Intra-alliance Conflict Resolution: Uncharted Waters for NATO
The evidence looked at suggested that it is not possible to establish a pluralistic security community in the eastern Mediterranean. NATO is the key actor in the sense that it has the greatest influence on these two countries. It is necessary therefore, to assess what contribution NATO can make towards maintaining regional peace and security and increase the stability of the Greek-Turkish relationship in the absence of a structural solution to the problem of the Turkish political system. Traditional confidence-building measures have been applied to states that are potential antagonists rather than to allies. Proposing them for Greece and Turkey is therefore rather unusual. However, as this book has demonstrated Greece and Turkey form a Hybrid Region and therefore confidence-building measures are appropriate to their relations. Before attempting to introduce a series of mechanisms which would facilitate the prevention of intra-alliance conflict in the eastern Mediterranean, two specific factors should be taken into consideration. First, it is certain that an intra-alliance confrontation between Greece and Turkey would cause a spill-over effect with catastrophic repercussions for the Balkan region and the NATO alliance. This view can be expressed by a simple statement such as: in case of a subregional conflict (such as Chechnya, or East Timor) there is high cost for the parties (economic, military, political, societal) involved but low consequence for the region or the continent itself. In the case of a military confrontation in the eastern Mediterranean it will be high cost (for Turkey, and Greece) and high consequence for the rest of the region including most of the major western organisations (EU, WEU, NATO).