This article by Aris Roussinos for UnHerd comes shortly after all of the fuss over the creation of AUKUS and the provision of nuclear powered submarines to Australia by the US and the UK which resulted in the cancellation of a proposed contract with France for diesel powered conventional submarines.
There are decades when nothing happens, and weeks when decades happen, as a quote dubiously attributed to Lenin states. Last week was one of those weeks. As it began, I argued that the most significant short term effect of the Aukus agreement would not be in the distant Pacific, but rather here on our home continent, by rapidly accelerating Macron’s quest for European strategic autonomy from Nato structures under French patronage. The announcement in the following days of France’s naval deal and defence pact with Greece is a dramatic illustration of these processes at work in Europe’s rapidly shifting security environment.
After years of back and forth negotiations, the Greek Ministry of Defence finally settled on France over the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and the United States as the provider of the Hellenic Navy’s new frigates. It’s a vital upgrade given the deterioration of both the Mediterranean’s security environment and of Greek naval capacity following more than a decade of austerity. The FDI frigates chosen pack a powerful punch, tilting the scales back in Greece’s favour in its increasingly heated contest of primacy in the Aegean with Erdogan’s Turkey.
To accompany the new frigates, there is a strong likelihood of Greece also buying a number of Gowind-class corvettes from France as part of its rapid naval build-up. Coupled with Greece’s recent purchase of 24 Rafale fighter jets, France has emerged as the country’s most significant supplier of arms, at a time when the likelihood of open conflict with Turkey is greater than it has been in decades.
Yet as with Aukus, the true significance of the deal lies less in the hardware purchased, than in the alliance-building underpinning it. The “Strategic Partnership for Cooperation in Defence and Security” agreement unveiled in Paris contains a mutual defence assistance clause in the event that either country is attacked anywhere on its territory, using “all the means at their disposal, including, if needed, armed violence,” to fend off the aggressor.
the article ends within these words of warning and chastisement of the Biden regime:
France is the only EU country with a credible military capable of intervention beyond its borders, and so is the candidate best suited to assume a leadership role within the context of Europe. Turkey’s openly aggressive attitude and actions in the eastern Med make it imperative that Europe show its readiness to defend its eastern flank while the US deals with aggression in the Pacific as it should.
Finally, it is a calamitous failing on the part of the Biden regime that $80 billion worth of military equipment has been gifted to Islamist terrorists when it could have been used to reinforce Greece’s defences.
Aris Roussinos is a former war reporter and a contributing editor at UnHerd.
For the full article in pdf, please click here: