ATHENS – Showing how big the imbalance in power is between the countries, Greece came in 33d out of 138 countries in an annual list of states with the biggest potential military strength, compiled by military webpage Global Firepower, while its adversary Turkey was 11th, just out of the top ten.
Based on the 2020 review, Greece holds a power index rating of 0.5311 (with 0.0000 considered “perfect”), the same rating as a year earlier as tension have been rising between the countries over Turkish provocations in the Aegean and East Mediterranean, sparking fears of a conflict.
The webpage said “growing tensions with neighboring Turkey have placed the Greek military on notice heading into 2020,” according to Kathimerini, with jockeying between them for support from the the United States.
The US and Greece in 2019 renewed a military co-operation agreement as Washington wants to expand an American military presence in the country but President Donald Trump sides with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom he called a friend and “hell of a leader.”
Turkey though has been shut out of buying US-made F-35 fighter jets after buying Russian S-400 missile systems that NATO – to which Greece, Turkey and the US belong – said could compromise the alliance’s defense systems.
Turkey has also signed a maritime deal with a divided Libya, splitting the seas between them with Erdogan saying he wants to have ships drill for oil and gas off Crete while Turkey also claims waters around other Greek islands, including Rhodes.
The top 10 military powers are the US, Russia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, France, the United Kingdom, Egypt and Brazil. After Turkey comes Italy, Germany, Iran and then Pakistan.