NATO, UN, and Terrorism Essay

NATO, UN, and Terrorism Essay
Terrorism has existed for many decades, but it was not till September 11, 2001 when it hit the mainstream and seized everyone's attention. Countries scrambled to secure themselves from the threat of possible terrorist attacks, and organizations such as NATO and the UN immediately denounced such attacks and came up with their own strategies to protect their member states and assemble plans in efforts to fight the terrorist threat. Both organizations have the tools and the power to fight terrorism but there is much debate as to which one is effective. I argue that NATO is more effective than the UN in combating terrorism because of its experience running a coordinated campaign, its ability to serve as a platform for political support and multinational military action, and its commitment to improving its capabilities.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United Nations (UN) are two separate entities that work towards similar goals. NATO is an alliance of 26 countries from North America and Europe committed to fulfilling the goals of the North Atlantic Treaty signed on April 4, 1949. The treaty was designed for its members to promote stability and well-being in the North-Atlantic area and for them to unite their efforts for collective defense and for the preservation of peace and security.1 The UN, similarly, was created to promote international cooperation and to achieve peace and security. It officially came into existence on October 24, 1945, when the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and others.2 Prior to September 11, 2001, both NATO and the UN had been very committed in helping in the fight against terrorism. In 1999, NATO recognized terrorism as being a major threat to its security, but it was not till after the terror attacks on New York in 2001 that it engaged actively in the fight against terrorism.3 The UN on the other hand came up with the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in 2006 where nations agreed to a common strategic approach to fight terrorism.

NATO can be seen as being more effective than the UN in combating terrorism because of its experience in running a coordinated campaign. This experience can be drawn from NATO's countless missions in various areas of conflict. Such missions include Bosnia between 1996 and 2006, Kosovo in 1999, and Turkey in 2003 to name a few.5 Instead of going through the historical description of these past missions, I will focus on the experience NATO gained by being involved in such conflicts and how this makes it more effective compared to the UN, in combating terrorism. In the wake of the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia, NATO helped sustain a safe environment as well as assist in the countries reconstruction. “In the nine years that followed the deployment of NATO forces in Bosnia, more than half a million servicemen and women from 43 nations, including 90,000 Americans, served in Bosnia and Herzegovina without losing a single soldier to hostile action.”6 This commitment to safety throughout nine years in Bosnia gave NATO many years of experience in providing security to an unstable area and truly showed the degree to which NATO operates its coordinated campaigns. Such a secure environment is undoubtedly needed within the states where the search for terrorists is being conducted today, one example is in Afghanistan. NATO has been involved in providing security and stability within the Afghan borders since 2006 where “in a landmark step for NATO, NATO- ISF [International Security Assistance Force] took command of the international military forces in eastern Afghanistan from the US-led Coalition.”7 This major shift in command demonstrated NATO's ability to take control of an unstable area. It also confirmed NATO's experience in controlling such a situation, similar to the one which it had previously encountered in Bosnia. To get a grasp on the experience that is needed within a dangerous state such as Afghanistan, we must look at the size of the operation that NATO is running in terms of the amount of allied forces it must command. Approximately 43,250 troops from 40 different countries are being lead by NATO authorities.8 This means that NATO must have a very well coordinated campaign to ensure the safety of the troops that it is responsible for. Such a campaign requires experience on part of the authorities running it, which is what NATO has gained from missions in Bosnia and other countries, that has given them the ability to be effective in combating terrorism through their command of troops in Afghanistan

NATO, UN, and Terrorism Essay 9.9 of 10 on the basis of 2124 Review.