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Security Concerns

Propose and discuss specific solutions to aspects of the Cyprus Problem

Postby insan » Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:10 am

Alexandros Lordos wrote:Insan,

EU is different in the minds of leftist GCs, they see the EU as a counter-force of sorts to American Hegemony and are therefore willing to tolerate it: Even be inspired by it. NATO is different, however: NATO is the bombing of Serbia, Clinton, Bush, the invasion of Iraq, American Imperialism etc. etc.


All of the Nato member countries are also EU members, except Turkey. Furthermore US already use the Brit bases in South for its own interests, anyway.

An EU force would be acceptable for GCs, but I doubt if Turkey would accept this unless she too was already an EU member - and I don't know if TCs will feel secure with a European Force.


Actually, there's no difference between an EU force and a Nato force with the exception of Turkey.

Similarly, for GCs, a permanent European presence would be seen differently to a permanent NATO presence, since we are a part of the EU anyway ... but the same will not apply for a permanent Turkish presence, even if Turkey is a part of the EU ...


I think sooner or later Cyprus will become a member of Nato as well...

As to the "secession problem" ... do you have any particular ideas?


I'm still diging google to find some more details about Norton's proposal.
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Postby erolz » Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:33 am

Alexandros Lordos wrote:As to the "secession problem" ... do you have any particular ideas?


Other than creating a kind of Cyprus where niether side wants to seceed from it ?

mikkie2 wrote: Looking at demilitarisation, how could that work? I mean we would be just sitting ducks. We don't know what will happen next year, let alone 10 or 20 years down the line.


My pesonal view , which I doubt many will agree with or understand, is that having an army make you more likely to be attack than less. The bigger you army the bigger the chance of inviting aggression imo. In my personal view Cyprus (as a united island) needs an army about as much as a blind person needs binoculars.
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Postby -mikkie2- » Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:37 am

In my personal view Cyprus (as a united island) needs an army about as much as a blind person needs binoculars.


But its ok to have thousands of troops from foreign countries stationed here instead! If we are to have full demilitarisation that should also mean all foreign troops, including the British, to leave the island.
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Postby erolz » Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:51 am

-mikkie2- wrote:
In my personal view Cyprus (as a united island) needs an army about as much as a blind person needs binoculars.


But its ok to have thousands of troops from foreign countries stationed here instead! If we are to have full demilitarisation that should also mean all foreign troops, including the British, to leave the island.


The issue of foreign troops in Cyprus is not about what Cyprus needs but about what the foreigners need. IE this is a different issue.

My personal view on the British bases is based solely on pratical terms and on an assment of 'pros and cons' of having such a presense. I have no issues about 'pride' with regard to the British bases. There are certainly pros to having the bases here and also cons to having them here and cons to getting rid of them. I personaly think that on balance the pros outweigh the cons. I think the offer of reducing their size was a good one.
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Postby cannedmoose » Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:09 pm

-mikkie2- wrote:But its ok to have thousands of troops from foreign countries stationed here instead! If we are to have full demilitarisation that should also mean all foreign troops, including the British, to leave the island.


Demilitarisation is the panacea, but in Cyprus' case I'm not entirely sure it's achievable, but let's explore this. Sorry about the length of this post incidentally.

The model cited in support of demilitarisation is that of Costa Rica, which abandoned its traditional form of defence in 1983. However, these were replaced with virtually the same number of paramilitary forces, incapable of defending the country, but able to maintain domestic order and offer a token deterrent to any aggressor. By and large then, Costa Rica relies on international law as its sovereign guarantor, and used this to resolve a limited border dispute with Nicaragua in 1986.

Yet there is a significant difference between Costa Rica and Cyprus, there is a relatively homogenous culture in Costa Rica, with a longstanding tradition of social democracy with an anti-militaristic tradition. These factors are either weak or completely absent in Cyprus.

The system that I would propose in Cyprus' case is as follows, it's based on the Costa Rica example but with some subtle differences. It also excludes any discussion of the political steps needed to get to it, I'll leave that for our other discussions:

-----

1. (a) Establishment and maintenance of a joint Cyprus civil guard, not trained by Greek or Turkish forces but by an impartial country (I would suggest the Netherlands, France or Italy as examples).

(b) This force would be comprised of combined TC and GC units, with English as the common language of communication, thus also facilitating integration into the system suggested in point 2(e) below.

(c) This force would largely function in a similar capacity to the Gendarmerie National in France, the Arma dei Carabinieri in Italy and the Koninklijke Marechaussée in the Netherlands - a limited paramilitary unit used to maintain public order and act in close support to regular military and police units.

(d) The Cypriot force would become a member of the European Gendarmerie Force, with regular exchanges between officers from the other five nations involved (France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain).

2. (a) The sovereignty and indivisibility of Cyprus would be written into the NATO treaties, with the NATO Council as the formal guarantor of Cyprus security.

(b) Interventions would only be permitted in the case of severe social unrest, foreign invasion or an environmental calamity and would require agreement by at least two-thirds of the NATO council (therefore no veto from Turkey or Greece).

(c) Any interventions would proclude the involvement of Turkish or Greek combat units, apart from medical or logistics units - thus allowing use of Turkish and Greek facilities in the operation, yet without direct Greek or Turkish involvement.

(d) Cyprus would assume membership of the alliance, in a similar way to Icelandic membership. Involvement of Cypriot forces outside Cyprus borders in NATO operations (such as medical units, peace-keeping troops) would be subject to approval by the Cyprus government.

(e) No NATO forces would not be permanently stationed on the island, rather there would be joint annual exercises between Cypriot and NATO forces, largely involving border security, prevention of drug-trafficking, illegal immigration and peace-keeping activities.

(f) The Cypriot Civil Guard would not operate heavy weapons such as tanks and artillery and would be equipped with systems designed for domestic use only and incapable of offensive operations. An international treaty governing weapons imports to Cyprus would be established to prevent import of any weapons that could be used outside these parameters.

(g) A Border Security unit, within the Civil Guard would be established and would be equipped with Coastguard vessels and air surveillance drones and light helicopters.

3. (a) Many of the current military establishments would be disbanded and returned to civilian use. All Turkish and Greek troops would be subject to immediate withdrawal and replaced by an interim force comprising units from the European Gendarmerie Force. As Cypriot Civil Guard units come on stream, these would interoperate with the EGF forces, gradually replaced them in operation zones until the EGF is able to retire completely (with a small number of trainers remaining on a rotational basis).

(b) All Turkish-Cypriot and Greek-Cypriot military units would return to base, supervised by NATO observers, and the demobbing process would begin, with selection tests for those wishing to remain in the Civil Guard taking place during this process.

(c) NATO observers would also be responsible for the decommissioning of all weapons not required by the Civil Guard units. This process would begin immediately.

4. (a) The British bases would be reduced in size, as prescribed in Annan V and the vacant land returned to civilian use. Sovereignty over the SBAs would be formally restored to the Cypriot government, although the UK would retain a 50-year leasehold on the territory from the date of any agreement. British forces would be free to come and go without restriction as to number or equipment (excluding nuclear forces).

(b) No new facilities would be established within the SBAs without the agreement of both NATO and the Cyprus government. The upgrading of old facilities would be permitted so long as their nature is not changed (i.e. defensive systems could be replaced with more modern systems, yet should retain a similar range and be for defensive purposes only; runways could be repaved but not lengthened).

(c) Only British forces would be allowed to be permanently stationed in the SBAs. No NATO or other forces would be permitted to be permanently based in the SBAs. Visits by foreign forces to the SBAs would be subject to approval by both the NATO Council and the Cyprus government.

(d) Use of the SBAs in military operations would be subject to approval by the Cyprus government, excluding incidents of domestic strife requiring NATO intervention. In this case, NATO approval would be required.

(e) The British government shall inform the Cyprus government and NATO Council of any exercises taking place within the SBA territory or in the airspace or seaspace around, giving at least 48hrs notice. British exercises shall take place within prescribed boundaries in the territorial waters and airspace of Cyprus

(f) Current facilities outside the SBA areas would be retained on a permanent lease from the Cyprus government. Cyprus will become a member of the ECHELON network, with the information gained from these facilities shared amongst its members. Should the Cypriot authorities violate the confidentiality of ECHELON, the sharing of information will cease with the permanent lease remaining in force. Upgrading of these facilities will be permitted, but they will be operated by a limited number of British troops only, no other forces will be permitted to operate in these areas.

5. (a) The 1960 Treaty of Guarantee would be abolished, including the sections describing the rights of British forces outside the SBAs. British forces would no longer have immediate right of use of international ports, airports and the road networks linking the bases without the consent of the Cyprus government and NATO.

(b) Movement of units larger than 100 men, or comprising heavy weapons between bases would be subject to 48hrs notice given to both the Cyprus government and the NATO Council. These movements would be escorted by observers from the Civil Guard.

-----

That's enough to be going on with, comments on these folks. :?

Info on Costa Rica:
http://www.iss.co.za/pubs/Books/AchievS ... arris3.pdf

Info on GDF:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2004/sep ... litary.htm
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Postby cannedmoose » Thu Mar 03, 2005 2:38 pm

:bawling: Does no-one have any comment on these... if not, excuse me while I go and sob over my lunch ImageImage
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Postby brother » Thu Mar 03, 2005 6:56 pm

That was a well thought out idea and i believe it can work, also it takes the you and i out of the equation and becomes us, nice one cannedmoose, this idea should definately be put forward as a solution.
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Postby Alexandros Lordos » Thu Mar 03, 2005 7:25 pm

cannedmoose wrote::bawling: Does no-one have any comment on these... if not, excuse me while I go and sob over my lunch ImageImage


Oops. Sorry for utterly ignoring you, Cannedmoose :(

Your proposal was well thought out and very detailed, but I suspect it is the level of detail itself that put people off from responding. Everything that you were suggesting is so new, and perhaps it was not easy to digest so much important information in one go. :wink:

Now, to issues of substance: I liked the idea that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots should receive military training together, but out of the country. This is certainly an element that should be written in the final security arrangements.

Also, I liked the thought that the British Bases' status would become lease-hold. Offering half the base areas in Annan V was a generous gesture, but it was not generous enough in my opinion, in that the sovereign status should have been revoked as well.

Finally, I liked the way you focused on ways to combat civil unrest - since indeed this is a far more likely threat scenario than the GCs invading the TC state or Turkey re-invading Cyprus.

To matters I am not sure about: I don't think Greek Cypriots would tolerate such a close affiliation to NATO. I might be wrong here, this is just my hunch, but perhaps I could test it in a new round of polls.

Similarly, I think Turkish Cypriots would not accept such a total dilution of Turkey's right to intervene and protect them.

Finally, there is an importance difference between Costa Rica and Cyprus. Cyprus is in a very volatile region of the world, and if we look back at history Cyprus was always coveted by various conquerors for its strategic position. I believe therefore that it is very important for Cyprus to be able to defend itself against third party aggression, because there is no way to know who the enemy might be in thirty or fifty years time.

Let's keep working on this ...
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Postby Saint Jimmy » Thu Mar 03, 2005 7:45 pm

Cannedmoose,
a) do you not think using English in training GCs and TCs might face practical problems? Not everyone in Cyprus speaks the language, let alone fluently enough to be trained using it... :roll:
b) I, too, think that NATO guaranteeing the security of Cyprus isn't going to happen. It would take a hell of an attitude change (in the south), for people to not just accept, but vote for such an arrangement.
c) Some of the decisions that require approval by both the NATO council and the Government of Cyprus, imo touch upon the issue of the sovereignty of the state, and would thus be hard to digest (this refers to these decisions being subject to approval by the NATO council).

Other than these, I find the idea ingenious, and, provided we can get past these obstacles (plus the huge political problems...), I would back such an arrangement 100%.


Alex, I still don't see it. Even the National Guard at its present operational capability, is not a serious deterrent to any country wishing to attack. So, especially assuming cannedmoose's proposal is adopted, what is the real use of maintaining an armed force...? :roll:
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Postby Alexandros Lordos » Thu Mar 03, 2005 8:07 pm

Saint Jimmy wrote:Alex, I still don't see it. Even the National Guard at its present operational capability, is not a serious deterrent to any country wishing to attack. So, especially assuming cannedmoose's proposal is adopted, what is the real use of maintaining an armed force...? :roll:


The point is to hold out long enough until international support arrives - that too is a deterrent.

The focus here should be on developing a strong air and naval defense capability, rather than on maintaining large numbers of ground troops. That is what would constitute a powerful deterrent, in the case of Cyprus.

And yes - I believe Cyprus has suffered enough in its history from various aggressors, to deserve a proper defense capability.
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