Ares & Athena – Issue 16 – NATO Today – Russian Challenges to NATO Southern Flank

While NATO’s northern and eastern flanks usually receive the bulk of strategic attention, rather less tends to be said about the southern flank. Although the threats to the Baltics and conflict in Ukraine may seem more readily understandable from a traditional military perspective, the challenges to the south are, in their own way, just as formidable. The geopolitics of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Western Balkans are changing rapidly and in highly
unpredictable ways. Russia is actively seeking to extend its influence in these areas and is using a wide variety of methods to achieve its goals, including soft power and hybrid warfare. Alongside its focus on Northeast and Central Europe, NATO needs to consider how to respond to the changing regional landscape
in Southeast Europe.