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Small but Significant Steps that Upgrade Greece

It may seem – comparatively – like a small decision, but it isn’t. It is a government decision of major significance that demonstrates the important change that has occurred in the politics and mentality of people in Greece.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis decided that Greece should participate in the naval operation ‘Aspides’, which aims to protect free navigation in the Red Sea region. The Red Sea, of course, is one of the most critical waterways of global trade, through which many Greek commercial ships, including oil tankers, pass. Ships passing through the Red Sea are being targeted by the Houthis, Yemeni rebels, causing a serious problem for global commerce. This, of course, cannot continue. Thus, the West, under the leadership of the United States, is taking measures to stop it. Greece’s decision to participate in this operation is not so significant from a military perspective. However, it is extremely significant symbolically. It signifies Greece’s active re-engagement in the broader security of its region. A few decades ago, such a thing would have been impossible for fear that the possible death of a member of the Armed Forces would ‘burn down Athens’. This is the response I had received from a senior government official years ago when arguing for Greece’s participation in another operation. Now, however, it is almost going unnoticed, relegated to the back pages of newspapers.

A country like Greece cannot abstain from allied and other obligations while demanding support from others for its own issues. The much-publicized increased extroversion is not limited to the economic sector. It extends to the military as well. Which investor would trust and invest in an isolated, fearful, and indecisive country?

Yes, these are small, but significant steps that upgrade Greece.


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