NATO AND THE MIDDLE EAST: The Making of a Partnership

Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo
Vellum, 2018
222 Pages
ISBN 9780999557235 Paperback

For BULK ORDERS, order directly from New Academia Publishing.

About the Author

Ambassador Minuto-Rizzo was Deputy Secretary General of the Atlantic Alliance from 2001 to 2007 and the founder and President of the Nato Defense College Foundation. Prior to that, he was Senior Advisor to three Ministers of Defense of Italy, a founding member of the Political and Security Committee of the European Union, and personal representative of the Prime Minister for the Trans-European Networks of transport and energy. He was also a member of the Board of the Italian Space Agency, the American Chamber in Italy, and of Finmeccanica in 2013-2014. He taught European Defense and Security Policy for several years at LUISS University in Rome. He is the author of The Road to Kabul. The International Community and the Crises in Central Asia (Il Mulino 2015) and A Political Journey Without Maps in the Greater Middle East (Rubbettino 2013).

About the book

This is a book on NATO and the Arabs. The author has been Deputy Secretary General of NATO from 2001 to the end of 2007, and at present is the founder and President of the NATO Defense College Foundation in Rome. In those years he was tasked by the North Atlantic Council to launch possible partnerships with the Arabs of the Mediterranean, of the Gulf, and Israel. NATO wished to compensate for the disaster in Iraq, but we never had before any kind of relationship with the Arab world, traditionally very suspicious of NATO.

The narrative of the book is about that policy and the objective to reach out to the Arabs. In the end it was considered to be a success story. Putting the basis for two existing partnerships and a long term relationship.

The book came out in Italy in 2013. As the relationship with the Arabs has recently become so dramatically relevant and the transatlantic bond so strained, the book has been updated and translated into English.

“I recognize that it is impossible to recount THE history of something! In politics, as in personal life, there is never just one version. All depends on one’s point of view, and the way you personally experience the situation… This work first and foremost is about my personal experiences in the field, dealing with governments and important players.

Admittedly, dealing with unexpected situations sometimes can lead one to perceive an “exotic” dimension, which may unintentionally receive an overly “literary” treatment in the telling.” (A. Minuto-Rizzo)


“This is a personal account of Minuto-Rizzo’s work to effect a dramatic, qualitative upgrading of the Mediterranean Dialogue, and to create a partnership with the Gulf countries, in the challenging aftermath of the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, which had caused great strains within the Alliance and in relations with the Arab world.”
—Eric R. Terzuolo,

“This is an indispensable account of NATO’s ground-breaking partnership initiatives with the Arab countries and Israel after 9\11, written by the man who was primarily responsible for building those new relationships. My role aside, I remain convinced that NATO’s partnership efforts in the Middle East have paid off and should be strengthened, since, in the present political climate, they are more relevant than ever. More people should be aware of them. I am hoping this book will help accomplish that.”
—Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, Secretary General of Nato, 2004-2009, and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.