Genesi della "NATO globale". La frontiere dell'Alleanza prima del 1999

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Genesis of "global NATO". The frontiers of the Alliance before 1999


Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


[Autom. eng. transl.] The problem of "out-of-area" is linked to the issue of the geographical limits of the Atlantic Alliance as well as that of its mission and its tasks. It underlies, among other things, the political and military option in favor of a static defense, concentrated along the central European front and supported by the US nuclear umbrella: the pivot of the dyad deterrence & defense on which NATO action will be held until Strategic Concept of 1991. The geopolitical realignment produced by the crises of 1989, the unhinging of the limits of the bipolar "game" and the loss of the traditional Clausewitzian brakes to the proliferation of violence fueled, in the first half of the Nineties, a "revival of war" represented in terms of transition from a world of "impossible peace and unlikely war" to one of "possible peace and probable wars". The "political" logic that governed US-USSR relations is replaced by an "extra-political" logic, in which the "collective disappearance for physical extermination" of the enemy represents an acceptable (if not desirable) outcome of the conflict. Against this background, the 1991 Strategic Concept explicitly refers to the Gulf War as an example of the way in which "the stability and peace of the countries on the southern periphery of Europe are important for the security of the Alliance". The question of "out-of-area" is thus linked to a partially new vision of the "indirect threat", opening the doors to the sphere of "risk" as a reference horizon for NATO action. In this perspective, the Strategic Concept of 1991 reflects in equal measure the need to respond to the new challenges of the international scenario and the end of the blockade situation produced by the persistence of an antagonistic relationship with the USSR. The same applies to the inclusion strategy envisaged in the London Declaration on a transformed Atlantic Alliance (1990) and launched with the Partnership for Peace (PfP) initiative in 1994. Between these two events, the dissolution of the USSR ( December 26, 1991), however, it has disrupted the papers. On the one hand, it resolves the dilemma of the out-of-area as traditionally formulated, allowing the reintegration of the Euro-Atlantic security space under the aegis of a single "hegemonic" organization. On the other hand, the changed international scenario ends (even before the events of 11 September 2001) with moving the terms of the problem beyond the European borders, projecting NATO in a "global" dimension at the beginning, perhaps only partially, at the desired level. In this perspective, the "out-of-area" dimension preserves - albeit in a changed form - its "long-term" centrality, configuring the fulfillment of the original mission of the Alliance more and more clearly as a "long-arm" action. Supported by the transformations of the international scenario, this evolution corresponds to a changed perception of the security needs of NATO and its members. However, it also seems to correspond to a widespread differentiation of common positions. The difficult consensus formed around the intervention in Kosovo in 1999 represented a first sign in this sense. The same applies to the caveats to which the participation of various national contingents in operations in Afghanistan has been conditioned. On the other hand, this differentiation is also one of the consequences of an international system that has become more complex and of the disappearance - even within the Atlantic Alliance - of traditional shared objectives. The process of renationalisation of security policies initiated during the Nineties and continued during the following decade, could not fail to be reflected also in NATO, especially with respect to a
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Genesis of "global NATO". The frontiers of the Alliance before 1999
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationAmerican Legacy. La SISM ricorda Raimondo Luraghi
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Alleanza Atlantica
  • NATO
  • Out of area


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