US amendment for new bases on Greek islands

As part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the US House of Representatives approved an amendment Wednesday to examine a plan to expand the US military presence and construct bases on Greek islands.

According to the amendment, the US secretaries of state and defense are required to jointly submit a report on US-Greek security cooperation to the relevant congressional committees.

The acquis of the 2021 Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) provides, among other things, for a multi-year duration and greater funding from Congress, which is reflected in the amendment which proposes the expansion of military presence on existing bases and the exploration of the possibility of placing new ones on islands.

The phrase “throughout Greece” was added to the MDCA in 2021 to describe in which geographic locations new bases could be established. This specific quotation was utilized by Greece to recommend Limnos and, most crucially, Skyros as islands that may house a US military presence, and also to stress the need for a base at Alexandroupoli in northern Greece.

Former foreign minister Nikos Dendias, the current defense minister, spearheaded the campaign to secure Skyros.

Konstantinos Floros, the chief of the armed forces’ general staff, had suggested similar measures at the military level.

A key factor for the US Armed Forces is the “military necessity” for such a decision to be taken.

The amendment provides that the report must be filed within two months of the signing of the final bill and must include, firstly, an analysis of the potential for additional bases or an expanded US military presence in Greece, particularly on the islands.

It must also include a description of the basing rights granted to the US under the MDCA, and of US activities and investments.

Finally it must also provide an assessment of the status of security cooperation in accordance with the requirements of the US-Greece Defense and Interparliamentary Partnership Act of 2021.


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