NATO and Collective Environmental Security in the MENA: From the Cold War to Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic emerged as a global security risk, and national security institutions scrambled to manage a threat, not emanating from states or non-state actors, but from the environment. The pandemic serves as an empirical case to explore “anthropogenic strategic security,” or how security doctrines can anticipate and mitigate natural disasters, resulting from humanity’s exploitation of ecology and environment. This qualitative study addresses the question as to whether the NATO possesses the imaginative and institutional capacity to manage environmental risks resulting from climate change. By employing constructivist theory, this article argues that the Alliance needs to adopt holistic norms and approaches towards security. By expanding its identity and mission, it should adopt policies that task its constituent parts to serve as a de-facto “Climate Alliance Treaty Organization,” particularly in the MENA region, which is extremely vulnerable to environmental risks. A review of past NATO statements, meetings, and institutions provide the key findings, demonstrating that the Alliance’s past experience in aiding non-members, such as in the Balkans and South and Central Asia, has endowed the Alliance with the infrastructure, experience, and mechanisms for strategic partnerships with MENA nations on climate mitigation strategies.

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Citation: Al-Marashi, I., and A. Causevic. 2020 Journal of Strategic Security 13(4): 28-44

NATO and Collective Environmental Security in the MENA: From the Cold War to Covid-19

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