Risking NATO

Risking NATO: Testing the Limits of the Alliance in Afghanistan

Andrew R. Hoehn
Sarah Harting
Copyright Date: 2010
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 108
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  • Book Info
    Risking NATO
    Book Description:

    NATO's success in Afghanistan--or lack thereof--will have significant implications for the alliance itself. The authors examine the current mission in light of NATO's history and with an eye toward the future. NATO faces a long and daunting list of issues that extends beyond the borders of the member countries. The alliance must confront them, however, because failure to do so would risk its long-term success and sustainability.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-5116-5
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures and Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Summary
    (pp. ix-xii)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    In September 2006, as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was assuming overall responsibility for all military operations in Afghanistan, NATO’s military commander, General James Jones, was working feverishly behind the scenes to gain support from partner nations to commit the troops and materiel he felt were necessary to succeed in the new tasks that the alliance had assigned to him. Seemingly with the stroke of a pen, NATO was taking a bold step—and taking on a host of new risks—yet it engaged in endless debates about sending even modest increments of additional troops and equipment to support...

  9. CHAPTER TWO The NATO That Once Was
    (pp. 5-12)

    NATO was not part of the initial post–World War II design. Initial planning for the postwar order focused on the creation of global entities—the United Nations (UN), the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank—and enforcement by the “Four Policemen”: the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and China.¹ Several key elements of this plan did not survive Roosevelt’s death in 1945; some parts did not survive the decade; and still other parts, rather amazingly, survive to this day.

    NATO was born of necessity as postwar euphoria gave way to ever-increasing tensions with the Soviet Union...

  10. CHAPTER THREE Redefining NATO’s Role: 9/11 to Afghanistan
    (pp. 13-24)

    The September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States provided a new watershed for NATO. Americans and Europeans alike were deeply shocked and shaken by the attacks,¹ and the U.S. government and international community felt an impetus for an immediate response. In a strong showing of support to the United States and at the urging of NATO Secretary General George Robertson, the North Atlantic Council made an unprecedented decision on September 12, 2001, to invoke Article V of the NATO charter, which states that an attack on one NATO member was an attack on all NATO members. Shortly thereafter, NATO...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR A Greater Role for NATO in Afghanistan
    (pp. 25-40)

    The debate over Iraq failed to produce a direct role for NATO. However, while the Iraq debate was under way, NATO was slowly and quietly increasing its role in Afghanistan in support of the UN-mandated ISAF mission. As NATO’s presence in Afghanistan gradually increased, Germany proposed in February 2003 that NATO take over command of the ISAF mission. German Defense Minister Peter Struck met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul to discuss the proposal. At roughly the same time, NATO’s Secretary General, George Robertson, commented that NATO was “examining taking command of the peacekeepers in Afghanistan chiefly to avoid...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE Risking NATO in Afghanistan
    (pp. 41-66)

    At the close of a conference of Army leaders from 38 European nations in Germany in October 2007, U.S. Secretary of Defense Gates spoke out in frustration: If an alliance of the world’s greatest democracies cannot summon the will to get the job done in a mission that we agree is morally just and vital to our security, then our citizens may begin to question both the worth of the mission and the utility of the 60-year-old trans-Atlantic security project itself.¹

    Gates, of course, was focusing on how to generate additional commitments from NATO’s European members, but in a different...

  13. CHAPTER SIX What Might Be Next for NATO?
    (pp. 67-76)

    The changing character of the NATO alliance since the late days of the Cold War has been a story of endurance and adaptability. Looking back over what is now more than 20 years, it was never certain that the alliance would remain intact; that its membership would expand, not just once but three times; and that it would commit itself to operations outside the geographic area of the alliance on three separate occasions. It is far too easy to declare each new challenge NATO confronts as a defining moment for the alliance. Surely, as Operation Allied Force wound down in...

  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 77-92)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 93-93)