Director's Foreword 

Dear Friends of the HUB, 

After the Holiday festivities, we are recharged and ready to press forward with the same vigor and intensity with which we ended 2018. I sincerely believe that 2019 will prove to be even more demanding in terms of new challenging and complex problems-
I am committed to ensure the HUB is ready for our mission! 

I would like to take this opportunity to re-emphasize my deep and personal commitment to strengthening the bonds of friendship with our Allies and Partners in the Middle East and throughout Africa. Extensive networks and cooperation with civil society entities is paramount to the HUB and NATO's long-term success. Our overarching goal must always be to demonstrate the value of the HUB, not only throughout NATO but especially with our Allies and Partners who reside in the South. We understand that various threats or challenges cannot always be addressed in straight-forward, kinetic military responses; in the HUB's area, they take the form of weak institutions, socio-economic disarray and, sometimes, the absence of decent governance. These realities underscore the importance of why the HUB must continue to accurately and effectively fuse data from disparate sources of information—mainly defense and civil society actors—so we can gain a holistic and comprehensive picture of the Middle East, North Africa and the Pan Sahel. 

We understand how our environment in the South is ever-changing and increasingly dynamic. Thus, it is imperative for every member of the HUB to remain agile and flexible—not only in the way we process information, but how we engage and build networks throughout the South.

 Many nefarious or bad actors continue to find innovative ways to further their goals to destabilize our region, mainly for their personal or selfish goals. 

The HUB's value-added and long-term success depends upon the HUB's niche ability to identify opportunities, aligned within our NATO Article 2 mandate. The HUB must strive to better the lives of the local populace in our region while, simultaneously, providing NATO leaders with actionable recommendations for greater optimization. 

Only a year ago, many individuals had doubts as to whether or not the HUB can uniquely or positively affect the myriad of challenges in the South. As we enter 2019, I can declare, without hesitation and with a great level of confidence, that the HUB is ready to execute a robust operating and production plan that will only solidify our rightful position throughout the Transatlantic Alliance. The HUB team is ready for 2019 and beyond. 

As they say in my country of Italy, Buon Anno (Happy New Year)


NSD-S HUB Director
Brigadier General Ignazio LAX, Italian Army


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