Thunder over the Eastern Mediterranean
The Eastern Mediterranean has entered a worrisome period. The strategic environment is more uncertain and conflict-prone than at any point since the Imia crisis in 1996 over the islets Turkey calls Kardak. Today, the sources of risk are, if anything, more profound and widespread than in previous decades.
Greece, Turkey and Cyprus have been beneficiaries of the detente that has prevailed in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean since the later 1990s. The benefits have been felt widely, across Europe and across the Atlantic. European Union and NATO partners have had the luxury of not worrying about traditional flashpoints, from air and sea space in the Aegean, to Cyprus, the Balkans and Thrace. Leaderships in the region and on both sides of the Atlantic can no longer be complacent about stability. The dangers of accident and brinkmanship are back.