"In its rush to reinforce itself in Eastern Europe – a strategic priority that has dominated NATO's posture since the Ukraine crisis – senior military officials at the alliance fear it may have neglected its Mediterranean flank," Sam Jones noted in an article titled "NATO to reinforce its Mediterranean presence."
As part of the new commitment, the alliance plans to send surveillance drones to the Sigonella Base, Sicily to "increase situational awareness," as NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg put it during a press conference in Spain.
Stoltenberg visited the Spanish city of Zaragoza to observe Trident Juncture 2015, the bloc's largest military drills in over a decade. Some 36,000 troops from NATO member state and allied nations are taking part in the massive month-long exercise.
Specific proposals with regard to NATO's southern strategy are expected to be outlined at a ministerial meeting next month, Jones wrote for the Financial Times.
NATO has long used a non-existent threat from Russia to present its military buildup in Eastern Europe and the Baltics as a defensive activity. The alliance seems to employ the same tactics to boost its military presence along its southern flanks.