Regional Security

Throughout history, the Eastern Mediterranean has been at a crossroads of civilizations where commercial interests have played out against a backdrop of diverse and often antagonistic cultures from three very different continents.

Today, political, economic and ethnic tensions are increasingly exacerbated by rising demographic and economic imbalances, by frustrated ambitions and by political ineptitude and inertia. Fanned by fundamentalist rhetoric,  tensions have been manifested in repeated international conflicts, in the pursuit of nuclear technology, in the overthrow of established regimes and in extremism and terrorism exported across the globe.   States which had previously been seen as stable and reliable are now facing internal unrest and failing governments while others pursue a role as regional hegemons. Meanwhile, under the twin pressures of recession and growing concerns elsewhere, European and American states are becoming less engaged, and new great powers, such as China and India, are increasingly moving into the region.  As a result, alliances are undergoing transformation and old wounds run the risk of being re-opened.

ERPIC’s Eastern Mediterranean Regional Security Program aims to analyze and understand the security implications of events that are taking place in the Eastern Mediterranean region and its periphery in order to examine how these changes will affect security policies and structures in the coming decades.

The Program explores issues such as political aspirations, energy resources and transportation, demographic changes, organized crime, military deployments and capabilities, as well as examining evolving changing styles of conflict and their implications for physical and economic security.  

PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Air Commodore Andrew Lambert MPhil RAF (ret’d)

Air Commodore Andrew Lambert attended Wellington College and the Royal Air Force College, Cranwell. After flying training as a navigator, he was posted to Phantoms and served on Nos 54, 31 and 23 Squadrons, in Ground-Attack, Strike and Air Defense roles. In 1978 he was awarded the Nicolson Trophy as the best Qualified Weapons Instructor student, and in 1979 he was co-author of a paper on “Mixed Fighter Forces” which won the Wilkinson Battle of Britain Memorial Sword. As a Squadron Leader in 1981, he served on No 23 Squadron as the Weapons Leader, and then as Flight Commander in the Falkland Islands. On return to the UK he commanded the Phantom Weapons Instructor School, and was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air.   He attended the RAF Staff College in 1986. As a Wing Commander he served in the Plans Branch at HQ Strike Command where he participated in the UK battle study for Operation Granby (Operation Desert Shield/Storm).

After conversion to the F3 Tornado, in June 1991, he returned again to No 23 Squadron, this time as Squadron Commander. After commanding the squadron on operations over Bosnia (Operation Deny Flight), he undertook an M Phil course in International Relations at Cambridge University.  From 1994 -1997 he was the Director of Defense Studies for the RAF.  In August 1997 he was appointed Air Commander and Chief of Staff, British Forces Falkland Islands. After a further period at Downing College, researching Coercion, he served as Commander British Forces Warden during the SAM and AAA attacks by Iraqi forces from February to August 1999.  After a short period in the MOD he was Deputy Commander NATO Air Operations, Norway, from March 2000 to September 2001, before returning to the UK as Assistant Commandant (Air) and Director of Training and Education at the Joint Services Command and Staff College.  He retired from the RAF on 12 October 2003 and now lectures widely on History and Air Power matters. 

He is the RAF’s Spokesman on the United Kingdom National Defense Association, and is a member of the UKNDA Board of Directors. He is a late Fellow Commoner of Downing College, Cambridge, a Member of the Royal Institute of Navigation, and a member of the Royal United Services Institute.  He has published a number of monographs, particularly on the Psychological Impact of Air Power and on Coercion. Air Cdre Lambert holds the position of Honorary Chairman as wel as a permanent member of the Board of Directors of ERPIC.