Greece and Turkey: the case study of an arms race from the Greek perspective

Χρήστος Κόλλιας


This study suggests that as the dominant East - West conflict subsides, local disputes
and frictions centered around past and/or new national and ethnic quarrels will
slowly come to dominate the international scene. One such dispute is that between
Greece and Turkey.
Using multiple regression analysis it tests whether the Richardson arms race
model can help in explaining changes in Greek military expenditure in the context
of her relation with her neighbour Turkey and the ongoing frictions between them.
On the basis of the results obtained it is argued that because of its specifications
the model can not capture the degree to which Greek military spending is
influenced by the perceived threat to her national interests by Turkey. The model
does not allow for the strategic environment and its dynamic changes which can
influence the decisions of a given country and the principles on which such
decisions are reached by military planners. Furthermore, the model does not
adequately capture the degree of the perceived menace/threat to which countries
are likely to react by adjusting accordingly not only the level but also the content
of their defence spending. It is then shown that when appropriate variables are
introduced it is possible to capture more fully the degree and way in which Greek
military expenditure is influenced by the perceived Turkish threat to her national interests. Such variables have to allow for the strategic environment within which
decisions are made by Greek military planners. In this case it was found that due
to the substantial differences in size and the resulting quantitative military
disadvantage, Greece attempts to offset this by gaining a qualitative advantage
over her larger adversary.


Greece; Turkey; Bilateral relations

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η δικτυακή πύλη της ευρωπαϊκής ένωσης ψηφιακή ελλάδα ΕΣΠΑ 2007-2013