South side of the Island.  Soldiers from both sides often fraternized and sought to relive boredom with visits to the Island's brothels and Whisky saloons.

Monument to Kaiser Wilhelm I, Peacemaker
English Camp, San Juan Island, WA
In 1872 Emperor Wilhelm I of Germany was chosen to mediate the dispute between America and Britain.  After appointing a three man commission to study the issue, the Emperor recommended that the island be awarded to the United States.  The Royal Marines soon withdrew from San Juan Island.

Deer "Invade" English Camp
Today a visitor to English Camp can find deer frolicking about the deserted grounds.

Signed Copies of America Invades may be purchased here...www.americainvades.com

Regular copies may be found on Amazon...www.amzn.com/1940598427/


Signed Copies of Italy Invades may be 
purchased here...www.italyinvades.com
Regular copies may be found on Amazon...www.amzn.com/1940598729
An Adventure in 1914 is NOW available for 
Pre-Orders here...www.anadventurein1914.com


Travel Notes:  Friday Harbor Grand B&B provides an excellent base from which to explore the many delights of San Juan Island.  A delicious breakfast is included and the friendly owner, Farhad Ghatan, plays the piano almost every evening.  Charming!  http://www.fridayharborgrand.com/

Don't miss American Camp...www.nps.gov/sajh/learn/historyculture/american-camp.htm and English Camp...www.nps.gov/sajh/learn/historyculture/english-camp.htm

The Place in Friday Harbor features outstanding local seafood.  http://www.theplacefridayharbor.com/



Friday, September 16, 2016

American Forts

Patton, West Point, NY

General Patton, the American Mars, declared that "Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."  But Patton was surely a maverick among the American military where a defensive focus has been a part of our history from our founding as a nation.  The preamble to the US Constitution explicitly suggests that the federal government will "provide for the common defense".   Fortifications have played a role in our nation's defense over many years.

Fort Ticonderoga, NY
The legendary Fort Ticonderoga (http://www.fortticonderoga.org/) was initially built by the French as Fort Carillon in 1755 at the start of the Seven Years War.  The French hoped to defend New France from the British colonies to their south that greatly outnumbered them in terms of population.

Benedict Arnold, St. Mary's Battersea, London
Ticonderoga, the Gibraltar of the North, would be captured and recaptured many times over its history.  On May 10, 1775, for example, Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold captured Fort Ticonderoga in upstate New York.  When the British commander asked by whose authority they acted Arnold thundered, “in the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress.”  Fifty-eight mortar and cannon seized at Ticonderoga would later be dragged by forces led by Henry Knox (a portly Boston bookseller) to Dorchester heights in Boston where they would be used to drive the British from that city.  (For more on Benedict Arnold see...http://americanconservativeinlondon.blogspot.com/2016/05/st-marys-battersea-benedict-arnold.html)
Soldiers firing muskets, Fort Ticonderoga, NY
The successful capture of Ticonderoga by Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne at the open of the Saratoga campaign is a perfect illustration of Patton's pointed criticism.     In 1777, the year of the Hangman, Burgoyne marched an Army of 7,000 south from Canada in order to cut the American rebel forces in two isolating New England.  Outnumbered American forces led by General St.  Clair withdrew from Ticonderoga without firing a shot.  General Schuyler was dismissed by the Continental Congress for this disgraceful loss.  But, in fact, Fort Ticonderoga proved to be a trap for Burgoyne who went on the lose battles at Bennington and in the woods near Saratoga before surrendering his command of 5,895 men on October 17, 1777.  Saratoga marked the turning point of the American Revolution.


French Castle, Fort Niagara, NY
Fort Niagara (http://www.oldfortniagara.org/) in Western New York was initially built in order to protect New France.  At its heart lies the "French Castle".  The Americans in Fort Niagara and the British in Fort George would trade canon fire across the Niagara river in the summer of 1812.   On the evening of December 18, 1813 Colonel John Murray and 550 British soldiers crept towards Fort Niagara.  A group of American guards were caught while playing cards and forced to divulge the fort’s password.  The sleeping garrison was captured at bayonet point.  It was to be the last foreign assault on an American military installation on the mainland until the Japanese attack on Fort Stevens in 1942.

Fort Clatsop, OR
Fort Clatsop (www.nps.gov/lecl/learn/historyculture/fort-clatsop.htm) near Astoria, Oregon, though merely a stockade, is one of the most significant Forts in American History for this is the end of the Lewis and Clark trail.  After an arduous journey Lewis and Clark arrived on the northwest coast of Oregon and constructed Fort Clatsop where they stayed from November 1805 until mid March 1806.  It rained every day.  They dined mainly on elk.  The expedition interacted with the Clatsops, Chinooks, Killamucks, Cathlahmahs, and Wackiacums that Lewis described as being “loquacious and inquisitive.”  They purchased fish and other items from the Indians.  Lewis described the local natives as having “copper brown” complexions and complained that they were “illy shapen”.  But evidently not all members of the corps of discovery agreed or cared about Lewis’ judgement -- mercury was used to treat the venereal disease that private Silas Goodrich picked up from “amorous contact with a Chinnook damsel”.

Fort Ross, CA
Fort Ross (http://www.fortross.org/) in Northern California, a few miles North of the Russian River, was not built by Americans at all.  It was an imperial outpost of Czarist Russia from its founding in 1812 until its sale to John Sutter (of Gold Rush fame) in 1841.  The Russians landed in what is today Sonoma county seeking to establish a warm weather agricultural and trading center that would help to feed its colony in Alaska.  Its guns were never fired in anger.



Russell Battery, Fort Stevens, OR

Fort Stevens (www.nps.gov/places/fort-stevens.htm) in Oregon near the mouth of the Columbia was built during the US Civil War in order to prevent Confederate raiders from preying on shipping along the river and the Oregon coast.  On the evening of June 21, 1942 Commander Tagami of the Imperial Japanese navy sailed his I-25 submarine offshore near Fort Stevens, Oregon.  Seventeen rounds were fired from his 140mm deck gun from 20,000 yards.  No one was killed or injured and little damage was done in the bombardment.  The antiquated Fort’s armament had a range of only 16,200 yards and could not return fire.  The sub slunk off before American Army Air Force planes could respond.  It was the first attack on a US Army installation in the continental United States by a foreign power since the War of 1812 when Fort Niagara was attacked by the British.  The attack did help to fuel anti-Japanese hysteria on the West coast that contributed to the internment of Japanese Americans.

Fort Casey, Whidbey Island, WA

And, finally, we come to Fort Casey (http://parks.state.wa.us/505/Fort-Casey) in my home state of Washington.  This Fort is a perfect illustration of why Patton condemned the stupidity of fixed fortifications.  Construction of this Fort began in 1897.  Fort Casey, located on Whidbey Island, enjoys sweeping views of Admiralty Inlet.  Its purpose was to protect the Northwest from invasion or naval attack.   Its potential enemies might have been Japanese, Russian or even British but none would ever test Casey's guns.   Around the time Fort Casey was completed in 1903 its mission had already been rendered obsolete with the invention of human flight that same year.  Fort Casey was a US military facility in two World Wars but its bug guns were never fired in anger.  Today defense of the Northwest is secured by nearby Whidbey Island naval air station and other defense establishments such as Fort Lewis / McChord (See...http://americanconservativeinlondon.blogspot.com/2014/08/fort-lewis-museum.html).

Sea Lions off Fort Casey State Park, WA

All the taxpayer monies spent of Fort Casey were not, however, a waste.  Fort Casey is today a beautiful Washington State Park.  It remains a wonderful spot to take in the views, see sea lions and enjoy a picnic.



You can find signed copies of 
America Invades here...www.americainvades.com
Regular copies can be found on Amazon...www.amzn.com/1940598427/


You can find signed copies of Italy Invades: How Italians Conquered the World here...www.italyinvades.com

Regular Copies can be found on Amazon...www.amzn.com/1940598729


An Adventure in 1914 can be pre-ordered here...www.anadventurein1914.com





Thursday, August 25, 2016

Congratulations to Fiji!



Hearty congratulations to Fiji for winning their first Olympic medal ever in Rio in 2016!  They were the gold medal champions in Rugby Sevens where they looked truly unstoppable.  The American team lost 24 to 19 against Fiji in Rio which was a highly respectable performance for the Eagles.  Astonishingly the Americans were the defending Olympic rugby champions -- from 1924 (see earlier post...http://americanconservativeinlondon.blogspot.com/2015/09/have-americans-invaded-scotland.html)!

Naturally I must ask whether Americans ever invaded or fought in Fiji.  Readers of our book America Invades will know that the answer is "Yes!"


Here is the Fiji chapter of America Invades...


"Fiji is a Pacific island nation that includes hundreds of islands. Fiji, whose national motto is “Fear God and honour the Queen,” dropped the image of Queen Elizabeth II from its currency in the twenty-first century.

For a country that, in the late nineteenth century, was firmly within the British sphere of influence, we actually had a surprising amount of military involvement with Fiji prior to that. Mostly this was concerned with the USN attempting, sometimes rather forcefully, to secure recompense on behalf of Americans who’d had their property on the islands damaged in some of the conflicts that occurred during that period.

Already by 1840, the United States Exploring Expedition was doing a bit more than just exploring Fiji. Somehow, two USN personnel were killed by locals, and in a response, a force of US sailors was landed. Two villages were burned, and a number of Fijians were killed.

Then we come to a certain John Brown Williams. John Brown Williams owned a store in Fiji, and he also happened to be the US consul. His store suffered assorted damage, and by 1855, the USN was returning to the island again demanding tens of thousands of dollars in compensation for damage to US property. Now tens of thousands of dollars is a lot of money these days but it was a lot, lot more then. Marines and sailors from the USS John Adams went ashore in an attempt to capture the local ruler Cakobau. The landing party defeated local resistance, but one sailor was killed and two marines wounded, and Cakobau escaped.

In 1858, the USN was once again in Fiji, with USS Vandalia, demanding compensation. And in 1867, USS Tuscarora arrived at Levuka and threatened to open fire unless compensation was paid.
Eventually Cakobau decided that forming a government with assorted settlers and, in the end, having the islands taken over by Britain was his best option for dealing with his problems, so that’s what he did.

The US military returned to Fiji during World War II, though this time it was on a much friendlier basis. New Zealand forces had previously been assisting the local defenders of the islands, but in 1942, we took over. Bomber squadrons were based at Nadi. We assisted with 155mm coastal defense artillery and anti-aircraft defense, and the 37th Division, which had originally intended to go to Northern Ireland, arrived in Fiji and Tonga instead. Quite a change. Assorted US facilities were built, including the Martintar Naval Air Station. Some of our troops trained on a Fijian island prior to the attack on Guadalcanal, and while the situation on Guadalcanal remained uncertain, Fiji remained at risk from a Japanese invasion.

Fiji became independent from Britain in 1970. After the coup in Fiji in 1987, the United States suspended defense cooperation. Another government was toppled in 2000, and another coup took place in 2006, which the United States condemned."

You can purchase a signed copy of America Invades here...www.americainvades.com
or regular copies on Amazon...www.amzn.com/1940598427/



Sunday, July 31, 2016

The President's Book of Secrets

The Secret is out!

David Priess has written a remarkable book titled The President's Book of Secrets (www.amzn.com/1610395956) which shatters many of the prevailing myths which surround the CIA.  Priess, a former CIA briefer himself, takes the reader on a deep dive into the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB).  This daily intelligence briefing, prepared by the CIA, will now be shared by both Presidential aspirants Trump and Clinton.

Priess traces the origins and history of the PDB.  Why is there is PDB?  The simple answer is...to avoid future Pearl Harbors.  This book was not really initiated by the intelligence community until the Kennedy administration.  Today the PDB is delivered on a secure IPad to President Obama.

Different Presidents have used intelligence in very different ways.  Nixon was deeply suspicious of the CIA, suspecting that is was an elite East coast institution that was hostile to his interests.  Stacks of the reports piled up unread.  Nixon relied upon Kissinger for foreign policy expertise and Priess notes one CIA analyst noting that "Kissinger didn't give a crap about the PDB."

Two Bush Presidents, Dallas, TX
George H.W. Bush, as a former Director of the CIA, was far more engaged with the PDB.  He would take daily briefings with CIA analysts to probe its contents further.  This was a habit that his son picked up as well.

Priess, a former CIA briefer himself, managed to get amazing access to many powerful officials on both sides of the aisle.  George H. W. Bush wrote a Foreword to the book praising "the remarkable men and women who make up our intelligence community."

Some of the books most interesting details concern the Gulf War of 1990-91.  The Bush administration decided not to the kick off the ground war in Kuwait until half of Saddam's tanks had been destroyed from the air.  But CIA and Defense department assessments of the number of tanks destroyed by enemy air power differed.  CENTCOM tended to overestimate the number of tanks destroyed versus the CIA.  President Bush ascribed the difference to "pilot euphoria" with which he was personally familiar from his service as a naval aviator in World War II.  When Operation Desert Storm, the ground campaign, was eventually ordered to begin in 1991 it only took one hundred hours to liberate Kuwait.  Coalition casualties were much lower than the bloodbath that had been widely predicted by the punditry.
James Bond for liberals
Entertainment NOT Reality
Many Americans have a completely distorted view of the role of the CIA.  Based the most recent film Jason Bourne, they may presume that the job of its Director is to kill or torture as many of its own agents as possible.  Others have read only polemics that rail against the CIA such as Tim Weiner's Legacy of Ashes (www.amzn.com/0307389006).

Priess's book is an antidote to the popular and grossly distorted view that so many Americans hold of the CIA and our intelligence services.

Intelligence gathering is an art rather than a science.  No one bats a thousand and no one can get it right all the time.  The CIA has had many failings over its history.  They failed to warn about the coming of the Iranian Revolution in the Carter years. Their database supplied the wrong coordinates which led to the accidental bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in May 1999.  They failed to adequately warn President George W. Bush about the intentions and capabilities of Al Qaeda prior to the devastating 9/11 attack.

Nor is the imperfection of intelligence services anything new.  I suspect that it is only a matter of time before archaeologists working near the site of ancient Troy find an inscription documenting that King Priam's chief of intelligence informed him that it was a "slam dunk" that the wooden horse brought by the Greeks was empty!

But the intelligence services do get it right more often than not.  The CIA is a well funded organization staffed with thousands of dedicated and talented translators, engineers, analysts and some field agents.  Everyone hears about their failures.  But their many successes go unheralded and unacknowledged.  Priess's important and timely book is an attempt to redress this imbalance.

There is some comfort in knowing that, regardless of who is elected this fall, our President will be served the best available intelligence covering threats around the world.  Presidents that engage actively with the intelligence community and take live briefings are much better served than those that take a more passive approach.

Special thanks to the FDR Library's Roosevelt Reading Festival which takes place every June in Hyde Park, NY (www.fdrlibrary.org).  This June I had the pleasure of meeting David Priess in Hyde Park where both of us gave presentations on our books. 
  

Signed copies of America Invades are available here...www.americainvades.com

Friday, July 15, 2016

America's Military Connection to Turkey


Chaos in Turkey 2016

The failed coup which roiled Turkey comes at a time of heightened fear due to terrorism and the prolonged agony of the Syrian Civil War.  The worst refugee crisis since World War II has had a devastating impact on Turkey in addition to the Middle East and Europe.

Americans and particularly our military have played a surprisingly large role in Turkish history for many years.  This is the Turkey chapter of our book America Invades...

"Turkey’s ancient capital, Istanbul, was once Constantinople, the capital of Byzantium and the Eastern Roman Empire. Digging deeper into its past, Heinrich Schliemann found the ancient ruins of Troy in Turkey in the nineteenth century.

A Turkish-American trade treaty was signed in 1830. And Americans helped start the process of modernizing the Turkish navy, operating the Imperial Naval Arsenal on the Haliç. Two Americans, Charles Ross and Forster Rhodes, served as naval advisors to the sultan.

In 1849, the USN intervened in Smyrna (now Izmir) when an American was detained there. And in 1856, the navy returned to Smyrna for what has to be one of the navy’s more unusual missions. Jefferson Davis wanted to form an experimental United States Army Camel Corps for service in territory recently acquired from Mexico. So the USS Supply was sent to Smyrna to get camels. And get camels it did and took them to Indianola, Texas.

In the later nineteenth century, the Ottoman Empire was described, perhaps by Tsar Nicholas I, as being “the sick man of Europe.” Their once vast empire seemed to many observers to be in a protracted period of disintegration and decline.

In 1912, the First Balkan War broke out, which removed from Ottoman control most of what remained of its territory in Europe. And towards the end of that year, American troops were put on duty guarding the American legation in Istanbul.

Admiral Bucknam
Turkey's American Admiral
Meanwhile, one North America deeply involved in the Balkan Wars was Rear Admiral Bucknam who continued the tradition of American links with the Ottoman Navy by heading it. Ransford D. Bucknam was born in Canada but had been working in America and, according to some sources, became an American citizen. He had arrived from Philadelphia on board a gunboat built for the Turks and stayed on to captain it for them. During the First Balkan War, he engineered a sortie through the Dardanelles by a Turkish cruiser, which sank a number of Greek ships and shelled coastal fortifications. He died in 1915.

In World War I, the Ottoman Empire was allied to the Central Powers. The United States, led by President Woodrow Wilson, declared war on the Ottoman Empire in April 1917, shortly after our declaration against Germany. US forces were not deployed against Turkey, although the American reporter Lowell Thomas launched his career by promoting Lawrence of Arabia’s campaign against the Turks in the Middle East.

American marines landed in Turkey shortly after the war. In 1919, during the Greek occupation of the city, marines from the USS Arizona were sent to guard the US consulate in Istanbul. And again in 1922, troops were landed in Smyrna (Izmir) to protect US citizens and property there.
Actually, we could have ended up running part of Turkey after World War I because there was discussion among the Allies about forming an American mandate in the area.
Kemal Atatürk
In 1923, Kemal Atatürk became the first president of the Republic of Turkey. He is widely regarded as the founder of the modern secular Turkish state.

Turkey remained neutral during most of World War II, and consequently, Istanbul became a hotbed of espionage intrigue. The OSS maintained an important base in neutral Istanbul during the Second World War as Axis and Allied espionage and diplomatic services all plotted to bring Turkey over to their side in the war. The question of chrome shipments to Germany was also vital with Germany wanting them to continue and the Allies keen to stopping them. In the end, Turkey joined the Allied side in February 1945 and became a founding member of the United Nations.

The Turkish ambassador to the United States, Mehmet Munir Ertegun, died suddenly in Washington, DC, near the war’s end. A naval task force built around the USS Missouri was charged with returning the ashes of the ambassador to his home country. US authorities wished to send a message to Stalin to deter any aggressive moves against Turkey. The battleship was received with great pomp and circumstance by the Turks.

Mutual fear of the Soviet Union brought Turkey and the United States into a close partnership after the war, and that was reflected in extensive military links that have remained, with occasional hiccups, to the present. What follows will, therefore, be only a summary of some of the key elements in those links.

During the Korean War, a Turkish brigade served on the peninsula alongside American forces.
Turkey joined the NATO alliance in 1952 at the same time as Greece. And a formal defense treaty with us followed in 1959.

The Jupiter missiles, which may have been Khrushchev’s strategic target in the first place, were removed from Turkey after the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.


The US military has made use of a range of facilities in Turkey. The most important is Incirlik Air Base, first used by the United States in 1951. It has long been a major US base and remains the home of the USAF 39th Air Wing with about five thousand personnel. It was a key base for operations during the crisis in Lebanon to the south of Turkey in 1958 (see “Lebanon”). The USN has made use of the major Turkish naval base at Aksaz. Turkey is also home to some key NATO headquarters.
Links between Turkey and the United States were strained in the 1970s due to the conflict in Cyprus and subsequent arms boycotts authorized by the US Congress but gradually recovered.

During the Gulf War, sorties were flown from Incirlik into Iraq. After the Gulf War, the base played a central role in efforts to help the Kurds in northern Iraq and in enforcing the no-fly zone over northern Iraq. In 2001, it again played a crucial role in facilitating air operations in Afghanistan. And 2001 was a big year for Incirlik in another sense. After Ocean’s Eleven’s premiere in Los Angeles, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts, with director Steven Soderbergh visited the base.

In 2003, the Turkish parliament, with grave concerns over the future of the Kurds, denied use of Turkish territory for the Allied campaign against Saddam’s Iraq. Links between the United States and Turkey experienced something of a brief chill.

A battery of Patriot missiles is currently deployed in Turkey to defend against possible attacks from Syria, and Turkey and the United States have cooperated to help the Syrian opposition in its attempts to force Assad out of power in Syria. A flood of refugees has streamed across the border into Turkey fleeing the Syrian civil war.

Turkish troops have served in Afghanistan. Turkey has received billions of dollars of military aid from the United States, and its military has made use of a lot of American-designed equipment. Turkish forces regularly take part in military exercises alongside US personnel."


Signed copies of America Invades can be found here...www.americainvades.com
Copies can also be purchased on Amazon...www.amzn.com/1940598427/

The Full America Invades Package can be found for only $29.95 only here...


Now available for