Washington needs a “coherent strategy” for the Eastern Mediterranean, where “tectonic shifts” are taking place, two experts have written in an op-ed in Newsweek, advising “deeper cooperation with Greece.”
In an article titled “Greece: America's new key strategic partner,” Michael Makovsky, a former Pentagon official in the George W. Bush administration and president and CEO of the Jewish Institute for National Security of America, and Charles Wald, former deputy commander of US European Command, praise Greece as a “driving force” that has “adroitly” exploited seismic changes in the region.
“Greece is growing into NATO’s new southeastern bulwark… also taking the diplomatic lead in creating new forums to deepen regional cooperation with Cyprus, Egypt and Israel,” the writers say.
Makovsky and Wald attribute these changes to “aggressive strategic posturing” from Turkey and an “anti-American approach to the region” from Iran, Turkey and Russia.
“Once a reliable US ally, Turkey under President Erdogan increasingly diverges from, and often directly opposes, American interests. This is by no means limited to the Eastern Mediterranean, but it is particularly acute here,” they argue.
The authors praised Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's show of public support for the forum of Greek, Cypriot and Israeli leaders in Jerusalem in March, but said it needs to be followed “by more concerted US-led efforts,” including a strategy to “to push back hard against Erdogan’s excesses,” reduce the American military presence in Turkey, boost that presence in the Mediterranean and promote “deeper cooperation with Greece.”