Julio MIRANDA CALHA (Portugal)
This report reviews the main security challenges in NATO’s southern neighbourhood and their impact on NATO Allies. After providing a brief update on recent developments in Syria and Iraq, the report analyses the key drivers promoting instability in North Africa. To varying degrees, the countries in the region are confronted with challenging demographic developments, stagnant economies, illegal migration and violent forms of political Islam.
The paper argues that developments further south in the Sahel and the Gulf of Guinea also impact regional volatility. Moreover, security in North Africa and the Sahel has become increasingly volatile and interconnected as non-state actors proliferated across the region after the collapse of the Libyan state in 2011. The report concludes by summarising NATO’s efforts in the South. While NATO Allies and partners have already identified the Middle East, North Africa, and the Sahel region as integral to transatlantic security, the report argues that more needs to be done to raise situational awareness and ensure important initiatives—such as the hub for the South in Naples or the Training Mission Iraq—can succeed.