Report Title: Tackling the Challenges from the South
Rapporteur: Julio MIRANDA CALHA (Portugal)
Violent conflict and instability, particularly in Syria and Iraq, continue to destabilise the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. After six years of fighting, there is no end in sight for the civil war in Syria. Iraq is beset by sectarian violence, a weak central government and spill-over from the conflict in Syria. Although Daesh has suffered a number of crushing defeats on the battlefield and its self-declared “Caliphate” appears close to collapse, the terror organisation continues to pose a significant security risk. In North Africa, political strife and infighting among rival militias in Libya have also created an opening for Daesh and other terrorist organisations. Thus, violence threatens to spread further throughout North Africa and even sub-Saharan countries. As a consequence of these conflicts, migration from the region has increased significantly, leading to humanitarian crises, political tensions and security risks. This instability and mounting transnational as well as multi‑dimensional threats across the Middle East and North Africa have major negative repercussions for NATO member states.