The island’s history is one of intervention, conspiracy and invasion where the whims of major powers disregard the needs of Cyprus and its people.
Cyprus has learned the hard way and now it’s using its strategic location and reputation to do regional deals while stitching its energy wealth into the bilateral ties it seeks to enhance with its neighbours and Washington.
Outgunned and outnumbered by occupying force Turkey, Nicosia has to get smart, not only through its regional alliances – notice upgraded military cooperation with France and Israel – but it must be clever in the way it defends itself.
Nicosia is not going to go to war with anybody, although it does need a nifty and flexible army that thinks on its feet incorporating smart technology that enables it to have a secure air-defence umbrella.
Strides have been made to try and make the National Guard a more capable force that isn’t hampered by long-serving conscripts who have no desire to be there and desk-job commanders whose only combat experience is ripping open their pay cheque envelop.
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