Kondylis and Victory in a Greek-Turkish War
Greece has a disadvantage vis-à-vis Turkey regarding the “geopolitical potential”. In the case of a Greek-Turkish war Kondylis considers that a Greek military victory is feasible under four conditions: a. Occupation of Turkish territory b. concentration of Greek forces b. Concentration of the Greek forces in a decisive space and time c. Fire power capable of covering the totality of Turkish territory and mainly d. the ability to launch a first (massive) strike taking the enemy by surprise. The first strike is totally integrated in the operational conduct of war. It constitutes a very important element as part of an active defensive strategy, which when properly conducted and leveraging the totality of the parameters of national power, could lead to victory.
Suicide from Fear of Death – The Preventive Use of Force as Political Choice in Contemporary International Environment: The Case of Small States
The preventive use of force and predominantly of military one is not something new in the international system but on the contrary is as old as war itself. It is a fact that international actors always waged war for various reasons including prevention. The appearance of non-state actors and of new threats after 9/11, lead to the reexamination of the concept of preventive war. The predominate tendency was to challenge the existing – until then- moral and legal frame, which was considered non-realistic and restrictive. The fear was that a potential extensive slackening of this frame would cause the excessive use of this form of war from the great powers. For small states the preventive use of force remains a difficult political choice with a preferable alternative, the use of non-military force in countering future threats. In any case the political choice of using preventive force remains at the disposal of state leaders provided its rational use.
National Power and the First Strike from Metaxas to Kondylis
Power has been a fundamental concept in international politics, from Thucydides’ time until today. Kondylis, as an adherent of the realpolitik, ascertains the disparity between Greece and Turkey with respect to the factors of national power. The measurement of national power, though, is not a mere sum of measurable indices. Concerning national power, other factors also come into play and how a country utilizes its power is a complex enterprise. In relation to Turkey, Greece possesses particular geographic advantages. The first strike is counted among the more interesting elements which Kondylis introduced to the Greek strategic discourse. His analysis of preemptive strike and preventive war is of theoretical, as well as of practical interest. Preventive war against Turkey was considered as a choice by Greece during 1913-14, when the famous Metaxas’ plan for the seizure of the Hellespont was devised. Although it was not eventually implemented, it was rather not very likely to succeed. However, those aspects are still useful for contemporary strategic problems.
From “Northern” to “Eastern” Threat: The Withdrawal of Greece from NATO’s Integrated Military Structure and the Revision of Its Strategic Doctrine
The Turkish invasion in Cyprus the summer of 1974 resulted to the revision of the Greek defense policy, which after WWII was oriented in confronting the “Northern” threat in the frame of Cold War confrontation and the participation of Greece in NATO. The mild reaction to the Turkish invasion from NATO led the Greek government to the withdrawal from the alliance’s integrated military structure and in an effort to balance the Turkish threat via the strengthening of national military power. Despite the change in the prioritization of external threats, the inability of securing alternative “security providers” within the western camp, the revival of Cold War confrontation in the end of the 1970’s and the effort of Turkey to take advantage of the absence of Greece in the Aegen Sea, led the Greek government into the reintegration to the alliance in 1980.
The Concept of Strategic Culture
Strategic culture refers to the sum of beliefs, mindsets and behavior patterns of a collective entity, geographically positioned and with common historical experience. It is based on the hypothesis that every collective entity thinks and acts with different way regarding matters of strategy influenced from its history, its geographical environment and a number of tangible and non-tangible factors. One can encounter factual problems to the analysis and documentation of every strategic culture, which derive from the philosophical character of the concept. Despite the methodological problems, the study of strategic culture offers a valuable framework of understanding of the strategic interaction and enriches the way of thinking of those who are required to make critical decisions.