NATO in Afghanistan: A Test of the Transatlantic Alliance
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The mission of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO in Afghanistan is seen by many as a test of the alliances political will and military capabilities. Since the Washington Summit in 1999, the allies have sought to create a new NATO, capable of operating beyond the European theater to combat emerging threats such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Afghanistan is NATOs first out-of-area mission beyond Europe. The purpose of the mission is the stabilization and reconstruction of Afghanistan. The mission has proven difficult, an industrial-strength insurgency according to General David Petraeus, head of U.S. Central Command, because it must take place while combat operations against Taliban insurgents continue. The situation in Afghanistan has seen a rise in the overall level of violence due to increased Taliban military operations, an increase in terrorist-related activities, and recent major offensive operations conducted by the allies. U.N. Security Council resolutions govern NATOs responsibilities in Afghanistan. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force ISAF faces formidable obstacles shoring up a weak government in Kabul using military capabilities in a distant country with rugged terrain and rebuilding a country devastated by war and troubled by a resilient narcotics trade. NATOs mission statement lays out the essential elements of the task of stabilizing and rebuilding the country train the Afghan army, police, and judiciary support the government in counter-narcotics efforts develop a market infrastructure and suppress the Taliban.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics