After French Defense Deal, Greece Agrees To Expand US Military Presence In The Country Amid Tensions With Turkey

The United States and Greece on Thursday signed an amendment to their existing mutual defense agreement that allows US forces to train and operate from additional locations inside the country.

Earlier, as EurAsian Times reported, Greece and France signed a major defense agreement under which Athens will purchase three French navy frigates, while Article 2 of the deal includes an assurance of mutual support in case of an armed attack on either.

Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said the deal applies to the entire sovereign territory of Greece, including disputed territorial waters.

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Greece’s decision to host new US military bases may pull Athens into major wars it might otherwise avoid, former senior Pentagon adviser Douglas Macgregor told Sputnik.

“Whether Athens likes it or not, Athens may be pulled into a conflict that it otherwise prefers to avoid precisely because we are present in the country,” Macgregor, a retired US Army Colonel, said.

“The host government, in this case, Athens, may believe that it is improving its security and that it will benefit from US largesse as Germany, Italy and other allied countries have, but they are missing the growing danger associated with our presence.”

Expanding the US forward military presence, Macgregor added, also guarantees American involvement in any conflict that occurs. The Biden administration may believe US military involvement will make conflicts in the region less likely, but the opposite is the case, he said.

“The conflicts have nothing to do with the United States and everything to do with a century of unfinished business,” Macgregor said.

In fact, the demonstration of US military incompetence during the withdrawal from Afghanistan reinforced a growing perception of US military weakness and decline, he added.

In addition, the growing domestic US financial crisis could force Biden to scrap his plans for the bases, Macgregor said.

“Athens may wake up to find the promised bases don’t materialize or end up being abandoned in the middle of the night,” he said.

Macgregor also noted the appointment on Thursday of hardline hawk Christopher Hill as the new US ambassador to Serbia.

“This also signals a new willingness to tamper with the Balkans and Russia. Thus, prompting US military expansion into Greece. Who better than one of the architects of the Kosovo crisis and the bombing of Serbia?” he asked.

Macgregor also affirmed, when asked, that control of the eastern Mediterranean, countering Russia, micromanagement of the Balkans, and anticipating expulsion from Turkey could potentially factor in the US decision.