‘Whoever wants peace prepares for war’

In February 16, after three years as head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Giorgos Antonakopoulos will hand over to navy chief Admiral Panayiotis Hinofotis. In an interview with Kathimerini, Antonakopoulos mentions the shortcomings that have been apparent so far in the armed forces’ transition to joint operations, noting the problematic institutional relations between the head and the chiefs of staff, the need for chiefs to be elected for a specific term, and other changes he believes are needed. He notes the importance of relations between the military and political leadership, raises the question of the conscription of women and signals the need to improve crisis management. The general disagrees with activating units in areas where they are not needed for defense purposes when staff is required elsewhere. Antonakopoulos is retiring after a successful career of four decades. His term was associated with creation of the joint chiefs of staff system, of an independent military information service, the Greek defense presidency of the European Union, the organization of the first European regular combat groups with Greek participation, activation of the NATO CAOC 7 headquarters and of course the Greek armed forces’ significant contribution to the successful security operation for the Athens Olympic Games in 2004, their biggest postwar challenge.

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