NATO Using New Mission Set to Address Southern Flank

Peace, stability and the rule of law are at the heart of security, and the NATO alliance is using a non-traditional effort called NATO Strategic Direction South to encourage this process.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg declared the organization, also known as the Hub for the South, fully operational following the Brussels Summit July 12. The commander of NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Italy, Navy Adm. James G. Foggo III, said the hub is a “totally different mission set” for the alliance.

The organization was formally established in September. “We are manned for 80 people at the headquarters … and the NATO goal for the Hub for the South is to complete the 360-degree comprehensive approach to security and stability operations,” the admiral said.

NATO has done an excellent job of security operations in Europe’s north and east, where Russia is the prime disturber of the peace, Foggo said.

“The area where we need to continue to work is in the strategic direction south,” he said.

NATO’s Southern Flank

NATO’s southern flank has a different set of dangers. Transnational threats such as terrorism, drug gangs, human traffickers and weapons smugglers take advantage of ungoverned or loosely governed areas in the Middle East, North Africa and the Sahel to threaten peace inside NATO allies.

Creating stability and security in those regions…

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