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New challenges are reshaping the international order, requiring government leaders to consider new strategies and tools that integrate diplomatic, economic, and military instruments of power. Nowhere is this more evident than around the Mediterranean Sea, which has progressively returned as a region of global strategic interest where political tensions, armed conflict, economic and social instability and transnational criminal networks demand solutions that cross traditional institutional boundaries of domestic and international policy-making.

The geo-political situation on the southern coast of the Mediterranean has radically changed and new challenges have emerged for the European Union, United States, and beyond. Long-lasting issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or the tensions between Turkey and Greece, continue to be present, but new destabilising factors have emerged in the region following the Arab spring of 2011.

The US, EU and NATO continue to maintain a significant military presence in and around the Mediterranean, but military capabilities must be nested within a whole-of-government, international approach. The challenges in this region demand unprecedented levels of civil-military and intergovernmental cooperation.

In this context, RAND established the Mediterranean Foresight Forum (MFF) in 2015 to support the development of comprehensive, integrated civil-military responses to complex regional challenges through an innovative combination of research, scenario-based sensitivity analysis and strategic-level exercises.

This publication is part of a series of four RAND Perspectives (PE) each focusing on different challenges in the Mediterranean region. Other Perspectives cover the issues of Foreign Policy and Diplomacy, Defence and Security and Cross-cutting issues.

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This research conducted by RAND Europe.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation perspective series. RAND perspectives present informed perspective on a timely topic that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND perspectives undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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