chapter  2
34 Pages

Greek Security Challenges and its Relationship with NATO

One of the chief axes1 which determines the strategic position of Greece within the current international system is the southern flank of NATO. This axis constitutes the foundation upon which Greek strategic thinking is formulated and Greek policy options are developed. This region is currently in a state of fluctuation, as the post-Cold War order is undergoing fundamental changes and long-established structures and regimes are rendered obsolete.2 The rapid reduction in tensions in east-west relations has been accompanied by the resurfacing and exacerbation of local and regional conflicts that were dormant during most of the post-war period due to the strategic overlay centred by the bipolar security system.3 These regional tensions have affected the southern flank of NATO and especially Greece and Turkey. Despite the demise of the Soviet Union and the collapse of communism, NATO has found itself in the invidious position of having Greece and Turkey, the two main participants on its southern flank, in dispute with one another over the Aegean and over Cyprus.