Accession Number:



Qualitative Examination of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Southern Strategy: Implications for Euro-Atlantic Security

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Master's Thesis]

Corporate Author:

US Army Command and General Staff College

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO is facing unpredictable challenges from Europes eastern periphery and the southern one. On the eastern flank, Russia is challenging the Allies, threatening the sovereignty of the countries in the Baltic and the Black Sea regions. To the southern flank, coincident with the African and the Middle East area, terrorism, the threat of conflicts from failed states, second-order issues such as illegal immigration, reemerging Russian activism, and an ambitious Iran jeopardizes Europe. If NATO seems to be well prepared to face a conventional threat along the east and has already adopted many measures as part of the Readiness Action Plan, the implementation of a robust strategy to the south appears more volatile and complex to pursue, posing significant risks to the security of the whole Euro-Atlantic area. In this context, this thesis examines NATOs southern strategy through the operational design framework, and the ends, ways, means model of strategy to illustrate the Alliances approach to the security threat from the south, focusing on the main strategic and operational challenges and the initiatives the Alliance has already implemented. Finally, the research aims to highlight the potential weaknesses of this strategy, and formulate recommendations to enhance NATOs capacity to gain in-depth situational awareness and understanding in the region, and to assure a quick response to the south as part of a global approach to security.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Government and Political Science
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]