Title: Greece. White Paper for the Armed Forces - Chapter 2
CHAPTER 2: THE STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
1. THE NATIONAL STRATEGY
Greek national strategy includes the following fundamental principles:
- The deterrence of any external threat.
- The support of the country' s European course.
- The support of the country' s position in the Balkans with a view to its gradually becoming European Union' s Balkan gateway.
- The active presence of Greece in the area of the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean.
- The development of an active and dynamic defence diplomacy aiming at promoting civil security, peace, and cooperation in the area of the Balkans, the Black Sea, and the Eastern Mediterranean.
- Active participation in all international organisations.
- The presence of Greece as the metropolitan centre of Hellenism, that takes the necessary initiatives to mobilise the Hellenes around the world.
2. THE NATIONAL DEFENCE POLICY
The general aim of the national defence policy is the strengthening of Greece's security, through combined actions in the area of defence diplomacy and foreign policy, and its constructive role as a driving force for stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans.
The principles of the national defence policy are:
a. Abiding by the international treaties and agreements, the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the Final Act of Helsinki, according to which:
- Greece considers its borders, as well as the exercise of its legal sovereignty rights, to be firmly defined and aspires to the respect of status quo in the region, as this has ensued from the international treaties and agreements which Greece has signed.
- It remains firm in matters concerning its national security and sovereignty.
- It considers the survival of the Cypriot Hellenism, and the guarantee of its security to be a national duty and a vital interest.
b. Attachment to peace, stability, and the principles of international law.
c. Peaceful resolution of disputes and deterrence of threats against national security through political, diplomatic, economic, and military means.
d. Respect of international obligations that arise from the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, the Open Skies Treaty and other relevant agreements.
e. Prevention from acquisition and use of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, chemical, biological) and support of international efforts for the reduction of their proliferation.
Aims of the national defence policy are:
a. Keeping the peace, safeguarding the country' s territorial integrity, protecting the national independence, sovereignty and security of Greek people from any attack or threat from abroad.
b. Guarantee of the Cypriot Hellenism's security and concern about the Hellenic minorities' security abroad.
c. Acquiring, according to priority, the necessary means for national defence, so that the exercise of national sovereignty on land, sea and air is effectively supported.
d. Ensuring the capability to perform land, sea and air transportation.
e. Existence of stability in the region, resolution of peripheral conflicts and preservation of military balance.
f. Promotion of friendship and good neighbourhood relations, as well as of cooperation in the zone of our geopolitical interest in Europe, the Balkans, the Black Sea, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, and North Africa.
g. Maximisation of the advantages from Greece's participation in alliances and collective security organisations (NATO, WEU, OSCE, EU) for the protection of its national interests, honoring at the same time, the country's obligations towards them.
h. Contribution to the development of the national economy, especially through the development of the domestic defence industry and the materialisation of armament programmes and research on defence issues.
i. Reinforcement of security conditions for the citizens with the contribution of the Armed Forces when facing disasters, major calamities, and, in general, civil emergencies, especially in the frontier areas, as well as reinforcement of the unity and solidarity between the people and the army, thus promoting the social role of the Armed Forces.
3. THE NATIONAL MILITARY STRATEGY
In the framework of the national defence policy, as defined by the Governmental Council on Foreign Affairs and National Defence, the Ministry of National Defence formulates the national military strategy which provides the directives for the use of the country' s military power, the development of defence planning, the planning of the structure of the forces, as well as the procedures for decision-making in defence matters.
The national military strategy is a part of our national strategy, which aims at strengthening the position of Greece both in our region, and in the broader international area.
The central axis of Greece's military strategy is the deterrence of the Turkish threat as well as of the dangers and risks sremming from other directions, in combination with the policy of relaxing the tensions. The country' s military doctrine is defensive. Greece aims to increase the operational ability of the Hellenic Armed Forces in order to achieve an effective deterrent policy, which should be constant, undiminishing, and convincing, and have the following elements:
- declaration of the country's intention that it will react if challenged
- capability to respond to an attack.
As a result, Greece's national strategy consists of three elements: "defensive sufficiency", "flexible response" and the country's ability to effectively cover the "Greece-Cyprus Joint Defence Area".
The "defence sufficiency" policy provides an alternative to the arms race between Greece and Turkey and sets as a target the securing of all those defensive means, as well as the quality of manpower, which constitute the necessary and sufficient conditions for the deterrence of any threat. At the same time, it means a systematic effort for the introduction of new technology and weapon systems that ensure the maximisation of "cost-effectiveness".
According to the defence policy principles, Greece's reaction to any challenge should be appropriate, selective, prompt, and effective. The defence preparation of the Armed Forces must ensure a large variety, both with regard to the selection of forces for employment of limited potential and reliable deterrent ability, and with regard to the accomplishment of a variety of foreign and defence policy objectives that may become relevant to an escalation of a crisis in the Aegean.
Joint Defence Area
In 1993, Greece and Cyprus decided to establish a Joint Defence Area in order to deter the Turkish threat. The initiative in progress assumes a clear defensive character and aims at preventing or addressing any offensive actions against the participating parties.
4. THE NEW STRUCTURE OF THE ARMED FORCES
In order to create effective armed forces, suitable to meet the principles of the country' s defence policy, Greece should:
a. Develop, on land, flexible, mobile, and effective forces, with armour protection, great fire power and effectiveness, properly organised and deployed, capable of securing the integrity of mainland and insular Greece and contributing to the defence of Cyprus.
b. Develop, on sea, a naval force, capable of protecting Greece's sovereign rights, defending the Hellenic shores and islands from sea attacks, keeping the sea lines of communication open, and projecting power ashore.
c. Develop, on air, an air force capable of protecting Greece's sovereign rights, and ensuring the country' s air-defence.
d. Maximise the capability of coordinated action among the services of the armed forces, so as to be able to conduct combined operations in order to achieve the objectives of the country's defence strategy in the direction of development and support of joint operations.
e. Reorganise the forces of the three services, with a view to improving the effectiveness and reaction time and aiming, at the same time, at reducing their operational cost.
5. DEFENCE DIPLOMACY
In the context of the European Union, Greece:
a. Supports any effort for the development of a common defence policy on the part of the European Union and the development of the WEU as its defence pillar.
b. Actively participates in the developments within the European Union and the WEU and pursues a substantial role in the decision-making and planning levels.
Greece's defence diplomacy in the Balkans is developing on the basis of the preservation of good relationships, constructive cooperation, and resolution of problems and differences by peaceful means, aiming at:
a. The bilateral defence cooperation between Greece and Albania on the basis of the respect of the existing borders and the human rights of the Greek minority.
b. The support of international community's efforts for full implementation of the Paris peace agreement on Bosnia-Herzegovina.
c. The preservation of friendly relation-ships with FYROM under the condition of eliminating those issues that conceal irredentist aspirations against Greece.
d. The promotion of close defence cooperation between Greece and the Balkan states, which can also be extended to joint exercises of the armed forces.
e. The assumption of a substantial role in promoting "Partnership for Peace" activites in the Balkan region.
f. The preservation of close relationships in the economic, political, and, under certain conditions, defence sectors with FR Yugoslavia and Bulgaria.
g. Supports Romania and Bulgaria' s accession to NATO.
In Eastern Europe, Greece:
a. Pursues the development of a military co-operation with Russia, the Black Sea and the Transaucasus states on matters of defence industry, military education and training, and the transfer of know-how.
b. Develops bilateral defence co-operation with these countries.
In the Middle East and the Mediterranean Greece's defence diplomacy focuses on:
a. The pursuit of defence cooperation with countries of the Middle East and the Mediterrannean on matters of cadre training, defence industry, and exercises.
b. The promotion and support of initiatives and actions for keeping the peace, establishing mutual confidence, reducing arms build-ups and promoting co-operation among the countries of the region.
c. The reinforcement of the Hellenic naval and air presence, especially in the Eastern Mediterranean.
With regard to NATO, Greece's defence diplomacy specialises in the following actions:
a. Active participation in the activities, exercises, and the decision-making mechanisms of the Alliance.
b. Supports NATO' s evolution to a "common security" organisation, as well as its enlargement given that no overturning will take place and that the existing configuration of power that guarantees the stability and peace in the different areas of the Alliance especially in its South eastern region, will be further reinforced.
c. Support the establishment of NATO headquarters on Greek territory, in connection with the various NATO decisions concerning the development of a new NATO command structure.
As far as Greece's cooperation with the USA is concerned, its defence diplomacy focuses on the following:
a. Promoting good relations without neglecting its European identity or slowing down defence cooperation programmes with other countries.
b. Keeping a balance of (military) power between Greece and Turkey.
As far as the U.N. is concerned, Greece supports peace-support and humanitarian aid operations. It also participates actively in the assembly of forces to serve those objectives.
As far as the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is concerned, Greece supports its transformation to a conflict-prevention and crisis management organisation.