The paper analyses the developments regarding the NATO agenda in view of the July 2016 Warsaw Summit. It also looks at Italy’s defence policy with respect to the Atlantic Alliance and the impact of the White Paper on International Security and Defence adopted by the Italian government in April 2015. The first chapter focuses on the operational readiness and defence investment commitments made by the Allies in response to the conflict in Ukraine and the crisis in relations with Russia. It also delves into the debate on possible measures to address the threats from NATO’s “Southern Flank,” including fundamentalist terrorism and instability in North Africa and the Middle East. The second chapter discusses Italy’s position within NATO, also with respect to the various Allies’ threat perceptions, and analyses the content and implementation of the White Paper and its contribution to the management of the current instability within NATO and beyond. The final chapter provides the framework for an Italian and transatlantic rethinking of how to address threats from NATO’s Southern Flank by means of a regional and thematic approach.
Paper prepared within the framework of the research project “Defence Matters”, with the support of NATO Public Diplomacy Division.
1. NATO toward the Warsaw Summit
1.1 The implementation of the Wales Summit’s decisions
1.1.1 Assurance measures and Adaptation measures
1.1.2 NATO’s 2% Defence Investment Pledge
1.2 The Eastern vs. Southern flank dilemma back to NATO agenda
1.3 Which role for NATO in the Mediterranean region?
The White Paper and the Italian defence policy
2.1 The White Paper and the Italian role in NATO
2.1.1 The White Paper and the Italian view on the Southern flank in the NATO debate
2.1.2 The Italian role between political ambitions and actual resources
2.2 The impact of the White Paper on the Italian defence policy
2.2.1 Guidelines for the transformation of the Armed Forces according to the White Paper
2.2.2 The strategic implications of the White Paper
3. Conclusions: Elements for an Italian initiative on NATO Southern flank