Editor’s Note– Exploration and the quest for natural gas and oil within the Mediterranean appears to have become a domain war and a battle over rights.
Naval assets by many countries are filling up the waters around Cyprus to protect and stave off certain conflicts over what lays below the water line.
Although Israel and Cyprus have an agreement over the Leviathan Oil and Gas Field, Turkey, Cyprus, and Israel remain at odds and relationships, agreements, and trade may soon be a the core of a battle using weapons.
Yet another trigger point exists in the region, any one of which could begin a war on a scale that dwarfs all previous conflicts involving Israel and her Arab and now, Turkish and Cypriot neighbors. Relationships that have kept the region at a relative low boil since the great conflicts of 1967 and 1973, along with the Lebanese civil war are now gone.
Turkey is no longer as cozy with Israel since Erdogan wrested power in Ankara, Egypt is about to cancel its treaties as Muslim Brotherhood forces fill the power vacuum since the ‘Arab Spring’ uprising that ousted Mubarak, Hezbollah is a constant Iranian puppet threat, the uprising in Syria, and continual unrest and rocket launches from Gaza spell danger at all levels and at all four corners.
One misstep, one terrorist attack, one failed diplomatic endeavor could set off war involving everyone.
Again, SUA wishes to remind all of the history of the region, and while watching the video below, think about the increasing number of issues. Old myths need to be exposed, truth needs to be heard, as many times as it takes:
Turkey’s Rifts With 2 Nations Worry a Top NATO Official
By STEVEN ERLANGER and STEPHEN CASTLE
BRUSSELS — NATO’s secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, expressed disquiet on Friday about tensions over natural gasexploration in the Mediterranean between a newly assertive Turkeyand Cyprus, as well as Turkey’s strained relations with Israel, saying that they were both “a matter of concern.”
Mr. Rasmussen said he did not foresee the tension turning into conflict in the Mediterranean, and he praised Turkey as an indispensable member of NATO that could be “a bridge” between the West and the Arab countries now engaged in revolts.
“Obviously the tensions between Turkey and Israel are a matter of concern,” he said in an interview here. “It’s a bilateral issue, NATO is not going to interfere with that,” he added, “but it is the interest of the alliance to see these tensions eased, because Turkey is a key ally and Israel is a valuable partner for the alliance.” Turkey has become increasingly outspoken in support of the Palestinians and in its animosity toward Israel, once an important ally. Mr. Rasmussen emphasized that NATO, as an alliance that works by consensus, would not become involved in bilateral matters or the domestic politics of member countries.
Asked about Turkey’s warning that it might send military ships toward Cyprus, which is exploring for natural gas in the Mediterranean, as is Israel, Mr. Rasmussen said that “NATO as an organization is not going to interfere with these disputes,” while adding, “I do not envisage armed conflict in the eastern part of the Mediterranean.”
Relations with Turkey have to be managed carefully as it asserts a growing role on the global stage, he suggested. “I think Turkey can play a stabilizing role in the region and serve as a role model for countries in the region that are currently transforming from dictatorship into democracy,” he said. Mr. Rasmussen, a former prime minister of Denmark who is now two years into his NATO post, also praised Turkey’s decision to participate in a new missile-defense system for NATO. The government in Ankara has agreed to host on its territory a sophisticated American radar system that will form part of the missile shield.
About Russia and the decision of President Dmitri A. Medvedev to make way for Vladimir V. Putin as a presidential candidate, he said: “We’ll see what I would call continuity in the Kremlin. I don’t expect major changes there in Russian foreign and security policy.” He said he thought Russia remained committed to working with NATO on missile defense, a main aim of Mr. Rasmussen’s tenure.
Another central objective for the NATO secretary general is to persuade European allies to coordinate defense spending and cooperate on procurement to try to ensure that military capabilities improve, despite the expenditure cuts being pushed through by many national governments.
Mr. Rasmussen criticized a proposal from the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain to set up a defense-planning headquarters for the European Union based in Brussels. The plan is opposed by Britain, which sees the move as a duplication of NATO facilities and a waste of money — a view echoed by Mr. Rasmussen.
“Honestly speaking, what we need is investment in military hardware and not in new bureaucracies and headquarters,” he said. “I don’t think we need more headquarters. What we need is more investment in critical military capabilities.”
“I’m neither naïve nor unrealistic,” Mr. Rasmussen added. “I know very well, as a politician, that during a period of economic austerity you cannot expect increases in defense budgets.” That fact, he said, indicated that the alliance countries “need to make more effective use of our resources through more multinational cooperation — what I call smart defense.”
Mr. Rasmussen rejected suggestions that the United States was reducing its commitment to NATO because it took a secondary role in the operations against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in Libya. “The American commitment to NATO remains as strong as ever,” he said. “The U.S. was strongly engaged in this operation, and we could not have carried out this operation successfully without the unique and essential U.S. assets.” He mentioned intelligence, drone aircraft and air-to-air refueling, all areas in which European members should invest more, he said.
“The positive story, he said, “is that Europeans took the lead and that was actually a clear response to an American request for more European engagement, a call on Europeans to take more responsibility, and the Europeans stepped up to the plate.”