TURKEY A RISING MEDITERRANEAN FORCE ITALIAN ADMIRAL CLAIMS


24/11/2020




Robert HARNEIS -TDO- (FRANCE)- Admiral Luigi Binelli Mantelli, the former head of Italy's armed forces between 2013 and 2015 has claimed that Turkey is a rising Mediterranean naval power, in an interview with Eu Observer.

"It's on its way to acquiring a significant power-projection capability with the new amphibious-assault ship Anadolu, [which] can be configured as a light aircraft carrier," he said, referring to a Turkish-built vessel. If it put vertical take-off and landing F-35 jets on board, Turkey would "gain additional regional relevance," he added.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan also had an edge, Binelli Mantelli claimed.

The recent war with Azerbaijan to reconquer the Nagorno-Karabakh region from Armenia "provided Erdogan with an additional strategic testbed for demonstrating his political assertiveness," he said.

Russia and Turkey had pushed out "traditional peace-providers, such as the US, Nato, or any other European actor with interests in those countries [Libya and Syria]," Binelli Mantelli said.

"In this sense, I see Nato's relevance being put seriously at stake [in the Mediterranean]," he said.

Part of the change was due to US redeployments, he noted.

"Nowadays, US Sixth Fleet consistency and engagement [in the Mediterranean] is nothing compared to what it was before the collapse of the USSR," Binelli Mantelli said.

The fact the US recently moved warships from Italy to Spain was "emblematic" of a "swing of US interests from the Mediterranean to the African seas," he added.

The French "Force de dissuasion" was still "a significant naval power", the Italian admiral noted.

But the Italian navy was starved of funds, due to Italy's "sea-blindness", he said.

And even if the French "Force de Frappe" was to be reckoned with on paper, "what matters, anyhow, is the willingness to act", Binelli Mantelli said.

"As I said before: It's a matter of lack of [Western] assertiveness," he said.

Nato, in recent years, had deployed new forces in the Baltic Sea region, but it was "no longer the deterring organization able and eager to show its muscles in the Mediterranean arena, as it did in the good old times," he added.

"The Western bloc, with Europe leading this unfortunate enterprise ... is becoming less and less credible in its willingness to commit, on the field, rather than through endless diplomatic talks, to international stability [in Europe's southern neighborhood]," he said.

It was a "sad spectacle", the admiral noted.

"Nato is too much land-centric, forgetting that only great maritime powers have influenced the world throughout history," he said.

In the same interview he emphasized that Russia was currently the dominant naval power in the Eastern Mediterranean.


porno izlebrazzers