Monday, November 2, 2009

For a New Greek Strategy of Deterrence: Determination and Shape of Threats

Translated from an article of Strategy-Geopolitics

Threat is determined by the manifested intention by one side to cause damage to the interests of another party unless this party succumbs to the will of the first.

A. The only military threat which Greece faces comes from Turkey, which through revisionist policies is trying to force its national choices upon Greece, without excluding the option of use of force. This policy is manifested:
1. From the Aegean to Cyprus, with Thrace forming a front that will be activated in the event the Greek-Turkish standoff escalates.
2. The axis Albania-FYROM with support and encouragement of historical irredentism.
Cornerstones of this policy have been the following events:
1. The Turkish threat of war (casus belli) as defined by the powerful Council for National Security and codified in Turkish law by the Turkish parliament in 1995 in the event Greece exercises her legal right to extend her territorial waters from 6 nautical miles to 12 nautical miles.
2. The questioning in practice of Greek sovereign rights through the capture (although of short duration) of Greek soil in 1996 and the subsequent acceptance of accomplished facts with the signing of the Madrid Protocol in 1997.

The medium term goal of Turkey is the changing of the status quo in areas of the Aegean with the purpose of jointly exploiting the natural resources under the seabed of the Greek continental shelf.

The long term goal is the destabilisation of Greece against an almighty Turkey which will have evolved into a regional power. This is also the aim of the current manipulation of the Muslim minority of Thrace and the deliberate and massive stream of illegal immigrants towards Greece.

B. The global phenomenon of illegal immigration is a facet of what is termed asymmetric threats and is an extension of organised crime. The hordes of people arriving in Greece with the consent, if not active support of their governments, is the modern face of slavery.

Greece was never a colonial power and never expressed the need for additional workers for its workforce. Nonetheless Greece has received a fast and uncontrolled influx of illegal immigrants, the majority of which have proven they cannot integrate with Greek society. This development, combined with the low birth rate of Greeks has resulted in the decrease of homogeneity in the population which is a prime factor in the strength of a nation. Also:
1. It can have a destabilising effect, through demographic changes, in certain areas, especially the nationally vulnerable areas of Ioannina, the Dodecanese, Xanthi and Komotini.
2.It puts great strain on the national budget and infrastructure.
3. It provides fertile grounds for the infiltration of terrorist networks and promotes the spread of organised crime.
4. It could potentially cause health hazards with the introduction of new and/or unknown illnesses or viruses or the reappearance of diseases that had disappeared.

C. Although there is a difficulty in exactly defining the term, terrorism generally consists of the use or threat of use of force by organised groups with political, ideological, religious or other motives with the aim of creating collective panic and a climate of disarray in a social group or in the complete population of a country with the ultimate aim of gaining some advantage from those in power. The factors which define a terrorist attack are the element of surprise, the level of fanaticism and the lethality of the actual attack. Those participating in terrorist actions believe their practises to be a sort of “legal defence” which is expressed in illegal and violent ways because they cannot face their foes on the same terms. The explosive growth in information technology and communications in the last 20 years has made it harder to combat the phenomenon.

Any prediction regarding the evolution of home-grown or international terrorism would be risky. However, it must be kept into account that terrorism can evolve as can the form of violence that is used. Cases to consider are:
1. The manipulation of an existing or the creation of a new terrorist group to the advantage of a foreign country which is hostile towards Greece.
2. The massive cyber attack by advanced computer systems and users against the national infrastructure with the aim of paralysing public services.

Strategy-Geopolitics will continue with three more instalments on this issue in the following days.

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