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MASENOUNIVERSITYSCHOOLOF DEVELOPMENT AND STRATEGIC STUDIESDEPARTMENTOF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS  TERMPAPER   DIR30:  QUESTION : USING ILLUSTRATIONSASSESS THE UTILITY OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION (NATO) AS ACOLLECTIVE SECURITY PLATFORM IN EUROPE  PRESENTED TO MR.FRED OCHIENGBY GROUP 4       INTRODUCTIONNATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) also known asthe North Atlantic Alliance, established in 1949, is a military basedinter-governmental organization that was initially created to collectively providesecurity for its member states.

Any form of aggression or attack on either ofthe members is treated as a direct attack on all members. Sinceit’s formation in 1949, it has a total of 29 member states with Montenegro(2017) being the latest member. NATO’s membership is open to European statesthat have the capacity to further NATO’s principles as prescribed in theirtreaty and also contribute in the provision of security in the North Atlanticarea(s).

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NATO has the Membership ActionPlan(MAP),launched in 1999, 1whichassists new members or members who want to join, to prepare for membership andmeet key requirements by providing practical advice and targeted assistance.NATOon it’s political agenda seeks to promote democratic values and enable membersto corporate and actively consult on defense and security-related issues tosolve emergent strife, continuously build trust and prevent or intercept prevailingconflict2.NATO’s military agenda is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes.

Inany case whatsoever if diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military capacity toundertake crisis-management operations. These are carried outunder the collective defense clause of NATO’s founding treaty – Article 5 of the Washington Treaty or under a United Nationsmandate, alone or in cooperation with other countries and internationalorganizations3.NATOwas initially formed to deter attacks on Europe by the former Soviet Union, itwas also formed to also allay West European fears of the revival of Germanmilitarism. In its early years, NATO planners were primarily concerned withbuilding up a well-equipped fighting force. It was not until after Germanybecame a fully-fledged member in 1955 that NATO evolved to a highly structuredand unified force. It was Germany’s membership to NATO that prompted the SovietUnion to form the Warsaw Pact. NATOincludes civilian, military and military command strands. The North AtlanticCouncil has the overall control of NATO and is made up of representative fromeach member state.

The civilian wing is all time headed by a European and theMilitary Wing is controlled by the United States of America. In the mid-1960s, France withdrew its troops from NATO control, as itwas concerned about the sincerity of US claims that it would use nuclearweapons to deter a Soviet attack on Europe, it rejoined in 1995, a few yearsafter the collapse if the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war.The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end ofCold war couple with the drastic reduction of the interstate war and conflictin the international system has for decades questioned the validity orrelevance of NATO as a security based organization with consideration to thevastly changed European security environment. This paper tries to look at the how NATO hasevolved over the years (NATO during the cold war, post-cold war NATO and NATOin the contemporary world). It also tries to assess the utility of NATO as  a collective security platform in Europe andhow NATO has been involved in reinforcing security for both it’s members andit’s active role in the International System, it also tries to answer thequestion if the direct involvement of NATO as a formidable security bloc isrelevant to the contemporary European security environment putting in mind thetechnological advancement of individual European powerhouses in terms ofsophistication in military capability. QUESTION:Using illustrations Assessthe utility of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as a collectivesecurity platform in Europe NATOsince its inception in 1949, has found itself in a number of conflicts which atfirst were solved to maintain the status quo. After the fall of the Ironcurtain in East Europe it evolved and refocused its concerns. But with therising influence of Russia, China and other purported Socialist Regimes in the21st Century NATO has continuously increases its capacity as a preemptivemeasure in case there is a direct attack to either of its members.

It has alsoover time welcomed some new members to its hold to also expand its influence. NATOhas been very vital in its core responsibility in ensuring peace in Europe andmajor North Atlantic areas, with NATO’s aggressive stand, there has beenpositive and negative effects on NATO’s utility as a European securityplatform. NATOconducted it’s first offensive on crisis management and response in Europe atBosnia and Herzogovina.

It formed a NATO led Implementation Force(IFOR) whichwas later followed by SFOR- NATO led Stabilization Force. This two forceshelped end the war in 2004.  IFOR’s majoraim was to oversee implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement which wouldhelp in the long run quell conflict and separate forces from both aggrieved partiesi.e. Bosnia and Herzegonia. Through IFOR’s efforts, it foresaw the territorialtransfers between Bosnia, Herzegonia and Republika Srpska. The SFOR, whichoperated under chapter five of the UN charter served as a peace enforcementoperation.

SFOR was mainly charged for the provision of a peaceful environmentconducive for civil order and political reconstruction. It was mainly enforcedto deter any form of hostilities, to promote a climate in which the peaceprocess could continue to move forward; and, to provide selective supportwithin its means and capabilities to civilian organizations involved in thisprocess. 4SFORthrough NATO carried out patrols to maintain peace in both Bosnia and Herzegovina.It also collected unregistered weaponry in private hands and destroyed themthus contributing to overall safety of the populace.

Defense structures of bothBosnia and Herzegoniva were unified and formed a joint command control system. Thecriminal elements involved in the war were also arrested by NATO forces andcrime suspects were taken to the International Criminal Tribunal. 5AtNATO’s Istanbul Summit in June 2004, NATO leaders decided to bring SFOR to aconclusion by the end of the year as a result of the improved securitysituation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the wider region.

The SFOR mission wasofficially ended on 2 December 2004. In its place, a European Union-led forceis deployed, known as Operation Althea. The Alliance is providing planning,logistic and command support for the EU mission, in the framework of a packageof agreements known as “Berlin Plus”. These agreements provide theoverall framework for NATO-EU cooperation.NATO’s involvement in Yugoslaviais also a classic example of its utility in European security environment.During the Yugoslavian invasion of Kosovo NATO launched an airstrike campaignto help stop the humanitarian catastrophe that was rippling in Kosovo. Thisstrikes were initiated after a whole year of infighting in a province and theshocking failure by the international community to solve the conflict.

The conflict escalatedwhen President Milosovic ensued a policy of ethnic cleaning. When alldiplomatic talks for settlement failed NATO in 1999 launched an air strike thatlasted 78 days after Yugoslavia accepted to withdraw its military and statemachinery in Kosovo. The main objectives of NATO’s airstrike campaign included; A halt of military campaign in Kosovo, perpetratedby Yugoslavia. Withdrawal of military and state machinery in Kosovo and theestablishment of a political agreement for Kosovo in total conformity with theCharter of the United Nations and international law.

6Havingintervened in Kosovo to protect ethnic Albanians from ethnic cleansing, NATOhas been equally committed to protecting the province’s ethnic Serbs from asimilar fate since the deployment of KFOR in the province in June 1999.In as much as the actionsof NATO on Yugoslavia may serve as a justified cause of action against Milocevic’spolicy on the Kosovar Albanians, putting in mind the aspect of stopping the warand halting the  massive humanitariancatastrophe there are however moral questions clinging on the justification ofNATO’s actions. NATO’s decision to use remote bombing rather than open militaryland invasions endangered civilians, it  contributed to a mass exodus of refugees, andthe selectivity of targeting the FRY rather than Turkey further questionsNATO’s moral judgement. 1 https://www.nato.int2 https://www.nato.int3 https://www.nato.int4 https://www.nato.int/cps/ic/natohq/topics_52122.html5 https://www.nato.int/cps/ic/natohq/topics_52122.htm6 https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_49602.htm?selectedLocale=en 

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