While the Aegean Sea is becoming the daily theatre for Turkey’s guns-and-drone policy, one of the consequences of the renewal of the Greek-American Defence agreement (or ‘MDCA’) is the strengthening of the U.S military in Greece, locking down Turkey, Russia and, by extension, Iran in the vast spider web of its bases.
This containment or entrapment can be clearly seen on the above map:
In Crete, the huge reinforcement of the naval base in Souda Bay, is on-going to host F-35s and UCAVs.
In Thessaly, the extension of the Larissa air force base, which enables to radiate around the whole region (the Aegean Sea and the Ionian Sea).
In Thrace, the extension of the base of Alexandroúpoli and the building-up of a radar-station to monitor the straits. The range of the future radar should allow the U.S military to monitor the entire region, as far as Syria. This new radar will be linked to the parent station located in the island of Samothrace, thus creating a dense network intended to monitor all military activities in this vast aera.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Turkey’s daily provocations have obviously reinforced this Greek-American strategy, which dates back to the Cold War: in the last seven months, indeed, Alexandroúpoli has proven to be a very reliable alternative to the closed Bosphorus Strait.
But current plans go further than a simple extension of a transit centre to go to Bulgaria, Romania or even Poland: it is about completely bypassing Turkey, whose irrational attitude will go crescendo with the Turkish internal elections of June 18, 2023, which will precede the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish republic on the following October 29.
Indeed, the expansion of the port of Alexandroúpoli will allow American Aegis missile defense destroyers to home-port there, as they already do at La Rota in Spain. And the expansion of the base's infrastructure will serve as a logistics centre (equipment, ammunition, fuel, etc.) for all the countries in the region: the West-East axis with, to the East, the Balkans (where the United States monitors Serbia, protecting its Kosovar ally) and the West (monitoring Turkey), the North-South axis to serve its allies: Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Baltic countries, by a route other than through Germany.
I was pleased to accompany an impressive @BENS_org delegation to Alexandroupoli w/@ChiefHNDGS, underscoring the vital role this port plays securing NATO's southern flank, helping Greece lead the region's energy diversification & as a key gateway to the west Balkans and Black Sea. pic.twitter.com/yKuWcEAUXZ— George J. Tsunis (@USAmbassadorGR) September 22, 2022
American strategists plan to supplant Turkey as a trusted ally in the region, at this stage only at the level of infrastructure and pre-positioned equipment, which, in itself, reflects an increased mistrust towards Ankara, especially at Capitol Hill.
Surrounded by, and deprived of, F-35s and even threatened in its F-16 modernization program, Turkey has no alternative than run forward, with more violent speeches and daily violations of the Greek territory.
Meanwhile, the Greek diplomacy is building-up a dense network of allies, from Egypt and the Gulf monarchies to Asia (as in India recently), leaving Turkey marginalized in NATO despite its once-crucial control of the Bosphorous.