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The ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty by the USA set on the table

Nikos Meletis

Copyright: Epikaira Magazine (31/05-06/2012)

Last week, during an uncommon joint appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defence, Leon Panetta and the Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, expressed their common support for the immediate ratification of the Law of the Sea treaty so that keen US strategic interests are protected. In doing so, the three distinguished witnesses articulated as well the interests of major US companies involved in searching for hydrocarbon deposits overseas, a project wholly supported by the Obama administration.

Daniel Little  
(RIEAS Senior Advisor)

Copyright: www.rieas.gr

In its purest form, the whole notion of ‘strategic judo’ is to use the momentum of a bigger, heavier opponent against them in self-defense.  This underlying premise contends that despite one’s size, those that are resolute, willing to learn and act decisively can gain the respect of those around them.  In terms of economics and international politics, one of the starkest examples of ‘strategic judo’ is unfolding in the Eastern Mediterranean.  In the past, power was blanketed through military alliances against the imposition of threat.  In other words, deterrence correlated directly with joining a coalition or a pact sponsored by a superpower.  This cohesive framework fostered a sense of avoidance by potentially larger, more bellicose countries. This example is somewhat different.   Following Israel’s lead and with the help of a few select companies and partnering countries, Greece, Cyprus and Israel will form a trio to become an energy powerhouse.  While not in the same league in size and strength as many of their neighbors, the combination posed by these three will certainly reverse their fortunes in ways wholly unanticipated.....  Read more  

Petros Makris-Kourkoulos
(RIEAS Research Associate and Energy Security Analyst)

Copyright: www.rieas.gr

In the mid-60s, John F. Kennedy stated the famous geography has made us neighbors, history has made us friends, economics has made us partners and necessity has made us allies having the flourishing US-Canadian alliance on his mind. Fifty years later, those words have a deep meaning for a newborn block in the East Mediterranean Sea. The potential “third energy corridor” is the most prominent ace up Europe’s sleeve to reshuffle and win the energy game, as for the Greece-Cyprus-Israel triangle to lead the sequence of the raising pots and eventually, to win a hard pot of poker.

George Protopapas
(RIEAS Media Analyst)

Copyright: www.rieas.gr

The tightening relations between Israel and Greece have been changing the geopolitical status quo of existing balance of power in Mediterranean Sea creating a regional powerful alliance on the fields of politics and defence. The official visit of Defence Minister of Israel Ehud Barak to Athens confirmed the dynamic of military agreement that had been recently signed by two states... Read more

Zenonas Tziarras
(PhD (Cand.) Politics & International Studies, University of Warwick, UK)

Copyright: www.rieas.gr

 Since the drillings at block 12 in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for the finding of natural gas were announced a few months ago, a diplomatic crisis, which later became a real threat to the regional stability and security, begun to unfold. Israel and Greece are directly involved in Cyprus’ efforts to drill out its natural gas; the former because of the geographic proximity of its own underwater energy reserves to the Cypriot block, and the latter because of the common Turkish disputes it faces regarding its marine borders, the strong diplomatic and economic bonds it maintains with Cyprus, the economic benefits of exploiting its own underwater energy resources and the need to delimitate its own EEZ. 

In Memory of Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor.  A Great Traveler, Writer, World War II Resistance Fighter and Philhellene.  Antio Filedem:"The World and Greece is an orphan without you."
Nickolaos Mavromates
(Security Analyst-Historian)

Copyright: www.rieas.gr

Reading an article from Haaretz  about the Jewish minority of Finland  and their role of defending their frozen land against the Communist hordes of the Soviet Union,  I took the initiative to put in writing a similar piece but for a different country and with a different enemy in mind, and lastly with a less happy ending.  It is a story of a Greek lion equal to Achilles and Spartan king Leonidas but with Hebrew Romaniote roots that could be traced from the annals of Jewish Greek History.  Someone might ask how this is possible..... Read more

Prof. Efraim Inbar
(Professor of Political Studies at Bar-Illan University and Director of the Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies, Israel)

Copyright:  http://www.biu.ac.il/Besa/

Turkish demands are unreasonable and an apology will not change the anti-Israeli policy of an increasingly authoritarian and Islamist Turkey. Israel’s reluctance to criticize Erdogan’s government is construed as weakness and Jerusalem should take off its gloves in dealing with Ankara..... Read more

Hayim Iserovich
(Foreign Affairs Editor, nrg maariv. Israel)

Copyright: www.rieas.gr

The announcement of the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou that his country will help Israel to get closer to the European Union was another indication to the growing relationship between the two states. After years of suspicion and distrust, Jerusalem and Athens are building rapidly a strategic partnership, which will reach a new height when the two governments will hold a joint meeting in April.

Copyright: www.enkripto.com

The second part of exercise Minoas 2010 that was conducted last May, took part this week at 117th Fighter Wing of the Hellenic Air Force located in Andravida Air Base. More specifficaly in accordance with the military cooperation agreement between the Greek and Israeli goverments, a CSAR Exercise Operation was conducted within Athens F.I.R. from the 11th to the 14th of October. The planning and execution of the LIVEX was conducted by KEAT, HAFs Air Tactics Training Center under the orders of Tactical AIr Force HQ in Larissa and the HAF General Staff, with the direct support of the 117th Fighter Wing.

The benefits of a CSAR exercise are important not only due to the tactical advantages gained from them, but also due to their morale boosting capabilities and the esprit de corps it brings. CSARs purpose is to bring back to base crewmembers that have ejected behind enemy lines, and to do so with speed and maximum safety, using all available resources.

The purpose of the exercise was:
1) Training the personnel of both countries in planning and conducting operations with the participation of fighter aircraft thus augmenting the operational effectiveness of the aircrews in the tactical level.
2) Improving the standarization of the participating units in planning and conducting CSAR operations.
3) Gaining experience in cooperating with Air Forces using a different philosophy by using different assets.
During the exercise familiarization flights, various CSAR scenarios with or without air combat and simulated airfield attacks were flown.

The participating forces were:
•3 Saraf Longbow Apaches plus one spare from 113sq “The Hornet Squadron” based in Ramon AB.
•3 Yanshuf 3s plus one spare, 2 each from 123sq “The Southern Bells Squadron” based at Hatzerim AB and 124Sq “The Rolling Swords Squadron” based at Palmacim AB.
•1 Super Puma from 384 Puma Squadron based at Elefsina AB
•2 AH-64A Apaches plus one spare from 1st Attack Helicopter Battalion of the Hellenic Army based at Stefanovikio AB
•6 fighter aircraft from the current SOT (Fighter Weapons School) class that uses a pool of F-4E AUP, F-16 Block 30, F-16 Block 52+, Mirage 2000-5 and Mirage 2000EGM.
•1 CROTALE Air Defence Battery

Also several Israeli Air force Transports and 1 Greek UH-1H were used supporting the IAF detachment and the Greek Apaches respectivelly.

The Exercise took part in North, Western and Central Pelloponese peninsula and in the Ionian Sea, during day and night. Composite Helicopter formations were used, for landings along the flight routes, execution of fighter attacks aagainst the Helicopter formations simulating in the most realistic way various combat scenarios, fighter escorts and package protection, airfiled attacks etc.
Special care was given to Flight Safety both in planning and executing the exercise by using alternate routes and airports and by following all ground safety rules, thus improving in experience and tactical thought. The exercise was a success by acomplishing its objectives and improving the relations between the two Air Forces.

The Israeli Brigadier in command of the Israel Air and Space Force/Zroa HaAvir VeHahalal (Heyl Ha’Avir) detachment spoke very warmly about the high level of cooperation and the smooth way in which the exercise was conducted. He stressed the fact that the men and women under his command were able to train in an unknown for them territory and invited the Hellenic Air Force/Elliniki Polemiki Aeroporia to train in Israel in the near future.

Note: The article’s link is: http://www.enkripto.com/2010/10/exercise-morning-wind-2010.html

The visit of the Greek prime minister George Papandreou to Israel on July 21-22 has been cautiously greeted as a new beginning in Greek- Israeli relations. Greece has traditionally shunned expanded relations with the Jewish state. In a way, it is an irony of history that the incumbent Greek prime minister took the initiative to pay a visit to Israel: his late father, Andreas Papandreou, was an unabashed friend of the PLO and Yassir Arafat and missed no opportunity, while he was prime minister of Greece, to publicly slam and vilify Israel with complete abandon. It was in December 1981 that Papandreou the Elder granted the PLO equal diplomatic status to that of Israel (but, in the background, even a ‘non-aligned’ firebrand like the old Papandreou was quietly searching for ways to improve ties with Israel, beginning with the signing of bilateral cultural and commercial agreements in 1984).


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