OP-ED: Drones and Greek-Turkish defence balances

By Angelos Athanasopoulos

In mid-October, Defence Minister Nikos Dendias is scheduled to visit Washington for the signing of the revised US-Greece Mutual Defence Cooperation Agreement (MDCA).

Athens has pinned high hopes on the agreement, which has been described as an "expansion of the American imprint" on Greece and has been viewed as a guarantee of sorts in managing the threat from Turkey.

Meanwhile, it is undoubtedly positive that US Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is greatly expediting the US-Greece defence agreement.

Unfortunately for Greece, however, as regards relations with Turkey, time is not on Athens' side.

The Turkish economy may be gasping for breath and in need of a boost every so often. Hopes may be expressed that an Erdogan defeat in the next presidential election - which is scheduled for 2023 - will be favourable for achieving a more permanent defusing of Greek-Turkish tensions. Yet, those who rely on such scenarios in fashioning a strategy for deterring Ankara seem to be missing the big picture.

Even if Erdogan were suddenly to disappear for the front line, it is very likely that such an eventuality would bring greater instability to our region instead of calming the waters.

What is worse for Greece is that the Turkish defence industry is developing at a rapid pace.

It may have been a tortuous process for the Greek Navy to procure torpedoes needed for its submarines, but we have not yet been able to devise a solution for the procurement of frigates.

The drones challenge

Even worse, a solution on how to respond effectively to one of Ankara's most serious strategic advantages - the acquisition of the requisite technology for...

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