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Is the ‘2.5 War Strategy’ making a comeback?

15 19 4

While all eyes are on Turkey’s “Operation Olive Branch” in Syria’s Afrin, the temperature is rising in the Aegean and the Mediterranean. On Feb. 10, the Turkish navy blocked a drilling ship, contracted by the Italian Energy Company ENI, searching for gas off the coast of Greek Cyprus. Just three days later, Turkish and Greek Coast Guard vessels bore down on each other by the Kardak (Imia) islets. The two countries came to the brink of war in this area 22 years ago.

“We can fight in both Afrin and the Aegean,” said Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar, reminding us of veteran diplomat Şükrü Elekdağ’s “2.5 War Strategy” proposed in 1994. Back then, Elekdağ stressed the multi-directional threats facing Turkey and advised the government to develop a defense strategy, capable of waging war on 2.5 fronts: In the west against Greece, in the south against Syria and at home against the PKK.

Of course, when one considers today’s international political environment, power balances, alliance ties, as well as the socio-political transformation Turkey has been going through, both the world and........

© Hürriyet Daily News