Home » Who’s the Italian Admiral set to become NATO’s top military official

Who’s the Italian Admiral set to become NATO’s top military official

The Italian Defence’s Chief of Staff, Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone, is set to replace Admiral Rob Bauer at the helm of the Alliance’s Military Committee. He will be tackling challenges like strengthening Allied deterrence and support for Ukraine, as well as defence investment and ammo production

NATO taps Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone as the next chair of its Military Committee, the organisation that brings together the Chiefs of Defence Staff of all Allied countries. The Italian Admiral, who currently acts as Chief of Staff of Italy’s own Defence, will take over from Dutch Admiral Rob Bauer in January 2025, at the end of his mandate.

A nod to Rome. Admiral Cavo Dragone’s appointment is a sign of recognition of Italy’s role within NATO. The country is traditionally among the Alliance’s main military contributors, both in terms of troops and means. Having the Italian official in such an apex position could also aid Rome in advancing its positions within the Alliance and increasing its weight in decision-making processes.

Full support. The Meloni government had thrown its weight behind the admiral, with Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani formalising his candidature back in May. On Saturday, when the nomination was confirmed, the latter celebrated it on X (née Twitter) and called it “a victory that is the result of great teamwork at all levels.”

  • Defence Minister Guido Crosetto saluted the appointment with joy, stressing that the decision was taken by “an overwhelming majority” within NATO – testifying to “the exceptional profile of the Italian candidature and the role of Italy in the fundamental support provided to the Atlantic Alliance and in the international scenario.”
  • His predecessor, Lorenzo Guerini, who currently heads the Italian Parliament’s Intelligence Committee, also called it “excellent news” and a “just recognition” of both Admiral Cavo Dragone’s capabilities and the Italian Armed Forces’s “valuable and qualified contribution” to NATO.

The road ahead. In his future capacity as Chairman of the Alliance’s Military Committee, Admiral Cavo Dragone will be responsible for the strategic priorities for allied defence and maintaining an adequate and efficient level of readiness. All this will happen in an increasingly unstable global security scenario, starting with Ukraine, which will require NATO’s continued support.

  • Another crucial dossier is the production of ammunition and weapon systems in the Transatlantic space, currently deemed insufficient to guarantee European and North American defence. Among NATO’s current priorities – as defined by the Military Committee itself – are defence investment (including through devolving 2% of Allies’ national GDP), increasing ammo and weapons production, and making the Alliance ever more ready for the digital age and multi-domain operations.

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