NATO’s Role and Relevance in Post-Conflict Reconstruction And Challenges in Implementing the Comprehensive Approach

“NATO’s Role and Relevance in Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Challenges in Implementing the Comprehensive Approach” by Kapok Tree Diplomacy

PREVIEW  to follow. Includes a Table of Contents. Complete essay is 5,821 words, 22 pages double-spaced, 60 references

Section One – NATO – Brief History and Background

Pre Cold War.  Hoehn and Harting note that increasing tensions with the Soviet Union over its Berlin Blockade (1948), China’s “short-lived embrace of Moscow” (5), and Communist incursions in Czechoslovakia and Korea led the United States, Canada and ten other Western European states to form NATO as a defensive alliance and formulate a policy of Soviet “containment” designed to “keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down” in April of 1949 (8). Despite occasional disagreements over burden-sharing and a dust-up with France, alliance members “deterred the Soviets, and integrated Germany into a collective defense system for the West” over the next 40 years (Duignan 43), moving from a posture of deterrence to détente in a manner consistent with its values of “democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law” (NATO “Treaty”).

Post Cold War. NATO’s success with facilitating European integration and deterring the Soviet threat was rewarded with the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and Soviet Union in 1991 (Medcalf 196-197), as NATO “found itself without an enemy” for the first time in its history, earning a “bloodless victory … without firing a shot” (Duignan 46, 48). The collapse of the Soviet Union encouraged NATO to enlarge its membership into Eastern Europe (1999) and launch the Partnership for Peace (PfP) for military cooperation and dialogue with non-NATO states (1994) despite lingering doubts regarding NATO’s post-Cold War purpose and identity (Duignan 58).

“Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has defined itself through its military response to “out-of-area” conflicts, first in Bosnia, then in Kosovo, and now in Afghanistan” (Goldgeier 6). NATO has justified its continued existence and redefined its role as a “multinational grouping with responsibility for maintenance of regional order, even within the borders of states who are not members” (Friedman 2008). In contrast to the Balkans operations where NATO handed off most of the non-military stabilization tasks, NATO has opted to handle more of the civilian and state-building tasks itself in Afghanistan.

NATO issued Strategic Concepts in 1991 and 1999 to clarify its mission, but these merely reinforced NATO’s role as a defensive alliance to deter the Soviets (Aybet & Moore 37). The “Comprehensive Political Guidance” (CPG) document from the 2006 Riga Summit and the 2010 Strategic Concept, Active Engagement, Modern Defense, made more of an effort to spell out NATO’s grand strategy and Comprehensive Approach (CA) to intervene in failed or fragile states if necessary, coordinate with external actors, and strike a balance between Article 5 and non-Article 5 missions, rather than merely reaffirm its security-related core tasks and responsibilities (Aybet & Moore 44-45).

Table of Contents

I.   NATO – Brief History and Background

A.  Pre-Cold War

B.  Post-Cold War

II.   Intervention in Bosnia

III.  Intervention in Kosovo

IV.  Intervention in Afghanistan

A.  Purpose of the Mission

B.  Mandate

C.  National Caveats

D.  Burden Sharing

E.  Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs)

F.  Comprehensive Approach (CA) to Post Conflict Reconstruction

G.  Afghan National Army (ANA)

H.  Afghan National Police (ANP)

I.  Counter-Narcotics

J.  Governance

K.  Economic and Social Development

V.  The Future of NATO in Afghanistan and Elsewhere

VI.  Conclusions

{The posts, views and opinions expressed in this paper are completely my own and do not represent the views or opinions of the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of the Navy (DON) or any of the Armed Forces}

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