The Greek "intelligentsia" is similarly divorced from the subject of strategy. Greek "academics" throw the term about with abandon, but have little, if any, real connection to Strategic Studies. The net result is that Greece lacks a clear outline of where she should be headed and under what conditions. And it is reaffirmed daily that the Greek political class prefers cafeteria "estimates" over any serious assessment of the country's real capabilities and potential (which would inevitably expose many crippling flaws and discommode those who have made their life's sole mission to exploit political power as the means to personal fortune).

Enter Turkey and Ahmet Davutoglu. An academic professor elevated to foreign minister by Prime Minister Erdogan, Davutoglu is the only non-parliamentarian on the Turkish cabinet and the architect of a "New Era" Turkish foreign and security policy. "New Era," however, would be better described as "neo-Ottoman" since Davutoglu leaves no doubt in his writings and pronouncements that he sees Turkey as carrying the distinct obligation to continue where the Ottomans left off, all the while carrying on with a distinct respect and understanding of Islam and her Anatolian roots.

Recently, his seminal book Strategic Depth: Turkey's International Position, originally published in Turkey in 2000, was translated into Greek, thus opening Davutoglu's expressed thinking to those who can read Hellenica. The book has yet to be translated into English, something that frustrates Western analysts, who realize the importance of Davutoglu's role in the emerging pattern of Turkish foreign policy actions but cannot directly mine his main tome for clues.

Strategic Depth is a hefty volume numbering more than 800 pages in its Greek translation. In it, Davutoglu presents, with clarity and focus, what he thinks should motivate Turkey's grand strategy and what directions Turkey should assume as she steps into the club of de facto regional powers.

The structure of the book immediately reveals the author's intention to address the different levels of strategy and their interactions in a methodical manner that stresses the significance of various "world power" synergies but, also, the critical relationship between historical legacies and contemporary strategic thinking. Davutoglu has little interest in trivialities. He drives to the heart of the matter in chapter after chapter that cover every section of international relations and grand strategy that he believes are pertinent to Turkey realizing her historical destiny. Davutoglu, aside from being a meticulous author, is an incurable visionary as well.

To say that Davutoglu's opus should be an eye opener to all those in this country who salivate over "Greek-Turkish friendship" would be an understatement. Provided that these well-meaning individuals are in a position to understand the concepts and thinking Davutoglu employs in tailoring his Strategic Depth, they should be cured instantly of their wishful thinking and dreams of handshakes across the Aegean: Davutoglu makes abundantly clear that Turkey is in the game to win at the expense of those societies who "... having lost their self-confidence, because of psychological collapse, accept to become peripheral elements of other societies and shall continue to confront the risk of their own strategic demise." This passage fits Greece like a kid glove -- again though provided that those reading Davutoglu's work have pulled their heads out of the sand and shaken the cotton wool out of their ears.

Davutoglu is way ahead -- in fact, more like flying on-orbit in space -- from his Greek opposite flyweights. Strategic Depth boldly covers every vista that should be subject to constant in-depth analysis by Greek "experts," with the view of pro-active policy-making, but more often than not is finally spent as a subject of "authoritative" newspaper "analyses" published in the Sunday editions. Turkey and NATO's new strategic mission occupies 26 pages; all of Chapter 9 is devoted to the strategic transformation of the Balkans; in Chapter 12, Davutoglu dissects the play between Turkey and the European Union through an "analysis of a multi-dimensional and multi-level relationship." Areas like Turkey's links to the Greater Middle East, the significance of Central Asia in the "Eurasian balance of power," and relations with Russia attract drilling, confident analysis.

In the end, Strategic Depth communicates not only the message that its author realizes full well the significance of Turkey's geo-strategic location and her legacy of the Ottoman Empire, but also that he needs no prodding in seeking the premises that will allow Turkey to act with optimal independence in her emerging guise as a regional power and prime interlocutor with growing strategic "reach." Strategic Depth delivered, early on, the rule book that underpins this major shift in Turkish foreign policy now under way.

One fact that quickly latches to mind, once a Greek reader begins wading deeper into Davutoglu's analysis, is that there is nothing comparable to Strategic Depth in the current inventory of Greek publications. With the exception of the late Panayotis Kondylis,   Greece's only modern strategist of international note, who added a chapter on Greek-Turkish relations to the Greek translation of his Theorie des Krieges (1997) delivering a deeply pessimistic view of Greece's chances vis-a-vis a vibrant, growing, aggressive eastern neighbor, no other Greek "expert" has attempted a work similar to Davutoglu's opus focusing on Greek (currently non-existent) grand strategy.

This absence is far more significant than just concluding that the reading list in Greek is deficient. Not having a Strategic Depth-like analysis of Greece's course in increasingly perilous waters starkly highlights the shallowness and analytical crippling of our local "intellectual capital," not to mention  the debilitating disabilities of our government "leaders."

In the end, we should keep in mind what Edward Luttwack concluded at the end of his search to find a practicable theory of strategy:

But a discipline should not be of practical value to merit our attention: the study of strategy should be its own reward because it alone can explain the tantalizing continuities and baffling contradictions that pervade the human experience of conflict.

That's fine nonsensical print to our mandarins but, quite obviously, not to Ahmet Davutoglu.

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