Monday November 24, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
10o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
A new geopolitical poker game

By Alexis Papachelas

Just as the Americans were about to scale back their involvement in Europe they realized this would prove harder than originally thought. The Ukrainian crisis vividly demonstrates that Europe is unable to deal with security issues on its own. The European Union is relatively capable when it comes to handling soft power issues, but completely incapable when having to deal with hard power matters.

It’s hard to imagine that in the case of Ukraine, for instance, Europe failed to see that it was playing with fire when wishing the country a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). At the same time, it appeared to ally with extremist elements that had nothing to do with the notion of safeguarding democracy and a western way of life.

Europe has other structural issues, however, when compared to the way that the US and Russia operate. The European decision-making process is painstakingly slow, requiring lengthy negotiations and broad consensus. This is even more apparent today with the absence of gifted leaders such as Charles de Gaulle, Helmut Kohl or Margaret Thatcher. In contrast, the bloc’s current leaders are more preoccupied with finance – often missing the bigger, geopolitical picture – and rarely seem to back major initiatives.

Consider recent events and the shallow approach of certain Europeans. Nicolas Sarkozy led the West into a war against Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, a conflict without a clear geopolitical goal, which eventually led to the complete destabilization of the region and to reinforcing Al Qaeda’s power.

The possibility of a new cold war is tangible. Russia’s Vladimir Putin seems determined to keep Ukraine under his influence. Some predict he will even use military force in order to achieve this. He has the tactical advantage of being able to take decisions without having to account for them, in the short-term at least.

The Americans are anxiously keeping track of the situation, especially in light the Europeans’ inability to get into the game. This is because if we do enter a new cold war, the EU does not have the basic defense mechanisms, intelligence and so on that would enable it to cover a void left by the US. Washington is trying to get the Europeans to wake up, while weighing its interests on various fronts so as not to leave Europe in the lurch. For some time now, Washington has been trying to make Berlin think more geopolitically and as a major power, instead of focusing on finance.

How is Greece supposed to behave within this explosive and fluid situation? We’ll have to wait and see whether developments will make Germany realize how dangerous it would be if Greece were to be destabilized. We will also have to take a good look at our cards because the cards have already been dealt.

ekathimerini.com , Sunday February 23, 2014 (12:36)  
Extremism from a bygone era
No call for more games
Is Europe paying attention?
A reasonable agreement
Gov’t plays down delay of capital revamp projects
Infrastructure Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis on Monday played down calls by the European Commission for two EU-subsidized regeneration projects for the broader Athens area to be postponed,...
Papandreou proposal sparks war of words inside PASOK
Controversial comments by former PASOK chief and ex-Prime Minister George Papandreou, effectively challenging Evangelos Venizelos’s leadership, have rival factions inside the once-dominant p...
Inside News
All three bids accepted in regional airport tender
All three consortiums interested in the privatization of Greece’s regional airports have made it to the second stage of the tender, which concerns binding bids, state sell-off fund TAIPED de...
DEPA facing 100-mln-euro fine to Gazprom
Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) will have to pay a fine of over 100 million euros to Russian energy giant Gazprom in compliance with the “take-or-pay” clause in the agreement between the two c...
Inside Business
SOCCER
EPO ends soccer suspension, Super League resumes
Soccer action will resume this weekend after the Super League convened on Monday, elected a new president and alternate president and sent a letter to the soccer federation that assures it t...
BASKETBALL
Olympiakos ends PAOK´s unbeaten run in Basket League
Olympiakos put an end to PAOK’s unbeaten run in the Basket League with an emphatic win at the Peace and Friendship Stadium, leaving Panathinaikos as the only team with a perfect record so fa...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. EPO ends soccer suspension, Super League resumes
2. All three bids accepted in regional airport tender
3. DEPA facing 100-mln-euro fine to Gazprom
4. Manufacturing start made easier
5. Fewer shut shops in Athens city center this year
6. BoG plans single ‘bad bank’
more news
Today
This Week
1. Scientists expand excavation of ancient Amphipolis
2. Greek officials to meek troika chiefs in Paris to break review stalemate
3. EU said to plan 21 billion-euro risk-sharing fund for investment
4. Police seek to name man who opened fire with AK47 at Piraeus bar
5. Biden informs Anastasiades about content of talks with Erdogan
6. Greece to scrap need for permits in some 900 professions
Today
This Week
1. Double quake on Atalanti fault line rattles Greek capital [Update]
2. Biden heads to Istanbul amid tension over Cyprus EEZ violation
3. Anti-junta uprising anniversary to be marked amid tight security
4. Every age has its collaborators
5. Give Greece a chance
6. Carlsberg takes control of Greek brewer Olympic Brewery [Update]
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.