I capi di stato e di governo si sono incontrati a Bruxelles l’11-12 luglio in occasione del 29.° Summit della NATO, a cui hanno preso parte i 29 paesi membri – per l’Italia il presidente del Consiglio Giuseppe Conte, accompagnato dai ministri Elisabetta Trenta (Difesa) ed Enzo Moavero Milanesi (Affari Esteri) –, 20 paesi partner e i rappresentanti delle Nazioni Unite, dell’Unione Europea, della banca mondiale e la rappresentanza parlamentare dei paesi NATO.
As cyber security is slowly making it onto the international security agenda, NATO's Allies aim at setting the rules of behavior in cyberspace to ensure that the malicious use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) is not left unpunished.
Turkey represents NATO's most credible war-fighting force at the Southern Flank. The manpower advantages and high combat-readiness of the Turkish military makes it a reliable actor in the Alliance’s rapid response plans, which are expected to receive a boost in the July 2018 Summit. In recent years, Ankara has weathered very serious security challenges. In the meanwhile, Turkish-Russian relations pursued the trajectory of a pendulum's swing that caught many analysts off-guard.
In NATO-Gulf monarchies relations, military education is the most effective vector of cooperation. Moreover, individual partnerships work definitely better than a multilateral format. For this reason, the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI), launched in 2004 as a practical cooperation framework between NATO and some Arab Gulf states (United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait) has showed all its limits so far, slightly changing its nature - or rather adapting - on course.
In NATO's Southern flank, the general picture is quite bleak. There is a general failure of governance as the Eastern Mediterranean and its adjoining regions remain an extremely turbulent and unstable neighborhood, where the security environment continues to be "Hobbesian".
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan represents a key partner and reliable ally for NATO, playing vital roles on NATO’s Southern flank, as a moderate force in a tumultuous region. But the kingdom also remains aid-dependent, resource-poor, and subject to crises from within and without. Yet, despite its longstanding partnership with NATO and with Western countries in general, the kingdom is too often neglected and under-valued.
The Middle East rarely plays a central role in NATO summits and the coming one, convened in Brussels on 11 and 12 July, will be no exception. Given the current diplomatic environment, the Brussels Summit will be primarily about reassuring the international community that transatlantic ties (whatever happens with regards to the nuclear deal with Iran, or the emerging trade war between the US and Europe) still translate into a strong NATO.
Regardless the final composition of the next Iraqi coalition government, NATO will have to interact with an executive part interested in maintaining the militias, their base of power. As a matter of fact, Security Sector Reform (SSR) in Iraq may appear as a national issue, but in reality the structure of Iraq's armed forces has implications for the whole region, including the Mediterranean, which is the "Southern", and in some cases also the "Eastern" flank of NATO.
Looking at political debates and perceived priorities, it seems that the coming NATO Summit will focus on the Eastern flank.
At the same time, the 11-12 July Summit will give the operative kick-start to the NATO Strategic Direction South (NSD-S) Hub, based in Naples and opened in September 2017.