American UCAVs seek bases in Greece

The Greek government is studying ways to meet the American “request” to build bases for UCAVs in Souda and Kalamata.

Washington’s request has been placed with considerable pressure since last May, and it was the object of the (sudden) meeting that the Prime Minister and the Foreign and Defense Ministers had at the Maximus Mansion last day.

The American “request” is not new. It was submitted to the Greek Defense Minister who responded positively about a year ago at his meeting in Washington with his American counterpart.

The plans for the deployment of the drones to Souda and Kalamata continued on paper. However, the situation in the Middle East region and the expected developments are pushing Washington to speed up its military plans, and that is why the American request to the Greek government was re-worded in a pressing way, last May.

As officials of the Greek defense ministry point out, Washington is excited about the level of co-operation found during the crisis in Libya. At that time, the Americans found that Kalamata airport could be used operationally in addition to the Souda Base, which, as pundits point out, is saturated!

Despite the Greek Government’s willingness to serve its American friends, this is neither simple nor easy.

As a matter of principle, as noted by the competent Ministry of Defense officials, there is no agreement. The base of Souda under the Hellenic American military agreement offers the Americans “facilitation” of logistics and refueling. In this sense, parking a squad of Unmanned Bombers, which will obviously take on missions, that is to say, wherever the Americans wish, is outside the framework of Greek-American military agreements. And if that applies to Souda’s base, it applies much more to the airport of Kalamata.

The second problem faced by the government in its efforts to satisfy its American friends is the disruption of Greece’s relations with the Arab world, as the American drones that will eventually be based in Crete and Kalamata will have the responsibility of overseeing and enforcing US interests in the Middle East.

The third problem faced by the Greek government is about the difficulty of a “silent compliance” with the American demand. As military officers explain, the parking of unmanned airplanes in Greek airports, even in Souda, can not be hidden for a long time. In this sense, dealing with internal reactions is another difficult parameter that makes it difficult for Greek governments to satisfy this pressing American demand …