August 7, 2012
NATO should work to foster enduring and friendly relations with its countries outside of the North Atlantic region. After a tumultuous spring in North Africa and the Middle East, solid relationships in these regions are crucial to preserving security for America and our allies.
NATO already has structures in place to better cooperate with partners in this part of the world, but little has been done to enhance these relationships.
Further growth in these institutions–the Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative–can create practical partnerships that will prove useful for NATO.
Many countries in these regions have shown a willingness to cooperate with NATO objectives and have “even contributed troops to NATO-led missions,” Coffey writes.
With growing threats in North Africa and the Middle East, NATO should commit to demonstrating that these countries are important to a watching world.
What do you think? How important are North Africa and the Middle East to NATO?