OPINION

War and the national interest

It is widely believed that by launching war on Iraq, the USA has opened another can of worms. No state will avoid the repercussions. On top of the humanitarian catastrophe it will cause, the war will shake the global equilibrium by encouraging the big powers to change their geopolitical strategies. The wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, and those that may follow, are part of an attempt to impose the new world order heralded by the collapse of the Soviet system. The pretext was the unprecedented terrorist blitz on September 11, an attack that aimed to shake US hegemony. The terrorist strike on American soil was a shock for the American people and a catalyst for ensuing developments. It freed the hands of those who sought a dynamic confirmation of Washington’s global hegemony and gave neoconservatives in the White House an ideological weapon. The attempt to usher in a new world order, as seen in the Iraq campaign and the threats against Syria and Iran, has fueled Arab extremism and caused cracks in the Western alliance, and even sparked protests inside the USA. The question is whether these first reactions will be consolidated. Before the war, and in the early days in the conflict, one could sense the rift getting deeper and deeper. However, recent remarks from German, French and Russian officials show that these states have begun to review their stance. Pragmatism has pushed the anti-war coalition to seek common ground with the US-British coalition. Most countries have accepted the outcome of the war and adapted their stance to their national interest accordingly. This is what Greece is also doing, despite the public’s anti-war sentiment. The government cannot ignore ongoing developments and must put the national interest above everything else so as to protect Greece from the approaching storms.