OPINION

Greece on the new geopolitical chessboard

greece-on-the-new-geopolitical-chessboard

Things are getting serious. Being blessed with so many assets on the geopolitical chessboard is no longer that easy. Greece has played its hand well so far in its modern history. It has always made a fundamental geopolitical choice but without severing its ties with other big powers. It has been a delicate balance, a complicated and fragile choreography that usually yielded fruit. Even in the midst of the Cold War, Athens made overtures and maintained relations with countries in the rival bloc.

These days the leading players speak a different, more rough language. The dilemmas faced by the country can be tough, even frustrating. Even public discourse has turned increasingly sour and contentious. The change is more evident on social media like Twitter, but has also affected diplomatic contacts behind closed doors.

China and Russia no longer look up to the United States in awe; nor do these countries believe that they must adhere to a certain set of rules prescribed by “international order.” Other states, like Turkey and Iran, are following suit.

Greece could find itself in a tight spot. Should the dilemma evolve into “with us or against us,” decisions will not be easy or obvious. The country’s geopolitical and economic interests will have to be factored in. Additionally, over the past 47 years, a key parameter is who has more to contribute to our country’s defense against any sort of threat.

The world is changing fast. Things that were unthinkable until recently, like the presence of Chinese naval units in our wider region, could become routine in the coming years. The tools we had to analyze the world are quickly getting old and no map can provide safe navigation out there.

Foreign policy dogmas are naturally resistant to quick change. At the same time, they are meaningless if they cannot adapt to the tectonic changes that take place every 50-60 years. Which is exactly what we are experiencing today.