Allies in the Mediterranean region rightly expect NATO to take threats and challenges from the south as seriously as they do those from the east. NATO needs to work out and to implement a comprehensive strategy and plans for the south that include concrete aims, joint actions, and resources. Alliance cohesion and solidarity depends to a substantial extent on the ability of the Allies to do this. The north-eastern flank Allies are ready to play their part, but it is the Mediterranean Allies who have the understanding and expertise necessary to define the content of a strategy for the regions they border.
This policy paper outlines the security environment to NATO’s south and describes Allied and NATO presence and activities on the Alliance’s southern rim, as well as the role of Russia and China in the wider region, including the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). It includes a series of interviews with officials and experts from southern Allies (from Spain to Turkey and Romania) and examines the security priorities of these Allies in order to identify possible components of a NATO strategy for the region. The final chapter draws conclusions and offers policy recommendations.