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The Cost of Arming Greece

18 January 2022
The Cost of Arming Greece

Greece was shocked with the explanation of the United States of America (USA) for not supporting the East-Med Pipeline Project, which was claimed that it will pass the Eastern Mediterranean completely. Whereas it was already known that, this project cannot be realized, it is impossible to build such a long pipeline, and the number of reserves that are explored is not enough for this project.

It was known that the USA has established a New York-based firm, which will rule all the reserves except Israel and Egypt. Moreover, the gas that has a liquefied gas filling facility to be built in Alexandroupoli is not through pipelines; it was a clear statement that he would be transported by ships. That’s why it was clear that the East-Med pipeline was a step for developing a military alliance with the states of the region.

The shock against the acts of the US is not new though.

Against Turkey, Greece felt tracked by the US since they did not hear support words from them. Prior to this, the agreements that Greece was under pressure to sign with Egypt and Italy during the Eastern Mediterranean domination race were also in content that Greece did not expect and contradicted the Greek theses. The same situation is valid with the agreement she was forced to sign with North Macedonia. However, at the starting point, Washington had clarified that the agreement signed with Macedonia is important due to the US policy towards the Balkans.[1]

With the agreement, the USA is opening the door to enter the Balkan. Therefore, Washington saw that agreement as validation for investments to the relations built with Greece. Meaning that Greece was measured if they take a step back on the Macedonian issue. The procedure was just a test and Greece has passed that test. Thus, the US has realized her promise and Greece have withdrawn her claims on many issues, draw back the objections, and showed her fidelity. However, after all these concessions, the expectation of a reward from the USA that would upset the balance between Turkey and Greece did not cease. However, she could not see any green light for that. Then what is the meaning of that issue for the US?

Greece is armed with American weapons, while she was turning into an US base. It is questioned within the framework of which threat perception the arming of Greece was made. The comments are pointing towards Russia, it is impossible that the military of the US in Greece is not a threat for Russia, even a deterrence. The weapons are not threating Turkey, which is a member of NATO. When we look at the other neighbors of Greece, on the one hand there is Bulgaria, again a NATO member, on the other hand Kosovo, which has American bases in her territory, and Albania, in which the US plans to build an operational base.

In this context, the fact that Greece, which perceives the threat of attack neither from any of its neighbors nor from Russia, has turned into a weapons pile far above the number of soldiers on duty, requires a review of global positions.

First of all, the changes in power in the Balkans against the preferences of the European Union (EU); however, it seems to be developing in line with the interests of the USA. The new governments, on the other hand, against the EU and even their own national interests; However, it is observed that they take decisions in favor of the USA.

In that context, some agreements have signed which forces the Balkan states to do so. Those agreements’ organizations was the US and the EU and Germany tried to prevent it and give negative opinion. Some of them reluctantly consented to the fait accompli agreements. The part of the job that falls to the EU in matters that they are reluctant to do; that is, the continuation of EU enlargement has been put on hold. Therefore, Washington’s plan on Europe and the Balkans was not supported by the EU.

In this context, it is clear that Germany and partly the United Kingdom do not support the US’s position on the Eastern Mediterranean-centered developments. Again, Germany is dissatisfied with the fact that Greece has been turned into a US base. It is seen that the union did not fulfill the membership promise given to Macedonia on behalf of the EU regarding the name agreement. On the other hand, Greece, on the other hand, once again paid the price by accepting the document handed to the USA in the maritime sovereignty areas delimitation agreements signed with Egypt and Italy for the Eastern Mediterranean issue, on top of the price it paid in the name agreement.

Athens administration is paying price over price to be included in the US orbit and taking the steps back as they are defending as “national theses”. It is understood that those actions make Greece lonely. Leaving aside the small calculations arising from the desire of some parts of Greece to take advantage of this new situation, the purpose of armament, which brings a great burden to the country’s economy, cannot be explained. According to the Washington administration, one of the two main pillars that will enable the USA to remain in the global leader position is Europe and the other is Asia-Pacific.

The USA needs to be sure of its European leg in order to strengthen its position in the Asia-Pacific and enter the competition. Obviously, anti-Chinese sentiment could not find the unconditional support that it expected from the EU in terms of preventing Russia and managing the Eastern Mediterranean. Therefore, the White House feels the need to put an end to the Eurocentric challenge to itself. In this context, it can be thought that the USA wants to achieve the following three goals:

1- Establishing its former influence and power in the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

2- Eliminating Germany-based Europe’s interaction with Russia

3- To do this by focusing on the Russian threat without making the Chinese target feel.

For the US, the Asia-Pacific region, where China is at the center, is a more important target, and Washington perceives a threat from China’s rise and challenge there. While Beijing is currently spreading towards Europe with its investments and loans it distributes without question; The USA cannot show a serious/sufficient/effective/deterrent presence against China in the Asia-Pacific. For this reason, while the USA directs attention to the Russian threat; In fact, it is conducting an operation in Europe. Because the USA; It will remain weak in the Asia-Pacific struggle it will wage against China without taking the European states behind it, destroying Russia-Europe relations and re-establishing its influence in Europe.

Looking at the whole picture, while Greece is in debt for more weapons than it can use; It acted on the assumption that it would be supported against Turkey or that the state arguments would be guarded. However, with each passing day, he sees that the issue has nothing to do with Turkey and that he is constantly politically indebted, let alone being supported in any matter. While giving up the state theses that Greece can fight for; In reality, it receives no response. In fact, Greece remains only a pawn in the US policy of bringing Europe to its knees and establishing its influence in the EU.

[1] “Greece and Russia Exchange Furious Statements Over Macedonia”, Euroactiv, https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/greece-and-russia-exchange-furious-statements-over-macedonia/, (Date of Accession: 15.01.2019).

First published at Ankasam