CLOSE
Loading...
22° Nicosia,
23 March, 2019
 
Home  /  Comment  /  Opinion

US foreign policy standing on quicksand

Greece and Cyprus will have to exercise great caution from here on out in the planning of their foreign policy

Alexis Papachelas

Alexis Papachelas

Greece and Cyprus will have to exercise great caution from here on out in the planning of their foreign policy and defense, as Washington appears to be sinking in a mire of political quicksand, if developments concerning Syria are anything to go by.

US President Donald Trump threw the entire political establishment under the bus with a simple phone call to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and took the entire world by surprise. Even his close ally Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had to find out about Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from Syria from CNN.

Now we know that the commitments made by important officials in the American government can easily fall through

Greece and Cyprus had so far counted on talks and consultations with top officials in the State Department and the Pentagon. There was an understanding that the United States would offer a certain amount of protection against Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean, and that the American establishment was preparing a Plan B because it was worried about the possibility of Turkey becoming another Pakistan.

Now we know that the commitments made by important officials in the American government can easily fall through. Besides, people in key positions, such as the US Defense Secretary James Mattis and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford, will be stepping down.
Trump has shown that he appreciates Erdogan and thinks that “he can do business with him,” as the American president told a senior Greek official explaining the issue of Turkish aggression in the region. Maybe Erdogan is the type of leader Trump prefers to negotiate with; maybe there is something else behind this relationship.

The fact remains that while Athens has established lines of communication with several decision-making centers, it does not have direct access to Trump himself. There are no prominent Greek-Americans who know the American president personally and can pick up the phone to ask for something that would be in favor of Greek interests. Neither does Trump have some knowledge or contact with Greece. For better or worse, this always played a role, but now it matters even more.

It is, of course, also possible that Congress may be mobilized, as many of its members are very hostile toward Erdogan. But the biggest concern is what kind of decisions Trump will be called to make in “real time.” We may reach a point where although we have assurances on the presence of US warships in a specific region, Erdogan will call up Trump and ask: “What are your warships doing there? I will make you a better deal to use the gas deposits we will find there.” We do not know what answer he will receive – which is why the situation is so precarious.

TAGS
US  |  America  |  Trump  |  Foreign  |  Policy  |  Diplomacy  |  Cyprus  |  Greece  |  Mattis  |  Defense  |  Erdogan

Opinion: Latest Articles

Pompeo, Anastasiades, Netanyahu, Tsipras shake hands in Jerusalem, 21/03/2019

Westward Bound

Pompeo’s comments in Jerusalem tell the story of western political culture
Yiannis Kafkarides
 |  OPINION
Marina Economides calls on government to answer questions as passing the buck is alive and well

Pass the buck

Folks served baloney as politicians openly resort to blame shifting tactics
Marina Economides
 |  OPINION
For a strong Europe

For a strong Europe

Does the rest of Europe want to see Germany in a new leading role?
Alexis Papachelas
 |  OPINION
Marina Economides explores the nuanced slogan ‘you know why’ to uncover a fundamental lack of political culture

You know why

Lack of political culture goes back years and the alt right is on the rise because of it
Marina Economides
 |  OPINION
Eleni Xenou finds hope in a young man’s life and work on the divided island of Cyprus

This is B’s story

Man's peace effort in Cyprus speaks for itself, going above and beyond fixed notions of the past
Eleni Xenou
 |  OPINION
Andreas Paraschos sees energy opportunities that ought to give rise to a state governed by the rule of law

Game Changer

The time has come for big decisions along with a change in the Cypriot mindset
Andreas Paraschos
 |  OPINION
Greece will never be able to break the deadlocks unless its politicians come to an understanding and reach an agreement on some radical changes

Wrestling in the Colosseum

Everyone played a part in drenching Greek society in hatred. Some did it for the votes, others for the TV ratings, and others ...
Alexis Papachelas
 |  OPINION
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaking to the Press in Geneva

The Guterres Framework

In an era where the public can change allegiances based on one tweet, sincerity and integrity are greatly appreciated
Yiannis Kafkarides
 |  OPINION
X