Commentaries

Commentary and Opinion essays, written by contributing colleagues and associates, provide readers with a fresh perspectives on current regional issues. All papers, commentaries, programs and related content prior to January 2005 reflect the work and product of the Western Policy Center. The views expressed are those of authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Western Policy Center or the Southeast Europe Project.

Issues in this Series

Greece's Financial Crisis: The Politics of Resolution and Reform

Achilles Skordas
March 2010- This paper is based on a discussion the author gave at the Wilson Center with the same title. Greece faces the greatest challenge since the restoration of democracy and the war in Cyprus in 1974. The challenge is economic and social, but, unless successfully managed, it may threaten the foundations of the political system, as well. Structural reform that needs to be implemented in the medium term – over the course of the next few years –if the crisis is to be put under control in the long haul. Such reform should extend to practically all areas of policy and should correct the long-established distortions and ‘conventional wisdoms’ of the economic, social and foreign policy of the country.

The hot, flat, insecure world: a governance test

Ruby Gropas
August 21, 2009- How human and institutional agents manage the interplay of global warming and insecurity will define the century. What makes the era so hard to define is not just the constancy of change but the fact that it is happening in so many fields simultaneously. The substantial shifts of power in global politics and economics, the dynamic inventiveness of new communications technologies, and the explosion of scientific and medical discoveries are just a few examples; together they seem to make "definition" itself, at least if that is understood as an attempt at fixity, near-impossible.

Turkey and Counter-Terrorism: The Impact of EU Conditionality on Political Reform

Gulnur Aybet
On the 6th of March 2009, a conference was held at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies (RUSI) in London, entitled: "Combating International Terrorism: Turkey's Added Value." The conference brought together British and Turkish officials and various experts to explore areas of cooperation in counter-terrorism between Turkey and the UK. The format of the conference was based on the UK Government's strategy for countering international terrorism, with the same sub-headings of: Prevent, Pursue, Protect and Prepare. A version of this paper will be published in a forthcoming R.U.S.I.( Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies) report on Turkey and Counter-Terrorism.The presentation concentrated on strategies to ‘Prevent' international terrorism. The focus of the session was on tackling disadvantages and supporting reform; the socio-economic investment schemes under GAP (the Great Anatolia Project); and the impact of EU membership criteria, or EU ‘conditionality' on the democratic reform process in Turkey. The paper's focus concentrated on the impact of EU conditionality and recent political crises in Turkey on the political reform process as a measure to prevent terrorism.

Regions in Between: Europe, NATO and the Geopolitics of Shifting Frontiers

Alexandros Petersen
Summer 2008- This article was published in the Turkish Policy Quarterly (Volume 7, Number 2). The enlargement of Western institutions and the incorporation of regions in between has been defined by the desire of those regions to shed their ‘in between-ness’. Despite resistance from Russia and Western Europe, this momentum will likely continue. The West’s premier institutions, the EU and NATO, with an open mind towards involving Russia, would do well to positively engage in the geopolitics of shifting frontiers.

Pax Europeaa: EU Challenges and Prospects in Eurasia, Africa and the Middle East

Ruby Gropas
June 2008- The EU has fundamentally defined relations with its neighbors through its enlargement policy. At present, further enlargement, beyond the countries designated as candidate or potential candidate Member States, appears unlikely in the short term. Numerous conditions have been pointed out as necessary circumstances prior to any further widening of the Union.

Euro-Islam v. "Eurabia": Defining the Muslim Presence in Europe

Ina Merdjanova
April 2008 - (This article was written as part of Dr. Merdjanova's research at the Wilson Center and published at Religion Dispatches.) In the cacophony of voices in the European public square in the wake of the Fitna controversy, two broader lines can be discerned. While the protagonists of interreligious and intercultural toleration—in both secular and church-related circles—constitute a clear majority, the message sent by Wilders has not fallen on deaf ears.

Global Trends, Regional Consequences: Wider Strategic Influences on the Black Sea

Ian O Lesser
November 2007 - (Xenophon Paper No. 4, written for the International Centre for Black Sea Studies and posted with the permission of the author.) The wider Black Sea area is rapidly becoming a focal point of interest for a number of extra-regional actors that can also be considered, in view of their active involvement, to be stakeholders. As Ian Lesser, the author of this new Xenophon Paper suggests, the Black Sea is strategically significant because it is an important part of the European security environment, it is a political and logisticalhub for power projection to crisis-prone areas beyond the Black Sea basin and it is important in its own right because of its impressive development potential but also because it harbors many flashpoints for regional conflict.

The Variable Geometries of Turkey's European Integration

Fabrizio Tassinari
November 2007 - This article is a revised and updated version of the author's "Variable Geometries: Institutions, Power and Ideas in Turkey's European Integration process" in Noel Parker (ed.): The Geopolitics of Europe's Boundaries: Spaces, centres and Margins, (forthcoming, Palgrave).

EU Enlargement and Transatlantic Relations

Ruby Gropas
October 2007- (Working paper for project on "The US - EU Partnership: Enlargement and Change.") Both sides of the Atlantic have spent the better part of the past decade reassessing, reinventing, reconsidering, and revisiting the Transatlantic alliance, its relevance, its crisis, and its agenda. This paper attempts to analyze the continuing need for examining the relevance of Transatlantic relations.

Greek Turkish Relations and the Kantian Democratic Peace Theory

Ted Couloumbis and Alexander Kentikelenis
August 2007 - For a long time the Greek-Turkish space had been characterized as a volcanic zone which was expected to erupt into generalized warfare at anytime and anywhere between the Aegean and Cyprus. Greeks and Turks, despite their joint membership in NATO since 1952, were described as politically incompatible and trapped by history (centuries of Ottoman occupation, Greek national revolution, and irredentist wars throughout the 19th century and the first two and a half decades of the 20th). Greeks and Turks were expected invariably to repeat their conflict prone behavior of the past well into the future.

Turkey, The US, and Cooperation For Transformation in the New Black Sea Region

Ozdem Sandberk
May 2007 - This paper was commissioned as part of the project on "Reshaping US - Turkey Relations," an 18-month project, headed by Public Policy Scholar Dr. Ian O. Lesser. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Southeast Europe Project or the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Turkey's Western Destiny

Morton Abramowitz and Henri Barkey
April 24, 2007- (Published in the Wall Street Journal, Page A19) By midnight tomorrow, Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan will decide the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) candidate for president of Turkey. Ten days ago, in an unprecedented gathering demonstrating the polarization gripping that country, hundreds of thousands marched in Ankara against Mr. Erdogan choosing himself.

Are the Greeks Anti-American?

Ted Couloumbis and Athanasios Moulakis
January 2007 - The image of America abroad has suffered in recent years. Whatever the reasons for such loss of favor and face, it is remarkable to find Greece- a nation that has been through history on the same side with the United States- near the top of the list of countries critical of America. Evidence of such distance between old friends is disconcerting, not least to the Greek-American community which is a vibrant and fiercely loyal part of American society.

Debalkanizing the Balkans with the Kantian Theory of Democratic Peace

Ted Couloumbis
This study focuses on the post-communist Balkans and juxtaposes the positions of what its authors call the “recidivist” and “transitionist” schools of thought. The thesis of the recidivists is that war is a deep characteristic of the Balkans and is destined to recur in the future. The transitionists, on the contrary, posit that war is a product of economic, political and social underdevelopment rather than being specific to particular geographic regions or cultures. Siding with the cautiously optimistic approach of the transitionists, the authors of this study employ a variation of Bruce Russett’s Kantian peace theory and attempt to apply it to the post-communist Balkans.

Neither Bridge nor Barrier: Towards a New Paradigm in US - Turkish Relations

Athanasios Moulakis
November 2006- (Presentation given at the American Hellenic Institute) Following and seeking to revive well-established terminological precedent President Clinton spoke of a "strategic partnership" when he addressed the Turkish Grand National Assembly in 1999. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul did not fail to evoke the term yet again on the occasion of the latter's visit to Washington last summer.

Turkey, the United States and the Delusion of Geopolitics

Ian Lesser
Autumn 2006: Article published in Survival Magazine (vol. 48, no. 3): Turkey and Turkish–US relations have been prisoners of a narrow concept of geopolitics. The key questions are not geographic – whether Turkey is a bridge or a barrier, a flank or a front – but how Turkey will act, and whether Turkish and American policies are convergent or divergent.

Portugal and the Southern Mediterranean: Transatlantic Insterest and Strategies

Ian Lesser
July 2006: Report done by Luso American Foundation: Over the last decade, Europe has developed an active strategy of engagement with the southern Mediterranean countries in the form of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (the Barcelona Process) and the Mediterranean dimension of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). NATO, too, has an increasingly active program of dialogue and cooperation in the Mediterranean. Southern European countries have been at the forefront in stressing the importance of Europe’s interests in the Mediterranean and North-South Relations

Off Autopilot: The Future Of Turkish - U.S. Relations

Ian O Lesser
Winter 2005- (Published in TURKISH POLICY QUARTERLY, VOLUME 4, NO. 4) To the extent that the U.S. pursues a more active policy aimed at transforming societies and compelling changes in behavior in regions adjacent to Turkey, Ankara will be presented with continuing and difficult choices. Changes in the foreign policy debate on both sides, against the backdrop of turmoil in Iraq, make clear that the bilateral relationship can no longer be left on autopilot. Failure to explore a new approach could spell further deterioration in the outlook for cooperation.

Greece's New Geopolitical Environment

Ian Lesser
September 2005- The geopolitical landscape of Greece has changed considerably in the past few years given not only the various geographical challenges but the emergence of a number of ‘functional' ones as well. According to the author, Greece's political landscape is now much wider as a result of Greece's continued Europeanisation and the effect of globalisation.

Anxieties Without Borders:The United States, Europe And Their Southern Neighbors

Ian O Lesser
May 2005- If the last half of the 20th century was shaped largely by east-west relations, will the first decades of the 21st century be defined along north-south lines? Europe and the United States are increasingly affected, as societies, by developments on their southern peripheries – the southern Mediterranean states of North Africa and the Middle East in the case of Europe, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean in the case of the U.S. Journalists, analysts and policymakers point to analogies between the Mediterranean and the Rio Grande, and the list of policy challenges – migration, trade and investment, transnational security issues, and questions of culture and identity – is outwardly similar.

THE ROAD THROUGH BRUSSELS:CYPRUS ON THE US-TURKEY AGENDA

John Sitilides
Spring 2005- (Published in Vol. 4, No. 1 issue of Turkish Policy Quarterly.) Historically, US-Turkish relations have been deeply affected by events in Cyprus ever since the 1963 crisis, and especially the 1974 coup and invasion. Since the Greek Cypriot rejection of the Annan Plan in April 2004,decades of vigorous diplomatic efforts by the US State Department to resolve the Cyprus problem have ground to a near halt. Turkish and Turkish Cypriot support for the Annan Plan, which was strongly endorsed by the European Union, have also diminished the impact of Cyprus developments on US-Turkish relations. Separately, however, the relationship is in a state of severe disrepair in the wake of Turkish misconceptions about US aims and actions in Iraq and the broader Middle East, as well as the profound mutual mistrust that has only hardened since the March 1, 2003 Turkish parliamentary vote rejecting a Turkish role in the Iraq invasion. At this point, even a historic and welcome solution to the Cyprus problem will have little positive influence on US-Turkey relations, which may have entered a transformational phase with uncertain outcomes.

Greece's New Geopolitical Environment

Ian O Lesser
Viewed over the past decade, and looking toward the next, a key, defining feature of the geopolitical environment as seen from Greece is the progressive enlargement of the country’s “strategic space.” The relevant geopolitical landscape is now much wider than in the past, a result of Greece’s continued Europeanization, and a product of globalization in its various forms. The country’s strategic outlook is less distinctive and more European in character, and as Europe’s geopolitical horizons have expanded, so have those of Greece.

Turkey in the EU Means a New Kind of US-Turkish Relationship

Ian Lesser
Turkey's qualified nod from the European Union to begin formal accession negotiations in October 2005 is good news for the United States, but will require fresh thinking about the "strategic relationship" between Washington and Ankara. It is a relationship suffering from deferred maintenance. The historic EU decision paving the way for eventual Turkish membership is the right moment for Turkey and the U.S. to put their own relationship on a better course.

Transnistria: The Case for "Soft" Unilateral Diplomacy

Achilles Skordas
December 2004 - In the shadow of the Ukraine crisis, the Moldovan province of Transnistria, part of a wider pattern of structural instability in the region at the heart of the Eurasia bridge between NATO and Russia, is the looming flashpoint of the Black Sea region.

Pushing Europe Eastward: Greece Views The Black Sea

Marika S. Karayianni
December 2004 - The Eurasian sub-region of the Black Sea and Caspian basins has become more prominent in international business and geopolitics than at anytime since 1991, when a long ongoing process of restructuring the European political and security architecture began.

Running Out of Time in Kosovo

Nenad Sebek
November 2004 - With the October 23 parliamentary elections in Kosovo, the U.N. proclaims that another "key" threshold has been crossed – but the province's status remains unresolved, its majority population stills seeks independence, its legal sovereigns in Belgrade still oppose independence, and 18,000 NATO-led soldiers, including 1,800 from the U.S., maintain a very tenuous peace in the heart of southeastern Europe.

Serbia, Montenegro, and Kosovo: A Benelux In the Balkans?

Achilles Skordas
October 2004 - Five years since the NATO intervention in Kosovo and four years since the democratic revolution in Serbia, the region that comprises Serbia, Montenegro, and Kosovo is still in political limbo. The international community has been ineffective in pushing for final settlements to resolve the separate, but interconnected, problems of Kosovo and Serbia and Montenegro. Final status agreements concerning these issues need to be achieved in concert within the next 16 months. Otherwise, new sources of regional destabilization are sure to arise.

Black Sea Security: The NATO Imperative

Alexandros Petersen
August 2004 - On March 29, 2004, Bulgaria and Romania joined NATO. The Black Sea is now ringed, on one side, by alliance countries and, on the other, by former Soviet states with varying degrees of instability and security problems. As the trans-Atlantic alliance spreads to the east toward the greater Black Sea region, it encounters new neighbors, where both asymmetrical and conventional threats that were previously not of primary concern now loom large. However, at the June 2004 NATO summit in Istanbul, held at the very entrance to the region, no coherent strategy was outlined for the alliance's new neighborhood and only scant mention was made of its immense strategic importance.

When Miracles Don't Happen: The U.S. Interest in EU-Turkey Relations,

Bruce Clark
October 2003 - Never spend too much time longing for something to happen, because one day you might get your wish and find it is not a miracle cure for all your woes. That piece of homespun wisdom must often be recalled, these days, by American diplomats in Turkey.

The Case For Ending Greece's Ban on Private Universities

Richard Jackson and Kimis Krionas
September 2003 - For over a century, American colleges and universities, many originating in the 19th century as Protestant seminaries, have operated on a private, non-profit basis in the Mediterranean region. Today, they form the nucleus of the American Association of International Colleges and Universities (AAICU) and have, over the years, added an important dimension to relations between host countries and the United States.

How to Keep the Peace in Bosnia -- and Brussels

Bruce Clark
September 2003- For a government that used to abhor peacekeeping, the Bush administration is clinging with surprising tenacity to the American army's role as chief guarantor of law and order in the Balkans. To see the effects of this quiet change of heart, consider the tug-of-war that has been going on over Bosnia, a country whose war wounds have still not quite healed, despite more than seven years of intensive international care.

Don't Forget Cyprus

Col. Steve Norton
June 2003: On March 1 of this year, the U.S.-Turkish strategic partnership came to an end when the Turkish parliament denied the 4th Infantry Division access to Turkey. In time, a new U.S.-Turkish relationship will evolve, but it will not be what it was, nor will it happen automatically.

Eastern Mediterranean Peace Key to Western Security Strategy

Steve Williams
April 2003 - Regional conflicts immediately adjacent to the eastern Mediterranean, from Iraq to the Balkans, offer opportunities to forge an enduring peace between Greece and Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean -- now evolving into a front-line theater of collective Western security -- but the active involvement of both the Greek and Turkish militaries will be required.

A Brave New World in Turkish Politics

Soli Ozel
November 2002 - There are moments in life when a development that one does not find particularly desirable may generate a great sense of relief and even elation. Once a struggle is over, the side effects of its outcome may be seen and appreciated as the harbinger of a new and hopefully auspicious beginning.

Keep The NATO Flag In Greece

Col. Steve Norton and Henry Dinella
January 2003- In this new age of international terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, states a senior NATO official, "Turkey has replaced Germany as the keystone state for European security. NATO's Mediterranean countries, headed by Greece, follow Turkey as the new 'frontline' states." The paradigm shift in the alliance's strategic thinking reveals a new vitality and purpose within NATO, as the realities of emergent and potentially catastrophic threats move the defense debate from deterrence to pro-active security measures.

NATO: Spectator or Team Player

Steve Williams
December 2002 - As east European celebrations subside after NATO's November Prague summit, where the alliance agreed to grow from 19 to 26 members, Europe's inaction and failure to modernize its forces contrast with U.S. efforts to transform NATO to meet tomorrow's threats.

Turkey: Europe Our Friend, America Our Partner

Asla Aydintasbas
December 2002 - Disappointed, Turkish leaders left the December 12-13 European Union summit in Copenhagen without a firm date for accession talks, but they promised to forge ahead with the country's European orientation. Turkey's new government, led by former Islamists, has indicated its willingness to meet Europe's membership criteria by delivering further political reforms and a solution to the Cyprus issue. It is expected to continue to push for progress on both fronts until the EU's December 2004 review of Turkey's eligibility for accession talks. The country may, in fact, begin talks soon afterwards.

Marching to Baghdad Via Cyprus

Steve Williams
October 2002- Napoleon was the master of Europe. His unprecedented ability to move large armies to Spain, Russia, and Egypt relied on a system of supply depots throughout Europe.

Turkish Islamists Gearing Up for Power

Asla Aydintasbas
October 2002- When Turkish voters go to the polls on November 3, they will do so to register a deep sense of despair over the country's economic mismanagement and their growing anger toward mainstream parties. The majority of the voters will be casting a "protest vote," in every sense of the word, and the likely outcome will be a victory for the Islamic-oriented Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Defying Conventional Wisdom on Greek-Turkish Affairs

Alkis Courcoulas
October 2002 - "Papandreou is boosting Turkey's morale," a statement that would normally blare on the front page of an Athens tabloid denouncing Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou's "soft policy" on Turkey, was instead the main headline in the respected Turkish daily Milliyet on October 10.

Cyprus and the Clash of Civilizations

John Sitilides and Paul Glastris
August 2002- The Bush administration has so many foreign policy crises on its plate now that it can be forgiven for not wanting to spend much time on second-tier international issues. At first glance, Cyprus looks like the definition of such an issue. It has been 28 years since Turkish troops were dispatched to the Mediterranean island republic in response to a Greek-led coup. Since then, Cyprus's ethnic Greek and Turkish populations have been separated by a barbed-wire divide that is heavily militarized but reasonably stable. No one expects any fighting in the foreseeable future. In fact, the Greek side of the island has grown so prosperous that Cyprus will be invited to join the European Union in December.

Assessing Militant Islamist Threats in the Balkans

Damjan de Krnjevic-Miskovic
Aug/Sept. 2002 - On the first anniversary of the events of September 11, there remains a credible danger of terrorist attacks by groups of well-funded Islamists in the Balkans, especially in the Muslim part of Bosnia, against American or allied targets.

A Cyprus Settlement: Pulling NATO Into the 21st Century

John Sitilides
May 2002 - It is hard to imagine the sheer weight and magnitude of military and geopolitical issues currently facing the Bush administration: waging the war against international terrorism, containing the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, confronting anti-Western fundamentalism in the Islamic world, and reaching out to European allies that are both at odds with the United States and restive for a new NATO mission to carry forward in the 21st century.

Regime Change in Iraq: Repercussions for Turkey

Cengiz Candar
June/July 2002 - For many experts on the U.S.-Turkish relationship, the "acid test" concerning this relationship is likely to come with the long-awaited American military campaign in Iraq aimed at ousting Saddam Hussein's regime.

Gas, Guns, and Oil: Russia's "Ruble Diplomacy" in the Balkans

Nikolas K. Gvosdev
May 2002 - A major reorientation in Russian policy toward the Balkans is underway. For much of the 1990s, Moscow tried to keep the West out of southeastern Europe. A senior Russian official starkly outlined the choice that faced Russia in the region: "[Russia] cannot help being interested in whether [it] will have economic relations with a [Balkan] country which guarantees stability in the Balkans or a country which aspires to join NATO and is contributing to the creation of dividing lines between Russia and Western Europe."

Macedonia Redux: Uncertainty in the Slav-Albanian Partnership

Henry Dinella
April 2002 - Last year's hard-won Macedonian peace agreement is in danger of being sabotaged by a small, shadowy—but probably growing—extremist group known as the Albanian National Army (ANA), which is beginning a campaign aimed at returning the region to ethnic conflict.

2002: The Critical Year for Turkey

Mehmet Ali Birand
April 2002 - The year 2002 is--and will continue to be--full of challenges for Turkey. The country's 70-year-old economic and political systems are being debated, old taboos are being broken, and long-accepted dogmas are being abandoned.

Resolving Cyprus: The Future of Secular Turkey

Col. Steve Norton
March 2002 - Cyprus is a deceptively serene island snuggled in the eastern Mediterranean near Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon, with a lugubrious modern history that has caused significant problems over the past half century for the United Kingdom, Greece, Turkey, NATO, the U.N., the U.S., and, now, the European Union.

Energy, Terrorism, and Organized Crime: A New Security Agenda in the Eastern Mediterranean

Daniel J. Whiteneck
March 2002 - Throughout most of the 1990s, security issues in the waters of the eastern Mediterranean region were shaped by three factors: the end of the Cold War, the naval aspects of the conflicts in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, and the continuing antagonism between Greece and Turkey over the Aegean Sea and Cyprus.

The Growing Influence of Brussels on Turkish Policy

Henry Dinella
Jan./Feb. 2002 - The vision of a united Europe that began with the European Coal and Steel Community in 1957 inched closer to reality at the European Union Laeken summit when the EU declared on December 15, 2001, that "the unification of Europe is near."

Last Tango in Cyprus: The Negotiating Challenges Ahead

Helena Smith
Jan./Feb. 2002 - So finally we have it: the last tango in Cyprus, where the clock is ticking louder than it has since the division of the island in 1974. The men who will dance to the tune—Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash—are not bit players in this fractured corner of the Levant, but political hegemons who have dominated its messy history for the past 40 years.

Beyond Geopolitics: The Need for Transition in a Cyprus Settlement

Jim Kapsis
Nov./Dec. 2001 - The current escalation of tension between Greece and Turkey over the fate of Cyprus threatens to undermine alliances that are crucial to the successful prosecution of America's war on the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

September 11 and the Persistence of Regional Conflicts

Bruce Clark
Nov./Dec. 2001 - Historically, when a major international conflict breaks out in the world, the terms of every other conflict--including lesser, more localized disputes that are important to the people involved, but obscure to most outsiders--instantly change. America's battle against terrorism certainly ranks as a major international conflict, and every other war zone looks different as a result.

The War on Global Terrorism: Implications for the Eastern Mediterranean

Col. Steve Norton
October 2001 - On September 11, war was thrust upon the Western world in a calculated and evil manner. Hijacked civilian airliners, loaded with innocent people, were cruelly used as instruments of war to kill thousands of unsuspecting Americans and nearly 2,000 citizens from over 60 other countries, including Greece and Turkey.

Amid the Turbulence: Greek Security Policy in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans

Thanos P. Dokos
October 2001 - In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, post-Cold War global structures are in a state of flux. Analysts in small countries seek to identify trends and recommend policies to adjust to emerging global patterns.

Union and Disunion: Lessons from Macedonia for Cyprus

John Sitilides
Aug./Sept. 2001 - The disunion of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia—initially through the nonchalance of Slav Macedonian authorities, then sped into overdrive by ethnic Albanian extremists, and now codified by NATO and European Union mediators—provides stark lessons for negotiators confronting ethnic tensions, political disputes, and security and stability problems at the other end of southeastern Europe, in Cyprus.

Untying the Aegean Knot: Options for Washington

Kenneth B. Moss
Aug./Sept. 2001 - As the 21st century opens, Greece and Turkey may face the best opportunity in years to settle their outstanding differences. That was not so during most of the 1990s. Experts feared that the end of the Soviet threat, which had overshadowed bilateral differences, would expose their rivalry to more nationalistic tension.

Another Rebel Victory-By Default

Henry Dinella
July 2001 - The battle to decide if F.Y.R. Macedonia will continue as a multi-ethnic state with a Slav majority and a large ethnic Albanian minority is almost over. At this point in the five-month-old insurgency, the rebels know that all they have to do to win is not to quit.

Missile Proliferation and Security in the Eastern Mediterranean

Ian Lesser
July 2001 - The spread of ballistic missiles of increasing range and the growing trans-Atlantic debate about missile defense have emerged as important aspects of the strategic environment in the eastern Mediterranean.

Balkan Triangle: Greece, Turkey, and Regional Security

Janusz Bugajski
Jan./Feb. 2001 - As the two most strategically important Balkan countries, Greece and Turkey have important roles to play in promoting security, reconstruction, and international integration throughout Southeastern Europe. While Athens and Ankara maintain serious, long-term disputes over Cyprus and the Aegean, the "Central Balkan" region provides a valuable opportunity for cooperation and complementarity that can increase the influence and prestige of both states while enhancing their bilateral relations.

U.S. Interests and Priorities in the Eastern Mediterranean

Col. Steve Norton
April 2001- The following is excerpted from a presentation delivered at a conference, "Greece in Southeastern Europe: Security, Commerce, and Geopolitics," organized by the Western Policy Center.

Challenges in Southeastern Europe

James Swigert
April 2001- The following is excerpted from a keynote address delivered by Mr. Swigert at a conference, "Greece in Southeastern Europe: Security, Commerce, and Geopolitics," organized by the Western Policy Center.

Balkan Dilemma: Grappling With "Greater Albania"

John E. Betts
April 2001- The recent flare-up of fighting in Macedonia, with hundreds of ethnic Albanian rebels challenging Macedonian security forces in the region near the Kosovo border, appeared to threaten the stability, if not the territorial integrity, of Macedonia.

Strengthening Alliances: Resolving the EU-Turkey Impasse on European Security

John Hulsman
April 2001 - During the EU summit in Nice last December, America's allies seemingly resolved the longstanding issue regarding the relationship between the new European Rapid Reaction Force (ERRF) and NATO. In exchange for the reaction force's use of NATO assets for peacekeeping, NATO would be guaranteed the de facto first right of refusal before the deployment of the European force could be considered. In addition, the reaction force would not duplicate NATO planning, thus precluding the development of two competing and parallel defense structures.

Imia, NATO, and Alpha Centauri

Henry Dinella
March 2001 - Geographically, Greece and Turkey are separated by only a few miles of the Aegean Sea. However, in terms of unsettled issues, the distance between them sometimes seems more akin to the distance that separates earth from Alpha Centauri. In the last 27 years, Greek-Turkish points of contention over Cyprus and the Aegean have brought these NATO allies into crisis situations that could have led to war at least three times.

Armenians, Turks, and Resolutions: The Historical Context Matters

Col. Steve Norton
Jan./Feb. 2001 - On September 27, 2000, a resolution was submitted in the House of Representatives "calling upon the President to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide . . ." A strong campaign by the Turkish government and the Executive Branch ensued to stop the "Armenian Genocide" resolution from a House Floor vote.

Balkan Triangle: Greece, Turkey, and Regional Security

Janusz Bugajski
Jan./Feb. 2001 - As the two most strategically important Balkan countries, Greece and Turkey have important roles to play in promoting security, reconstruction, and international integration throughout Southeastern Europe. While Athens and Ankara maintain serious, long-term disputes over Cyprus and the Aegean, the "Central Balkan" region provides a valuable opportunity for cooperation and complementarity that can increase the influence and prestige of both states while enhancing their bilateral relations.

Montenegro: The Next Balkan Challenge, By Srdjan Darmanovic Center for Democracy and Human Rights Special to the Western Policy Center

Srdjan Darmanovic
Nov./Dec. 2000 - The ouster of Milosevic and the disappearance of the Serbian military threat to Montenegro were greeted with relief in the republic. They signaled the end of the three-year "black and white" struggle in which the democratically elected government of Montenegro, with substantial help from its Western supporters in the U.S. and the EU, had fought for survival against a dictatorship that caused four wars in the region. Since the electoral defeat of Milosevic, the international position of Montenegro and its internal political priorities have changed drastically.

Fixing Yugoslavia

Steve Hanke
Nov./ Dec. 2000 - The costs of Slobodan Milosevic's rule have been enormous to American and European taxpayers. According to the U.S. General Accounting Office, direct U.S. costs for fiscal years 1992 through 2000-mainly for war-waging and peacekeeping actions-have amounted to $21.2 billion. That figure exceeds the annual gross domestic product of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), Kosovo, and Bosnia combined. Not that the GDP is much; Milosevic transformed his economy from a mess into a basket case.

Fighting Organized Crime and Terrorism for Security and Stability in the Balkans

Michalis Chrysochoidis
September 2000- The following was excerpted from remarks made by the minister at a Policy Forum in Washington organized by the Western Policy Center.

The Balkan Stability Pact: A Crucial Test for Europe

Jack Seymour
September 2000 - The bureaucracy and rhetoric surrounding the year-old Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe have grown apace, but there have been few tangible results so far. Western nations and eastern Europe alike are poised, waiting to see if the pact can live up to its goals and promises.

Revisiting the Helsinki Gamble on Cyprus

Elizabeth H. Prodromou
September 2000 - The deadlock in the recent U.N. talks on Cyprus, which enjoyed the endorsement of the European Union and the United States, has reinforced the policy and academic cliche that the Cyprus problem is one of the world's most intractable conflicts. Furthermore, given the recent slowdown in the momentum of the Greek-Turkish reconciliation, policymakers pushing either a status quo or partition approach in Cyprus have gained renewed influence.

U.S. Options for Black Sea Regional Transition

Spiros Rizopoulos
July/August 2000 - As we experience the infancy of a new century, we are witnesses to the unfolding of a new perspective regarding the direction of U.S. foreign policy. The foreign policy platforms of the two main presidential candidates verify that Washington will be focusing on an approach that adjusts to the needs of an increasingly globalized world.

Economic Partnership in the Aegean: A New Understanding between Turkey and Greece

Sema Kalaycioglu
July/August 2000 - Until the summer earthquakes of 1999, the distance between Greece and Turkey was wider than the Aegean Sea. Although ordinary Greeks and Turks longed for friendly social and political relations, it took natural disasters to provide new opportunities. Now it is time to reap the fruits of rapprochement between two conflicting and unnecessarily hostile neighbors. For this new era to endure, political good will must be backed by economic initiatives and improved business relations.

Cyprus and the Military Component of Diplomacy

Col. Steve Norton
May/June 2000 - In his inaugural address in 1969, five years before the division of Cyprus, President Nixon said, "The greatest honor history can bestow is the title of peacemaker." He was referring then to America's role in the world. Today, that promise of greatness and the title of peacemaker are within reach of Greece and Turkey should they find a settlement to the Cyprus problem.

Greeks, Turks, And The Burdens Of History

Joseph V. Montville
December 1999- The nineteenth century French historian Ernst Renan wrote that a nation is "a group of people united by a mistaken view about the past and a hatred of their neighbors." Though pessimistic, this aphorism conveys some basic truth about the importance of history--and myth--to national identity. And it highlights the enduring phenomenon of nationalist animosity in international relationships.

President Clinton on U.S. Policy in Turkey and Greece

November 16, 1999- The following are excerpts of speeches delivered by President Clinton in Istanbul and Athens during his 10-day November trip to southeastern Europe.

A Politico-Military Success In The Balkans

Admiral T. Joseph Lopez
October 1998- Far too few politico-military successes emanate from the Balkans, which is why the formation of the Southeast European Brigade (SEEBRIG) is exceptionally noteworthy.This brigade, composed of about 5,000 troops from seven NATO and non-NATO countries, will be part of a strategy to foster regional security and stability within the framework of NATO's Partnership for Peace (PfP), the Southeastern Europe Defense Ministerial (SEDM), and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC).

Kosovo: Continuity And Double Standards

Gary Dempsey
August 1998 - Since February 1998, about 700 people have been killed in clashes between separatist ethnic Albanian guerrillas and internal security forces in the Serbian province of Kosovo. Western reaction to the crisis, however, has been confused.

Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Kristina N. Terzieva // Program Assistant
  • Emily R. Buss // Program Assistant