Monday, August 19, 2013

Energy in the Eastern Mediterranean

One more post on geo-political issues.  The article excerpted and linked below discusses, in some detail, the value to the US - and by extension Europe - of a strong relationship with Cyprus, Greece and Israel in light of recent natural gas discoveries in the region.

Professor Meade notes:

A new order is emerging as a result of three major events: the redrawing of the region’s hydrocarbon map, with the discovery of substantial hydrocarbon deposits in the Cypriot and Israeli exclusive economic zones; Turkey’s adoption of a hostile neo-Ottoman ideology to guide it in the 21st century; and the “Arab Spring.” At the mid-point of this political shift, Greece and Cyprus — coordinating with Israel — have remained the principal states in the region that are friendly to the West. When volatility and fear are on the rise, predictability becomes especially prized. 
The roles of Greece and Cyprus in the West’s political and security framework offer U.S. policy makers an arc of stability in the eastern Mediterranean, and bring the EU to within 45 minutes of Israel’s borders. Port usage, naval facilities, and strategic airbases that Cyprus and Greece have long extended to the United States permit a U.S. Sixth Fleet — if the U.S. should decide to return that once-powerful naval force to even a fraction of its former strength — to safeguard the region’s sea lines of communication. The region’s increasing volatility has elevated the strategic roles of Greece and Cyprus, and offers an incentive for American statesmen to promote a new order that establishes stronger relations with both countries and bolsters their regional standing.

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