Greek pre-emptive strike - Erdogan's threats bring it to the table

Ω Prof. Kostas Grivas
Greek pre-emptive strike - Erdogan's threats bring it to the table, Costas Grivas

One of the fundamental rights of countries under international law is that of armed self-defense, when there is a violation of their national sovereignty and especially when they are under military attack. Greece today suffers from both. First of all, for quite some time now Turkey has been invading areas of the Greek EEZ-continental shelf.

This action not only violates some "distant" sovereign rights, as a powerful system of misinformation both in Greece and abroad is trying to convince us of, but it questions the legal status and the Hellenicity of all the Greek islands, on which the EEZ-continental shelf is based. In other words, Turkey is not claiming a larger part of the EEZ-continental shelf (than we consider its due), but it is bluntly and clearly arguing that the Greek islands do not have sovereign rights.

Essentially, it is trying to impose a geopolitical reality, according to which the whole of island Greece in the Aegean does not exist, it does not exist from a legal point of view. And when a country does not have the right to exercise sovereignty over such a large part of its territory, it is generally voided as a country. In other words, Turkey has launched a campaign to "erase" Greece from the world map as a normal state. In other words, it is waging a peculiar totalitarian war against Greece.

The pre-declaration of war is an attack

In addition, for a few days now, war threats against Greece have reached unprecedented levels. President Erdogan, with his latest statements, has clearly and unequivocally announced a war against Greece. And this activates Greece's right to self-defense. When one country, clearly and bluntly, tells another that it intends to attack it, the defending country clearly has the right to defend its existence by taking the initiative. In no case is a country obliged to passively wait to receive the first fire, so that it can then defend itself.

Therefore, the sad views that are circulating in Athens, according to which if something is to be done, Greece must first be attacked by war and then offer any resistance are invalid. According to these views, if Greece does not act as a passive recipient of Turkish military initiatives, it will "isolate itself", "suffer consequences from the international community" and other similar, suspiciously established, sophistries.

Preemptive strike

Moreover, based on Erdogan's latest statements, according to which Turkey is determined to make great human sacrifices in order to impose its positions, it seems likely that Turkey wants to drag Greece into a war of attrition, taking advantage of its population, and the fanaticism that prevails in the Turkish masses, in order to exhaust it.

Consequently, this raises the question of the expediency of a Greek overwhelming first blow, which will intend to inactivate the aggressive "centers" of Turkey. The issue is not easy at all, but it is not an existing one. Under certain conditions, which tend to take shape on the Greek-Turkish front, it may become the most rational choice. This is to avoid the prolonged war and the disasters it will bring.

In other words, the logic of "avoiding war at all costs" is probably unrealistic if, indeed, as the Turkish rulers themselves say in a loud voice, Turkey has decided to take military action against Greece. If this is indeed the case, Greece must put the conflict on its own scale, not adapt to the measures that suit Ankara.

To put it another way: Greece has a vital interest in reducing the risk of being trapped in a protracted war, which will be to its detriment. This means that it must take the initiative and consequently must, if nothing else, seriously consider the case of the inactivation of Turkish offensive capabilities, through a preemptive strike.

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