Mediterranean Security

New Issues and Challenges — Brussels, October 15-17, 1995

by F. Stephen Larrabee, Carla Thorson

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On October 15-17, 1995, RAND, in conjunction with the NATO Office of Information and Press, held a conference in Brussels on Mediterranean security issues. The conference was attended by some ninety government officials, academics, and specialists from NATO member countries, international organizations, and non-NATO Mediterranean countries, including Egypt, Israel, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia. Representatives from the European Union, the North Atlantic Assembly, and the Western European Union also participated. This report summarizes the conference, highlighting key issues and perspectives that emerged during the proceedings. Among the key findings of the conference were the following: (1) The main challenges to security in the Mediterranean are economic and political; (2) economic change is a fundamental necessity to prevent serious political and social upheavals that could affect Europe; (3) political Islam should be clearly differentiated from Islamic extremism, which is the real threat to stability in the Mediterranean; (4) NATO's efforts to project stability to the East should be complemented by an outreach program to the South; and (5) NATO must work with the non-NATO dialogue countries to dispel the perception that its interest in the Mediterranean is prompted by a search for a "new enemy."

This report is part of the RAND Corporation conference proceeding series. RAND conference proceedings present a collection of papers delivered at a conference or a summary of the conference.

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