The third future sketched in this study is the ‘nightmare scenario’ with a number of countries in the south falling prey to third-state influence or collapsing outright. It implies that several interconnected crises from the fall of the regime in Saudi Arabia to the end of Khamenei’s rule in Iran provide a smokescreen for China and Russia’s expansion in the region. The first major question facing NATO is whether the Alliance would have the political and resource base to deal with multiple crises simultaneously. Secondly, given the role of hostile third powers in the scenario, NATO would have to consider how it could deter the creation of new naval bases or other military installations. Such a situation would necessitate early warning analyses by the Alliance and requires a strong focus on the interconnectivity of security, political, economic and environmental pressures in the region is certainly required.
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