October 1997

Chapter 5: Logistic Support for Peace Support Operations


501. Since the endorsement of the new Strategic Concept there have been two significant enhancements added by the North Atlantic Council (NAC) in Ministerial Session. On 4thJune 1992 in Oslo it was agreed to support, on a case-by-case basis, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) peacekeeping activities, and at Brussels on 17th December 1992 the NAC confirmed the preparedness of the Alliance to support United Nations (UN) peace support operations (PSO), again on a case-by-case basis. In broad terms PSO are considered to include preventive diplomacy, conflict prevention missions, peacemaking, traditional peacekeeping, humanitarian aid, and refugee assistance. The increasing number, size and complexity of recent PSO operations around the world are an indication of a greater willingness by the international community to resolve regional conflicts, but this has presented significant problems to the UN in supporting, manning, and funding such operations. The Alliance has unique capabilities and resources which can be made available to support peacekeeping and conflict prevention efforts. NATO support to PSO, whether drawn from national or common assets, should not preclude or discourage the involvement of non-NATO nations.

502. PSO have changed significantly in the recent past in its nature, intensity, and complexity. UN operations undertaken in recent years include the delivery of humanitarian assistance in conditions of civil war, the separation of warring parties to ensure the delivery of food and medicine, and the policing of factions in conjunction with the supervision of elections. The tasks and rules have changed greatly from those traditionally associated with peacekeeping. Various NATO documents currently address PSO and more are under development. Among existing documents, MC327/1 is the principal military planning document for NATO support to peacekeeping.

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