Crisis management is an important task of NATO. The most visible aspect of NATO’s activity in this domain are its operations. The Alliance is thereby making a valuable contribution to stabilising crisis regions and to fighting international terrorism.
Currently, NATO is conducting the following operations:
- Resolute Support (RS): Since the end of the mission of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, NATO has been supporting Afghanistan through the follow-on Resolute Support Mission, which began in January 2015 and provides training, advice and assistance to the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces. The aim is to enable them to better exercise their full responsibility for security across the country. This means that Resolute Support, unlike its predecessor, has no combat role. Some 13,000 NATO and operational-partner service members are deployed to the Kabul area, as well as in four regional spokes. Germany is lead nation for the northern spoke and operates a headquarters in Mazar‑e‑Sharif, in Balkh Province. Some 1500 soldiers are stationed in Mazar‑e‑Sharif. Approximately half of these are German, and the rest are from Germany’s 19 other operational partners. The Unted States has responsibility for the southern and eastern spokes, in the cities of Kandahar and Jalalabad, and Italy is the lead nation for the western spoke in the city of Herat. At the Warsaw Summit, NATO agreed to extend the mission beyond 2016.
- Kosovo Force (KFOR): Since 1999, KFOR has contributed to ensuring a secure and stable environment in Kosovo, also by providing support to the European Union’s EULEX mission. KFOR is supporting the establishment of a stable, democratic and multi-ethnic state in Kosovo, as well as the building of security structures. To this end, KFOR works in close cooperation with the government of Kosovo, local authorities, and other international organisations (the EU and the United Nations). At present, 31 nations (including all NATO members except Belgium, Iceland, Latvia, Slovakia and Spain) are participating, with a total of around 4700 troops. With approximately 700 soldiers Germany is the largest troop contributor along with the US. Because the security situation in Kosovo is becoming more stable, there are plans to gradually draw down KFOR forces in the future.
- Operation Sea Guardian (OSG): At their Warsaw Summit, NATO Heads of State and Government decided to establish a new maritime security operation in the Mediterranean. Operation Sea Guardian will succeed Operation Active Endeavour, which already began operating in 2001. The OSG mission will be to monitor maritime areas in the Mediterranean region, contribute to the capacity-building efforts of the coastal states, and provide support in the fight against terrorism. The operation is based on general maritime law. It is also intended to support and complement the EU’s efforts, in particular EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia, for example by helping to implement the arms embargo on Libya.