October 1997

Chapter 5: Logistic Support for Peace Support Operations

Indirect NATO Involvement in Peace Support Operations

507. In addition to direct Alliance involvement in PSO, NATO can make important contributions to such missions through the less direct involvement of its assets. These assets may also be used to provide humanitarian support as circumstances, conditions, national military resources and national funding permits. Their use for additional missions outside their intended purpose would be subject to approval by the NAC or Defence Planning Committee (DPC). Addressed below are three principal means by which the Alliance could, with political consensus, support PSO without becoming directly involved:

  1. Coordination of Support: The Alliance has within its organization the military and civil potential for advising on provision and coordination of a number of support functions which might be of particular value for peacekeeping, conflict prevention and humanitarian missions. For example, movement coordination centres, national as well as at multinational headquarters, linked with the appropriate civil transport bodies and agencies, can assist in coordination of transport.

  2. Employment of Selected Alliance Resources: Specific NATO resources may be requested and employed to bolster directly the capabilities of the responsible organization, although a major role for the Alliance is not sought by either member nations or by the parties involved. Such resources might include a composite Alliance communications detachment or use of an existing multinational headquarters as the core for the command and control structure of a new peacekeeping force.

  3. Monitoring of Sanctions: One of the measures that can be taken by the UN Security Council to pressure warring parties or to reduce the level of hostilities in an area is the imposition of sanctions. These sanctions may take the form of complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communications. They may also include an embargo on the importation of military materiel into the area of conflict, as well as a restriction on flights by military aircraft. As part of the imposition of such sanctions, the UN may request its member nations, or appropriate regional organizations such as NATO, to assist in monitoring compliance with, and reporting suspected violations of, such sanctions.

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