Let's set things straight: what is the Greek state's current defence policy, setting aside the necessary cutbacks imposed by the necessary austerity measures that have been heralded to fight the severe economic crisis? It is simply the same that has existed for the past forty years, if not more: we follow our neighbour Turkey in an unofficial arms race, counting and comparing the number of tanks, figher jets, surface vessels down to the last artillery piece, blindly rushing to buy more arsenal just so that we can keep up numerically with the military giant to our east. We spend billions of much needed and deeply missed euros buying weapon systems that at best feel us with empty and useless pride, at worst just remain unused upon the training field.
In addition to this main "deterrence via an arms race" strategy that compels us to perpetually feed this dying giant of our armed forces we also maintain small highly trained and articulate forces used for our obligations towards our NATO allies. This last part has obviously been nullified by our blatant inability to send and maintain such forces abroad for a long time due to economic restrictions.
Every couple of years plans for a general reorganisation of the Armed Forces get publicly advertised and in some cases they may even have occurred and achieved a good result. But to what end? Our main advesary in the region continues to follow the same path it has gone down for the past forty years, that is inhibiting our perceived rights and use over the Aegean. Here I will not delve or analyse who is right or wrong over the issues we have with Turkey. These require a blog themselves. What I'm trying to get across here is that despite the billions of euros lost in procuring and maintaining a vast array of weapon systems the Greek state has not been able to achieve one of its main defensive objectives: that of deterring an other state from imposing its own goals and political objectives over an area that is defined by the Greek state as Greek sovereignty. So there is something missing within the Greek defence policy. This in my opinion is simply strategy. A clearly defined, highly refined strategy will alllow Greek officials to set the political objectives and allocate the specific necessary military tools that will allow those objectives to be attained. A simple deterrence strategy based on numbers is not enough. A modern versatile military strategy has to be set that will allow the Greek state to free itself from the bonds of the Aegean and move out into the ever changing Eastern Mediterranean region and into the world.