NATO AT 70: REFOCUSING FOR CHANGE?

POLICY BACKGROUND PAPER


NATO is the most successful political-military alliance in history, and yet it is time to focus once again on the purpose of the transatlantic relationship that is at risk of whittling due to inertia and complacency. NATO’s old quip “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down” today it is evidently out of touch with reality. Russia is considered by some a potentially interesting partner a part of the US public is not sure about staying…read more.

THE MIDDLE EAST TORN BETWEEN security dilemma and power vacuum


The 2011 uprisings failed in spreading democracy. They did, nevertheless, reshape regional relations leaving three traditional powers of the area – Egypt, Syria, Iraq – as barely functional states. The Gulf countries – Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE – are leading a potential endless counter-revolution effort. The latter has ignited a toxic circuit of proxy wars that is re-orienting regional foreign policy with a compass driven by altered perceptions of threats and opportunities. The hope that, at the end…read more.

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was a mistake: lessons for today


It is easy to dismiss defeat as uninteresting and unappealing, preferring instead the more intoxicating analysis of victory; yet wisdom is more often learned from defeat because errors have more power in questioning assumptions and ossified ideas. A short analysis of the decision-taking process of the Soviet leadership that led to the invasion of Afghanistan on December 1979 shows…read more.

Local Trends and Global Dynamics of Religious Terrorism in Africa


The asymmetry level of terrorist threats affecting the different cities of Europe urges the development of sophisticated interpretative tools. Such tools are meant to encode complex hazards in engineering models of reality.
In 2015, an antiterrorism project was developed to define operative guidelines of intervention devoted to the prevention of disastrous consequences for human life and built heritage in case of a religiously motivated terrorist attack, perpetrated in an urban church of Italy. Thus, the “I.T.A.W.” database was created with the purpose of collecting significant information…read more.

Out of the Stalemate:

Can Egypt and NATO Help Libya?


On the 23rd of March 2011, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) launched its Unified Protector Operation in Libya, enforcing the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973. Achieving its End State, the Operation has officially ended. But, did it? Libya remains in a state of distress where its governance is contested between various actors, namely, the Presidential Council headed by Fayez Al-Sarraj and…read more.

TARGETING THE DE-MATERIALISED "CALIPHATE" - EXTREMISM, RADICALISATION AND ILLEGAL TRAFFICKING

POLICY BACKGROUND PAPER


Although the Islamic State has lost nearly 98% of the territory it once controlled, the group is ripe for a comeback in Sunni-majority areas of Iraq and Syria. This resilience is explained by its capability to keep a substantial war chest; when it controlled territory, it amassed billions of dollars through extortion, taxation, robbery, and the…read more.

Afghanistan and Central Asia: Looming priorities and regional un-balances

Policy Background Paper


NATO’s Resolute Support Mission is currently engaged in training, advising and assisting the Afghan security forces and institutions, in order to strengthen the state-building process and to enhance military capabilities of the national army to react against destabilising threats. The RSM’s presence is not limited to Kabul but is felt in different regions of the country (also in the Kandahar southern region and in the western region bordering Pakistan, where the…read more.

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NATO Industry Relation:

The Jury Is Still Out


The dialogue between NATO and Industry focused on the promotion of an Industrial advisory role in a pre-competitive (or non-competitive) mode is over fifty years old. In this period many things have happened: we have seen the creation of organizational structures and procedures, witnessed moments of intense activity, moments of flatness…read more.

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Hybrid WARFARE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES

PRESENTATION FROM THE MAX WEBER INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP - "FEAR OF TROLLS AND LITTLE GREEN MAN. DOES HYBRID WARFARE WORK, FOR WHOM, AND WHEN?"


In 2005 British General Rupert Smith wrote that “War no longer exists”. He continued: “Confrontation, conflict and combat undoubtedly exist all around the world. […] Nonetheless, war as known to most non-combatants, war as battle in the field between men and machinery, war as a massive deciding event…read more.

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NEW ARMIES FOR A NEW ERA. DECRYPTING POST-2011 ARAB MILITARY REFORMS: TREND FROM TUNISIA AND UNITED ARAB EMIRATES.

ARAB GEOPOLITICS Working Paper


The reaction of the Arab armies to the 2011 uprisings is a subject is a subject that has been frequently examined, but the evolution and reform of Arab armies is a neglected topic.  In times of global interdependence, the Atlantic Alliance must be ready to understand and interact with the changing Middle East….read more.

Eastern Mediterranean: gas, tensions and sabre rattling


On 20 June 2019, after “Fatih”, the second Turkish drill ship “Yavuz” left the Dilova port to sail into the Mediterranean Sea. According to Turkish media, Yavuz shall start from July on its petroleum and gas exploration works in the Eastern Mediterranean. While Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez celebrated the launch with the words “Now we’re also part of the game”, the Turkish action prompted harsh reactions from Greece, the EU and the US that see in Ankara’s “illegal” drilling action a…read more.

BALKAN PERSPECTIVES. ADAPTING THE PARTNERSHIP AND INTEGRATION PATHS

POLICY BACKGROUND PAPER


When the European leaders made the solemn commitment of enlarging the Union towards the Western Balkans at the Thessaloniki EU Council in 2003, the general mood about the region was rather positive. Politicians, diplomats and analysts thought that the Western Balkans would have joined NATO and the EU within 15 years, following the same path of Central Europe…read more.

Intervention Afghanistan and Iran

Strong and Gusty Winds for the Defence Industry


It is common knowledge that the world situation is characterised by increasing geopolitical tensions, local wars, a somewhat unpredictable behaviour of the three superpowers (US, China and Russia) and the ever present, even if discontinuous, terrorist threat. Most countries are therefore facing a raising number of real or perceived threats, while the continuous technological evolution, occasionally disruptive, makes those threats even more difficult to predict and counteract.
This geopolitical quandary has generated a bigger attention to defence and security issues and an increase in the demand for military equipment…read more.

The Balkans:

still the "powder keg" of Europe?


The dissolution of the Communist regimes gave rise to new political institution and provided a pathway for the rise of independent nation states. However, this transformation was not smooth and without obstacles. Countries of the region faced a triple transition from war to peace, from Socialism to democracy and market economy and from humanitarian aid to sustanaible development. This is not comparable with any of the Central or Eastern European experience…read more.

The 2018 NATO Industry Forum:

Real Progress or just Networking Event?


The sixth NATO Industry Forum (NIF) was held in Berlin by November 2018. The purpose, following the launch of the Framework for NATO Industry Engagement in 2013 was to assess progress in the interaction NATO-Industry, increase the Industry awareness of NATO priorities, and improve its participation in establishing requirements and developing capabilities. Recognizing the frenetic pace…read more.

Afghanistan After 2014 US Drawdown:

India’s Waiting Game


India’s long and continuous history with, and current legitimate interests in, Afghanistan precludes an exit strategy after the Western forces leave. This sentiment has become even stronger as the regime in Afghanistan changes and the US drawdown nears. Bereft of a regular involvement in the decision-making processes relating to the future of Afghanistan, India has crafted its own strategy, elaborated below, to deal with the post-2014 situation. It is based on continuing to develop its soft power strengths while looking…read more. 

The Ukrainian crisis:

stalemate between bear and nightingale


Out of all the various geopolitical tensions and conflicts facing the transatlantic community and the Russian Federation on the world stage, the Ukrainian crisis – even if lately gradually overlooked and side-lined by the international media – continues to represent one of the main conundrums and sources of discord between an ever less cohesive West…read more.

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Around the Belt and Road Initiative:

The emerging of a grand strategy


The article is a five-point reflection on the New Silk Road (i.e. BRI or OBOR). First point: It is, first of all, an indispensable missing land link in global trade missing for 300 years. Thus it is a very positive development. Why should anybody be against? Second point: The old continental theories of Mackinder and Spykman are of very limited relevance…read more.

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Africa: A Laboratory for Security Cooperation with China?

AFRICA IN ACTION WORKING PAPER


In May 2018, the US accused China of pointing lasers at US military aircraft multiple times near Djibouti in East Africa, in what an analyst describes as “an act just short of war.” [See Daniel Brown, “These are China’s laser weapons that have reportedly been targeting US planes in ‘an act just short of war”,’ Business Insider, May 4, 2018] Beijing denied these allegations which come at a time of contentious Sino-US rela- tions and looming trade war. According to some sources…read more.

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