From the very beginning, the unique relationship between Greece and the United States was founded on shared democratic values, common economic, political, and security interests. It’s these values that continue to unite us today.
Greece – which for centuries has been the gateway to Europe – is an indispensable ally for the United States, promoting peace and security, stability, and economic development in the region. Since the Greek War of Independence in 1821, Greeks and Americans have stood side-by-side facing the world’s major challenges together. Due to its strategic location at the frontline of Europe’s biggest challenges, Greece continues to be of vital importance to global security, with far-reaching ramifications for the EU, NATO, and the United States.
1. Greece is one of the few countries that consistently meets its NATO obligations
Greece is a stabilizing force in this region and a steadfast ally and partner. As a pillar of stability in a volatile region, the stronger Greece is, the stronger and more secure its neighborhood will be.
2. The most important single element of US-Greek military cooperation is the U.S. military presence at Souda Bay, on the island of Crete.
Souda Bay serves as the largest and most prominent naval base for the United States and NATO in the eastern Mediterranean Sea playing a major role in the fight against terrorism. From Souda Bay -- the southernmost fighter base in NATO -- military actions against the Islamic State in Syria, in the Sinai Peninsula, and Libya can all be supported. US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt stated bluntly at the Delphi Economic Forum that important regional security missions in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas simply would not be possible without Greece.
3. Greece and the US are working closely together to transform the country into a gateway for the transportation of energy and commodities to the Western Balkans and the rest of Europe.
Important developments such as the Trans Adriatic Pipeline and the creation of a liquefied natural gas terminal in northern Greece are underway. Greece's role in the development of the EuroAsia Interconnector and a potential East Med Pipeline make Greece a key player in diversifying Europe's energy supply, making Europe less reliant on Russian gas, and linking Europe with the Middle East. Moreover, these developments will help Greece’s economic recovery, enhancing its stability and prosperity – crucial elements in broadening and strengthening Western values and interests in the region.
- Testimony of Assistant Secretary A. Wess Mitchell, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, June 26, 2018 (text here, video here)
- Restoring the Eastern Mediterranean as a U.S. Strategic Anchor, Jon B. Alterman, Heather A. Conley, Haim Malka, Donatienne Ruy, Center for Strategic International Studies, May 2018