Murphy's Law: Greece And Turkey

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November 8,2008: Since the end of the Cold War, Greece has shifted its military orientation away from the north (and former Cold War opponents Bulgaria and Russia), and towards the east. The major military objective now is preparation for a war with fellow NATO member Turkey, a war Greece has little chance of winning. The Aegean sea region, and Cyprus, supplies a number of potential conflicts between Turkey and Greece. Despite this, the two nations have been slowly developing a warmer relationship. But the underlying dispute goes back nearly a thousand years.

As part of the festering feud, Greece has been improving its air force (which is equipped, like the Turkish air force, largely with U.S. built F-16 fighters) and navy. The two countries share a 206 kilometer land border, which is fortified and manned by army units on both sides.

Turkey is much less concerned about a war with Greece, partly because there are still preoccupied with Kurdish separatist rebels in eastern Turkey, and partly because the Turks still consider themselves more formidable fighters than the Greeks. While tensions have been reduced over the last decade, the Greek and Turkish air forces still aggressively patrol the naval border, some of it disputed, in the Aegean. This produces regular opportunities for armed incidents, and escalation.

 

 


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