Ο υπουργός Εξωτερικών τβων ΗΠΑ, Μάικ Πομπέο στο εκκλησάκι του St. Wenceslas στον Καθεδρικό της Πράγας. State Department photo by Ron Przysucha
On October the 6th, (2019) Mike Pompeo visited Athens to sign the agreement of the second phase of Greek-American Strategic Dialogue (launched on 16th of December 2018).
The so-called Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement is characterized by a win-win situation in terms of the usage of Suda Base in Crete, Stefanovikeio, and the port of Alexandroupolis which became of great strategic importance for US and NATO vital interests in the Balkans and the Black Sea. This agreement was only the beginning of the new Greek American rapprochement.
The US bill included the East Med and Greece is officially described as ”a key state” for American interests in the area. Mike Pompeo was quite friendly in Athens and during an interview answered the question (”What Greeks can expect from this agreement?”) in a hasty manner ”Greeks won a strong and long-term ally who will stay for a long time here”. The irascible and glumpy Turkish policy against Greece is the elephant in the room that we can’t be blind to that anymore. It is prime time that Secretary Pompeo meets with his promises.
As partners and allies that share common vision and values, both Americans and Greeks we can speak loud and sound about all those critical issues that taking place in the Mediterranean. Turkey is implementing an onslaught everywhere in the region. In Syria, in Libya, in Armenia, in Cyprus and currently in Greece. The NATO umbrella that covers as ”allies” both Greece and Turkey is neither an excuse nor a productive policy. In Libya’s waters, Turkey tried to bully a French frigate. France is also a cornerstone of stability in the Mediterranean and North Africa and a powerhouse in NATO. Turkey respects no one.
A few days ago the American colossal organization of American and International Press, the New York Times, analyzed with remarkable scrutiny the choleric, unproductive, and subversive attitude of Turkey regarding its intra-NATO. In that report, Philip Gordon stresses that it is very difficult to describe Turkey as an ally of both US and NATO. Turkey behaves like a rogue state and this attitude is fortunately adopted by the US Senate and the US House of Representatives that have already taken action to pose measures and sanctions to make Turkey follow the rules.
Being crystal clear, American neutrality is no longer the policy that sends the right message to the brutal and malign policy of Turkey who is committed to destabilizing the whole region. The US will be confined soon if in any way shows a comprehensive attitude towards the Turkish aggressiveness.
The meeting between Secretary Pompeo with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias opens a window of opportunity to cement the Greek American alliance and also, to build a new architecture of security in the Mediterranean. Greece, Cyprus, Israel, France, and Egypt are with the right side of history and it has been traditionally a supporter of Turkish incorporation in European and Western values. The US can guarantee new security architecture in the Mediterranean and the American diplomatic and military presence in that crucial area for the American Pivot to Asia should be permanent.
During his speech in the Foreign Affairs Committee of American Congress, Secretary Pompeo stated that it is not the American goal to punish Turkey but the US government has on its table the sanctions. It is beyond any doubt that Greece does not desire or expect to adopt excluding policies and isolate Turkey. Greece’s and US attitude towards Turkey aligns with a policy of ”socialization” of Turkey. It is vital for American, Greek, Arabic, and Western values to put an end to Turkish revisionism. Τhe Turkish phony effort to embark Greek frigate ”Limnos” speaks so language about the Turkish agenda in the Aegean and the Greater Mediterranean.
To sum up, the Greek American agenda should be more constructive than ever before. The prominent think tank JINSA has conducted a policy paper in February of 2020 in which its experts propose the substantial upgrade of the American military aid to Greece and Cyprus via the Foreign Military Aid.
Erdogan uses Turkey’s North Atlantic identity to support other powers that don’t belong to NATO. The US commitment to Greece is at the same time an American commitment to stability, prosperity, and peace in the whole region that West meets other respectful cultures and interests.
The most powerful tool of American power is the US allies and Greece and Cyprus have been always traditional supporters of American policies and should be rewarded for that. The top priority is to keep hundreds of millions of people who live in the Mediterranean, safe, It is not the priority to keep Turkey close to the West because Turkey has already cut every tie with western values.
*Research Fellow – HALC