NATO and forward defense an analysis of expeditionary capabilities and out-of-area-security
Kramer, Bryan K.
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This thesis examines the NATO's adaptation of a new security focus towards forward defense in the 21st Century. Until the late 1990s, the strategic focus of NATO was on mutual defense based on a collective response guaranteed by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. Since the adoption of NATO's Strategic Concept (1999), the Alliance has shifted their strategic focus toward a forward defense strategy. As NATO assumed more operational responsibilities, and deployed forces out-of-area in non-Article 5 missions, the disparity of military capabilities, operational challenges, and cultural and institutional differences within the Alliance gave rise to the question, "Is NATO the most effective instrument with which to execute a strategy of forward defense?" A review of the expeditionary campaigns in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq determines the efficiency of the Alliance as an expeditionary security actor. The modernization of European military capabilities are described in relation to NATO, and how these programs either complement or duplicate existing structures and capabilities. Furthermore, inherent structural flaws in NATO's composition are examined, as well as cultural and ideological differences within the Alliance and their effects on out-of-area operations. Finally, challenges and issues that may confront NATO in the future during the execution of their forward defense strategy are discussed.
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