NATO’s security agenda for the next decade 1:00 (CNN Spanish) — The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military alliance that includes the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Germany and is based in Europe, it has been at the center stage of global politics since its formation in 1949. But how many times has it been actively involved in armed conflict or security operations? Here are some key facts about NATO operations in different conflicts. The emergence of NATO After the end of World War II, 12 countries in Europe and North America signed the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949, which gave rise to NATO, to protect themselves militarily against the growing rivalry with the Soviet Union. Since then, NATO has grown and currently has 30 members, 28 from Europe and 2 from North America. An Italian Air Force Tornado F.3 fighter refuels in flight over the Adriatic Sea on March 18, 1999 during a mission in support of NATO operations in Bosnia. (Credit: USAF/Getty Images) These are, in alphabetical order: Albania, Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, United States, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Romania and Turkey. The Cold War and NATO During the global confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union, known as the “Cold War”, NATO played a central role as a deterrent force in Europe, and its counterpart was the Warsaw Pact, an alliance formed by countries aligned with Moscow. There were, however, no military operations undertaken by the Atlantic Alliance in this period, according to the NATO website. Operations in conflicts after the fall of the USSR The Gulf War – The first two NATO military operations took place in 1990 and 1991, in the context of the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, which led to the Gulf War. These were the operations Anchor Guard, for maritime defense, and Ace Guard, for air defense, both requested by Turkey. A US Navy F-18 “Hornet” about to take off on June 9, 1999 during the Kosovo War. (Credit: US Navy/Getty Images) Fall of the USSR – In the months after the fall of the Soviet world and the rise of the Russian Federation, NATO conducted two airlift operations (Allied Goodwill I & II) humanitarian aid to former Soviet countries. Libya I – Following UN Security Council sanctions on Libya for its links to the 1988 terrorist attack in Lockerbie, Scotland, NATO conducted an aerial surveillance operation (Agile Genie) in the Mediterranean to monitor air routes. Bosnia and Herzegovina – Amid the breakup of Yugoslavia and the resulting civil conflict, NATO enforced the UN arms embargo and no-fly zone beginning in 1992. In this context, the first confrontation between forces involved in a NATO mission took place: four Bosnian Serb fighter-bombers were shot down in 1994, and a year later NATO forces began to carry out air strikes in support of UN peacekeepers. In 1995 and 1996, NATO deployed troops to the region, which remained until 2004. September 11, 2001 – Following the al Qaeda terrorist attacks, NATO conducted an aerial surveillance operation over United States territory, for a Washington’s request. Concluded in May 2002. A French Air Force Rafale fighter taking off from the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea, as part of NATO military operations in Libya. (Credit: ALEXANDER KLEIN/AFP via Getty Images) In December 2001, the United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan, searching for al Qaeda, and the UN Security Council created the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF, in English). NATO took over ISAF in 2003, and it remained in the country until September 2021. North Macedonia – NATO conducted three ground security operations between 2001 and 2003 amid rising ethnic tensions. Today’s North Macedonia, formerly Macedonia, was then an Atlantic Alliance partner that requested the assistance. Today he is a full member. Invasion of Iraq -In 2003 it carried out a surveillance and air defense operation in Turkish territory and at the request of Ankara, in the context of the invasion of Iraq by the United States. After the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, NATO trained and assisted the Iraqi Security Forces between 2004 and 2011. Public events – On two occasions, and at the request of members Greece (2004) and Latvia (2006), the NATO provided aerial monitoring, intelligence and assistance during massive public events. Hurricane Katrina – During the catastrophic hurricane that hit the United States in 2005, NATO assisted the country by transporting humanitarian aid. Earthquake in Pakistan – Between 2005 and 2006, the Alliance also transported humanitarian and technical aid to Pakistan to assist the population after the earthquake. United States Marines drive a Humvee vehicle during operations in Kosovo on June 23, 1999. (Credit: Usmc/Getty Images) Libya II – Following the uprising against Gaddafi in Libya in March 2011, NATO conducted one of its operations most important and controversial military, by establishing a no-fly zone over the country by mandate of the UN. It then launched airstrikes on armed groups involved in attacks against civilians. The operation culminated in October 2011, after the death of Gaddafi. Anti-piracy activities in Africa – At the request of the UN, NATO began in 2008 a series of anti-piracy naval operations off the coast of Somalia, escorting ships transiting the region. The last of these operations concluded in 2016. NATO operations in current conflicts Mediterranean – In October 2001, following the terrorist attacks in the United States, NATO launched Operation Active Endeavour, the first in a series of maritime initiatives to protect and deterrence of terrorist activities in the Mediterranean Sea. Since October 2016, the Sea Guardian operation has been active. Aerial surveillance Europe and Atlantic – NATO has conducted aerial surveillance operations in the Baltic Sea, the Adriatic Sea, the Balkans, the Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) and Iceland since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. These operations have intensified since the start of the war in Ukraine, after Russia’s invasion in February 2022. NATO leaders arrive in Madrid 3:58 Assistance to the African Union – Between 2005 and 2007, NATO transported personnel to Darfur, Sudan, during an African Union operation. Since 2007, the Atlantic Alliance has been operating in support of the African Union in its peacekeeping missions in Somalia. Iraq training – NATO had already trained Iraqi forces between 2004 and 2011, and since 2018 it has maintained a second training operation in the context of the global fight against the ISIS terrorist group. It is a training of civilians and military in the strengthening of institutions and security forces, according to the Alliance. Kosovo – NATO intervened in the 1999 war in Kosovo, one of the conflicts that erupted amid the dissolution of Yugoslavia. The Alliance initially sent a force of 3,700 men and carried out an active air campaign against Serb forces, in what it called a mission to “stop the humanitarian disaster.” After the end of the conflict, NATO still remains in the territory of Kosovo assisting the local security forces and based on resolution 1244 of the UN Security Council.
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