Cyprus Mail
CM Regular ColumnistOpinion

Anastasiades’ brilliant geostrategic adviser

The Dardanelles Strait

By Loucas Charalambous

I THINK I may need to seek the help of a psychiatrist. Some of our president’s incurable obsessions have been pushing me to the brink of madness. One of these is appointments, which he engages in with carefree abandon; his all-time favourite verb is ‘appoint’.

It does not matter whether the committees, sub-committees and councils that he thinks up are needed, nor how much they cost.  This does not interest him, as long as can keep appointing people to new positions. Every appointment is measured in votes (10, 15 or 20) for the next presidential elections.

In September he set up, with much fanfare, a new body – the ‘Council of Geostrategic Studies’. So far he has appointed 15 people, most of whom I have not heard of before.  I mention all this because last Sunday one of the members of this council, Dr Eleni Stavrou, who was also appointed presidential advisor for Middle East affairs, published a ‘geostrategic’ analysis in Alithia which, if taken seriously, should force us to leave the country.

“The Strait (of the Dardanelles), is rendered a hundred per cent useless if Greece, from the Aegean, closes their exit or their southern opening,” wrote the talented advisor of Anastasiades, whose analysis was a politico-military letter on how Cyprus and Greece would bring Turkey to its knees.

In short, bankrupt Greece, which needs to borrow money from the troika in order to buy a boat, will go to the Dardanelles strait of Turkey – population 75 million and a standing army of 750,000 which makes it the second largest in the West – and close the southern opening with its fleet thus blockading Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria.

Once the southern opening of the strait is closed none would be able to get out of the Black Sea. And the Russian fleet will have to come all the way round and through Gribraltar to get to the Mediterranean. Unless of course the president’s geostrategic expert builds sliding doors at the southern opening which could be opened to allow all ships that were not Turkish to pass through.

Anastasiades is a lucky man that the famous Prussian theorist of war Carl von Clausewitz passed away two centuries ago. If he were around today he would have taken Anastasiades’ brilliant adviser to work for him. I do not know whether the learned Dr Stavrou knows what happened to the last person who tried her strategy (closing off the opening of the strait). Winston Churchill and his allied forces suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of the Ottoman in the Gallipoli campaign of 1915.

Also very interesting is what the formidable advisor wrote about Cyprus. “Israel, when Turkey repudiated their ‘alliance’, resorted to Greek Cyprus to save, first of all, its ‘security’ and, as a secondary objective, its energy deposits… For the facing of the threat from Turkey, Cyprus constitutes for Israel, a shield, a parapet for the necessary ‘Fight of the Advanced Outposts of Battle’.

This would prevent the Turks from advancing fast and without casualties, not even to its (Israel’s) ‘official’ airspace  and territorial waters and its minimum territory in which it would fight with its back to the wall.”

Thankfully, “Greek Cyprus” has been found to save the ‘security’ of Israel from the threat of the Turk who is now on the retreat. Had Israel not sought our help, and if we had not saved it, it would have been in very big trouble now. It is a good thing the geostrategic advisor of the president mentioned all this as we could now – in this time of great poverty – seek monetary reward from Israel for having saved it from the clutches of Erdogan and became its ‘shield and parapet.’.

I need the psychiatrist  to help me understand where and how our redoubtable president unearths these incredible talents that would save us and Israel from the Turk. Clausewitz’s seminal book ‘On War’ has become obsolete, replaced by the theories of Anastasiades’ geostrategic expert.

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