Greek air power as a national security instrument
Karaosmanoğlu, Ali L.
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The basic precepts and characteristics of Greece's national security posture dictates that, as a result of its geographic circumstances and the nature of the disputes with its main rival Turkey, very high expectations are placed on air power. Yet, a detailed analysis of the Hellenic Air Force and the country's other air-power relevant assets reveals that a number of shortcomings and discrepancies exist in a number of key areas and capabilities. The implications of this discrepancy between the high Greek expectations of air power and what it can actually deliver, could not be more significant. Given the high responsibilities with which Greek air power is entrusted in order to back up the current Greek policy line of challenging Turkey at all possible levels and platforms, air power cannot and should not be expected provide all the services demanded of it. Turkey, in this regard, appears to be a major regional military power with more advanced, sizeable and comprehensive air power-relevant capabilities than Greece. If this discrepancy is not properly addressed, it will undoubtedly result in Greece being extremely disillusioned, and in case of an armed combat, with both sides' national security goals in mind, Turkey would be the one to reap greater strategic benefit. Accordingly, from the perspective not only of air power, but its overall military capabilities as well, Greece is presented with two possible courses of action: faced with a much larger and better equipped opponent such as Turkey, Athens either has to increase its military capabilities, or else, it will have to reduce the scope of its national security goals in line with the services its military can provide. Given Greece’s human and financial resources, the former option - further boosting Greek military capabilities - appears to be an insurmountable task. This leaves Greece one viable option: to revise its national security objectives and, even more importantly, to seek a more conciliatory attitude to replace its current confrontational and escalatory attitude towards Turkey.