chapter  17
21 Pages

The Potential for Maritime Confidence-building and Peace-support Co-operation

The evolving pattern of maritime power, assessed in earlier chapters, indicates that, in terms of seagoing maritime assets and an ability to control routes and trade, historical shifts have created a paradox. Along­ side cultural and political divergence between north and south, east and west, the historical contests for intra-Mediterranean hegemony, pursued by Greece, Rome, Phoenicia, the Italian cities, the Ottoman Empire and Habsburg Spain, increasingly gave way from the sixteenth century to an economic and technological dominance by maritime powers that lay beyond the Mediterranean littoral. For these new powers the Mediter­ ranean was only partly significant for trade and territory; it served geopolitical purposes that were generally focused elsewhere, facilitating strategic operations on Jominian ‘external lines’.1 Peoples whose everyday livelihood and welfare depended directly on access to the Mediterranean were peripheralized by the shift towards dominance by such powers as Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States. Since the division and decline of the former Soviet Black Sea Fleet, there is now no significant challenger to the US 6th Fleet, except domestic economic pressures that could lead to what James Miskel in Chapter 6 called ‘doing less with less’.