Thursday, June 28, 2012

Negotiating the National Security and Territorial Integrity of Greece

By Marcus A. Templar

The reality of the 21st century has modified the traditional philosophy regarding the definition of national security as guided by the concept of a country’s national interests. National security of a country does not anymore adhere to a strict definition, but to a broad one.
In order for a country to construct a national security policy that is right for its aspirations, it must establish its national goals that become the country’s national interests.  National goals are based on issues that the citizens of a country (and its diaspora as part of a nation) value most.  In a broad sense, national interests can be defined as anything that could affect the quest for the national goals. Consequently, the national interests of a country determine the aspects of the national security of that country, which are physical and psychological.  

Physical aspects of the national security are comprised of security and defense forces, which bestow high morale and pride for the country, aka patriotism. Psychological aspects include, but are not limited to social, monetary, commercial, political, educational, and national health issues.

The formulation of the national security policy, which is ever changing, depends on the intelligence received from diplomatic missions abroad, foreign diplomatic missions at home, military and civilian attachés, commercial delegations, publications, tourism, and a vast array of other sources.  In a government that prudence prevails, intelligence shapes the national security policy while in irresponsible governments intelligence fits that country’s national security policy.  Considering that policies are guided by political affinities, political behaviors, or philosophies disregarding the reality on the ground, the latter is the wrong way to go.

Regarding the FYROM, it has become apparent that its national goal is the dismemberment of Greece.  In social media, publications, and speeches, statements made by its officials, citizens, and organizations of the FYROM diaspora, one gathers that the incorporation of Greek Macedonia into the FYROM is a value of utmost significance for all FYROM Slavs.

The most significant point of all is not that the FYROM’s simple citizens and its Slavic diaspora want Greece’s dismemberment, it is the officials of the FYROM who are proudly photographed in front of maps depicting “Greater Macedonia” while government sponsored events filled with anti-Hellenic songs, flags depicting the Sun of Vergina on a red background, statues of ancient Greek heroes and mythological figures, re-naming of buildings, roads, stadia, etc. indicate that it is only the beginning of Greece’s troubles.  Considering the above, the process has elevated FYROM’s specific goal as part of its national security, which is expressed in its foreign policy and materializes with the help of diplomacy, lobbies, diaspora, and whatever means serve their goal. The FYROM’s distorted ancient Macedonian history is being used in order to claim Greek territory in the future.

The name Macedonia, its derivatives, and the fake identity of the Slavs are directly connected to Greece’s national security and territorial integrity. Greeks have not yet realized that ancient history, albeit distorted, has been successfully used by Skopje as a distraction to the real issue. The historical distraction thrown on the Greeks by Skopje has allowed Skopje to freely use its foot soldiers (diplomatic corps, diaspora, professional lobbyists, etc) in order to achieve its national goal while Greece remained inactive.  Only due to the pressure that the Greek diaspora has exerted on the Greek government, Greece has not recognized Skopje as Macedonia.

As militarily weak as Skopje is at present, it has become a formidable political opponent to Greece it could conceivably achieve its national goal in the future.  The manner in which Bulgaria annexed in 1885 Eastern Rumelia, and how Kosovo became independent in the beginning of the 21st century should be a lesson to all on what a “weak” state can do once it finds the right patron. The officials of Greece must seriously consider the above-mentioned indicators and warnings that affect the national security of the country.

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