OPINION

A smart response to the Turkish threat

All evidence suggests Turkey is leading us into a frenzied arms race. Its huge expenditure on modern aircraft and ships will oblige Greece to follow suit. As long as the Turkish threat is in place and our neighbor’s territorial claims remain unchanged, Greece will be obliged to bleed itself dry to keep up in this power game. Faced with this threat, there are only two ways in which Greece can react. The first involves clever diplomacy and the second calls for equally clever, but also transparent, investments in the defense sector. The first calls for alliances; it demands our country’s constant participation in European and international developments. It calls for economic development and a greater involvement of Greece’s economy in the globalized system. As for the second – and in view of the fact that we will be obliged to spend a lot – we should ensure that we capitalize upon every euro. Our defense programs must maximize the cost-performance ratio. Usually the choice of weapons is influenced by other factors and does not actually bolster our defenses. Proper planning is often overlooked in order to serve longstanding ties and self-seeking interests. So, tackling corruption (a challenge for the whole public sector) is particularly important here. Accustomed practices – which made some people rich but Greece’s defenses poor – must be abandoned once and for all. Unfortunately, we have a dangerous neighbor which must be curbed. Hence, Greece may be obliged to spend huge amounts on its defense but the government must ensure that this investment is exploited in the best possible way.