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The Greek debt crisis: any military implications?

This is a discussion on The Greek debt crisis: any military implications? within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; I am concerned that the Greek debt crisis might lead to a war (although I don't know who would be ...


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Old October 25th, 2011   #1
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The Greek debt crisis: any military implications?

I am concerned that the Greek debt crisis might lead to a war (although I don't know who would be fighting who). The problem is economic at its heart, and such a war might involve the breakup of the EU or departure of a country from the euro.

Here's the current situation: Some 27 countries, some with small overseas territories, are in the European Union, and many of those are also in NATO. Greece happens to be bankrupt (and Italy is allegedly also heading that way, not to mention Spain and/or Portugal). France and Germany are arguing over what to do about it. France pretty much wants money to be created and poured into its banks to shore them up. Germany is afraid of inflation and wants most of Greece's debt to be written off. (At least that's what I think their positions are.)

People are afraid that this situation is going to get out of control (the so called "debt contagion"). If that happens, then there might be departures from the euro/EU, attempts at "military Keynesianism", and, for all we know, attempts at taking over assets in other countries by force. After all, Hitler built up his forces and broke various international treaties before going to war - in the wake of the Great Depression.

How big is the risk of a war from a European recession/ depression stemming from the debt crisis? Is the hatchet truly buried?
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Old October 25th, 2011   #2
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hehe

no chance of war, but the greeks will probrually put off military spending for a bit where they can. maybe the goverment will get toppled, but realistically the greeks know that the more wild they go the worse things will get.

for the greeks the worst thing they can do in the short and long term is not get help to pay their debts and default.

i would ask what your veiw on the US debt is? realistically the US also has one of the highest %of debt to GDP in the world and its getting larger at an alarming rate.
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Old October 26th, 2011   #3
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There could be 3 different reasons to go to war due to the recession.
  1. To collect on sovereign debts after a default. (ex. Germany attacking Greece)
  2. In revenge for refusing to bail them out. (ex Greece attacking Germany)
  3. To distract the masses, i.e. When there is unrest at home create war abroad. (ex. Greece attacks Turkey)
None of them make any sense in the present situation.
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Old October 26th, 2011   #4
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I don't think war is possible at this point, furthermore I can't see a point.

However if I answered the thread title's question then I think there are implications not only for Greece. Due to Greece's debt crisis being carried over to the rest of the EU and potentially putting all member states in jeopardy we can assume large cuts on the way. This means large cuts across the board all over Europe on defence spending.

Btw can someone tell me why Greece spends as much as it does as a percentage of GDP on Defence?
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Old October 26th, 2011   #5
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hehe

no chance of war, but the greeks will probrually put off military spending for a bit where they can. maybe the goverment will get toppled, but realistically the greeks know that the more wild they go the worse things will get.

for the greeks the worst thing they can do in the short and long term is not get help to pay their debts and default.

i would ask what your veiw on the US debt is? realistically the US also has one of the highest %of debt to GDP in the world and its getting larger at an alarming rate.
The US can theoretically coin money, but fiscal conservatism restrains the US politically, and, moreover, when you coin money, what you need to watch out for is not necessarily the ratio of debt to GDP but the inflation from money coinage. Furthermore, US Treasuries are widely viewed as a safe haven. This might not always be the case, but right now it is. As for Greece, its situation is more like California than the USA as a whole: it has surrendered to the euro, and thus relies on external sources for money coinage. Thus, it is stuck relying on handouts from foreign countries such as Germany and France (both of whom disagree with each other on how to solve the problem because proposed solutions disadvantage one of the two). That being said, America's debt is irrelevant to the question, which relates to Greece's impact on military affairs.

As for the impact of America's debt on America's military, no war's going to come out of that, either.
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Old October 26th, 2011   #6
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I don't think war is possible at this point, furthermore I can't see a point.

However if I answered the thread title's question then I think there are implications not only for Greece. Due to Greece's debt crisis being carried over to the rest of the EU and potentially putting all member states in jeopardy we can assume large cuts on the way. This means large cuts across the board all over Europe on defence spending.

Btw can someone tell me why Greece spends as much as it does as a percentage of GDP on Defence?
Russia's not going take advantage of such cuts, is it? As for Greece, the states to the north of it are not necessarily the most stable in the world. You see up there Albania, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo. To the east of Greece there is Turkey, a Muslim state and historical foe of Greece. To the south there are more Muslim countries. Cyprus has been a war zone. So, of course, Greece feels it needs to keep its defense up to par.
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Old October 26th, 2011   #7
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The US can theoretically coin money, but fiscal conservatism restrains the US politically, and, moreover, when you coin money, what you need to watch out for is not necessarily the ratio of debt to GDP but the inflation from money coinage. Furthermore, US Treasuries are widely viewed as a safe haven. This might not always be the case, but right now it is. As for Greece, its situation is more like California than the USA as a whole: it has surrendered to the euro, and thus relies on external sources for money coinage. Thus, it is stuck relying on handouts from foreign countries such as Germany and France (both of whom disagree with each other on how to solve the problem because proposed solutions disadvantage one of the two). That being said, America's debt is irrelevant to the question, which relates to Greece's impact on military affairs.

As for the impact of America's debt on America's military, no war's going to come out of that, either.

as you say the US will face some tough times ahead. print money and lifestyles go down as imports go up in price, paying the debt will also mean lots of sacrifice in the future.

what i ment by my responce is that although greece is in a very bad situation, like your understanding of how things are in the US its pretty unthinkable over this side of the pond that because of a countries economic problems there is a chance of war directly relating to its downturn.

your veiw of taking assets over by force by the EU in greece to pay its debts is really beyond imagination. if greece does not want to pay its debts ( or cannot) it defaults and everyone takes a hit,most of all the greek people. look at Argentina in the early part of this centuary as an example of this, its not pretty in the short to meduim term. paying the debt and getting help is the lesser of the 2 evils as far as the greeks are concerned.

As for a war in Europe a potential senario because of a depression stemming from the debt crissis? its not 1940, the world has changed and the time of empire has gone. maybe countries will take national intrests before European intrests as a result of potential problems but what would the purpose of war acheive? you will not get money back by invasion and occupation will cost alot more money for what bennifit? for the most part europe does not have lots of natural resources so what are you gaining? if i asked do you think china will make claims on the US as a result of current and futue debt then go to war to claim it you would think me mad and rightfully so.
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Old October 28th, 2011   #8
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I am concerned that the Greek debt crisis might lead to a war...

People are afraid that this situation is going to get out of control (the so called "debt contagion"). If that happens, then there might be departures from the euro/EU, attempts at "military Keynesianism", and, for all we know, attempts at taking over assets in other countries by force. After all, Hitler built up his forces and broke various international treaties before going to war - in the wake of the Great Depression.

How big is the risk of a war from a European recession/ depression stemming from the debt crisis? Is the hatchet truly buried?
I think you are showing that you don't know anything about modern Europe.

There is no chance of a war caused by Greek debts. It'll force Greek military spending cuts, & the Turks might be a little more pushy as a result (though not much - they have military superiority anyway), but they're not about to attack Greece.

You can't take over financial assets by force.

It's about as likely as US states going to war with each other. That's happened before, & that has as much relevance to the current state of the USA as WW2 does to the current state of Europe. It's just not imaginable.

The only European countries which still think of war with each other as a possibility are in the former USSR. Even the Balkan states seem to have given up the idea, after the disasters of the 1990s.
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Old November 16th, 2011   #9
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I think that this thread was sidetracked by it's tittle. It should be "The sovereign debt crisis in the West: any military implications?"

That way you can add another reason to this, one that was mentioned but completely overlooked.

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Originally Posted by My2Cents View Post
There could be 3 different reasons to go to war due to the recession.
  1. To collect on sovereign debts after a default. (ex. Germany attacking Greece)
  2. In revenge for refusing to bail them out. (ex Greece attacking Germany)
  3. To distract the masses, i.e. When there is unrest at home create war abroad. (ex. Greece attacks Turkey)
None of them make any sense in the present situation.
4. attempts at "military Keynesianism"

The whole West seems to have a debt problem and I don't see a clear way to resolve it as long as it faces a huge trade imbalance with the East. The situation reminds me of the Opium wars. I just fail to see who is going to fight whom in the nuclear weapons age. Maybe a new Cold War?
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Old November 16th, 2011   #10
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I think that this thread was sidetracked by it's tittle. It should be "The sovereign debt crisis in the West: any military implications?"
Agreed

Alot of European Countries are in Financial trouble.
Greece being 2% of the Euro, had troubles paying for there 4 , U- 214 subs ordered from ThyssenKrupp Marine and Greek yards. ThyssenKrupp Marine have cancelled the order now.

Germany came out and said they will ride off 50% of the Greek Debt.Austerity measures have made the greek people riot in the streets.

Greece’s U-214 Submarine Order: Default & Settlement

Italy are also in alot of Financial trouble,with the Italian PM Bellesconi ,being stood down with a no confidence vote!

France is a Domino just waiting to fall.They will loose there AAA rating soon and i can see a number of TOP French banks failing.

Spain is another Euro country that has a dark economic future.

To many European countries are in debt and cannot pay back there debt.
Germany is one of the only EURO countries to make a profit and the German people have to bail out the other euro countries.

I can see the Euro Failing,and a number of countries leaving the EURO and going back to there dollar.Greece being the first to go back to the Drakma.

The world is in alot of Financial Trouble.

Gold being the Canary in the economic coal mine ,is telling us that financially the worlds Markets are in turmoil.

Spending is being cut ,but defence spending is increasing in some European countries.

I dont see the world getting safer.
Regards

Last edited by the road runner; November 16th, 2011 at 11:09 PM.
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