Providing Peace and Security

NATO Delivers: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

  • 18 May. 2012 - 07 Jul. 2012
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  • Last updated: 18 May. 2012 19:14

NATO is an active and leading contributor to peace and security on the international stage. Through its crisis-management operations, the Alliance demonstrates both its willingness to act as a positive force for change and its capacity to meet the security challenges of the 21st century.

A British soldier guards a strategic bridge on the route to Pristina in 1999. (Photo: UK Ministry of Defense)

Under NATO’s leadership, the mission of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has been to provide the security needed for governance, reconstruction and development in Afghanistan.  There can be no development without security nor can long-term security be achieved without development. 

Over time, greater stability has enabled progress on all fronts. Access to basic healthcare is improving and infant mortality is decreasing; school enrolment of children – including girls – has increased from under 1 million in 2001 to around 8 million in 2011; and by late 2011 there were 75 TV stations, around 1 million internet users and dozens of radio stations,  up from almost zero under Taliban rule.

Following the Qadhafi regime’s targeting of civilians in February 2011, NATO answered the United Nations’ call to the international community to protect the Libyan people. In March 2011, a coalition of NATO Allies and partners began enforcing an arms embargo, maintaining a no-fly zone and protecting civilians and civilian populated areas from attack or the threat of attack in Libya under Operation Unified Protector (OUP). OUP successfully concluded on October 31, 2011, having safed thousands of lives.

NATO intervened militarily in Kosovo in March 1999 to halt a humanitarian catastrophe and restore stability. NATO has been leading a peace-support operation in Kosovo since June 1999 in support of wider international efforts to build peace and stability in the area.  Today, troops from the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR), provided by NATO and non-NATO countries continue to be deployed in the country to help maintain a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all citizens, irrespective of their ethnic origin.

Bosnia and Herzegovina:
The Alliance waged its air campaign in Bosnia and Herzegovina against Bosnian Serb forces in 1995. The Operation, Deliberate Force, lasted for 12 days in August and September and helped shift the balance of power between parties on the ground and persuade the Bosnian Serb leadership that the benefits of negotiating a peace agreement outweighed those of continuing to wage war. 

After the signing of the Dayton Peace Accord in December 1995, NATO immediately deployed a UN-mandated Implementation Force (IFOR) comprising some 60,000 troops. This operation was followed in December 1996 by the deployment of a 32,000-strong Stabilization Force (SFOR).  In light of the improved security situation, NATO brought its peace support operation to a conclusion in December 2004 and the European Union deployed a new force called Operation Althea.