Monday, November 16, 2009

Athens Trying to Avoid the Placement of a Turkish Commander at CAOC-4

Strategy-Geopolitics reports that the government is trying to overturn two decisions made by the previous administration which are harmful to the country’s national interests and national sovereignty.

The first decision was to allow a Turkish General to be in command of the Combined Air Operations Centre in Larissa (CAOC-4) on a rotational basis. The second decision has to do with the exclusion of most Aegean islands from NATO planning and defence related funding due to the fact that their sovereignty is questioned by Turkey, as well as the right to place military forces on these. According to Ta Nea newspaper the new Greek government will suggest at the next NATO summit of Defence Ministers that the leadership of CAOC-4 should be held exclusively by a Greek General and that the position of sub commander can rotate between Turkish, Bulgarian and Romanian officers. This would be due to the fact that the area of responsibility of CAOC-4 is the airspace of Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania and parts of the Eastern Mediterranean. An alternative suggestion will be for the sub commander to be a US officer on a permanent basis.

Also, the situation that has been created with NATO excluding Greek islands from exercise planning has been conveyed to Washington and the message is starting to get through. During contacts with the allies Greece has set out the problem of Turkish aggression and is consistently asking the United States to take a clear stance on issues such as the exclusion of islands from NATO exercises, according to an official source.

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