NATO’s 2022 Strategic Concept reconsiders the MENA and southern partners

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This article is featured in the ORIENT IV 2022

Although cooperative security is still a core task, the MENA region is not NATO’s priority today. It is mostly framed by NATO through the lens of rivals powers’ influence (russia; China) in third countries and the fight against terrorism. After the russian invasion of Ukraine, the primacy of deterrence and defence is likely to reduce Western resources for Southern partners’ defence capacity-building. However, the shaping of an endogenous security architecture in the MENA region is strictly connected to the improvement of defence capabilities in the region: the GCC states play – and can play – a significant role.

Eleonora Ardemagni is an expert on Yemen, Gulf monarchies and Arab military forces. She is Associate research Fellow at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI), Teaching Assistant at the Catholic University of Milan (MSc courses “regional Studies Middle East”/ “History of Islamic Asia”; “New Conflicts: History, Strategy and Narrative”), and Adjunct Professor at ASErI (Graduate School of Economics and International relations, Milan), Master in Middle Eastern Studies-MIMES (“Yemen: Drivers of Conflict and Security Implications”), and former Gulf analyst for the NATO Defense College Foundation (2015-2020).

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