Sunday, August 2, 2009

ROLE OF NATO IN THE POST COLD WAR ERA

The end of the cold war and formal dissolution of the Warsaw Pact in 1991 resulted in complete revision of the policies of NATO.This culminated in the further eastward extension of NATO and expansion of its activities in those fields which were not previously its concerns.

The first major step taken by NATO was Operation Sharp Guard, military intervention in Yugoslavian crisis.This was followed by a few more operations in the Eastern Europe.From 1994 onwards, NATO shed off its initial reservations and involved in partnerships with regional forums.Partnership for Peace, Euro Atlantic Partnership Council,Mediterranean Dialogue are some of such initiatives.In 1999, Poland,Hungary and the Czech Republic became the first three former communist states to join NATO.In 1998 NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council was established.

After September 11 attack on USA NATO invoked Article 5 of its Charter for the first time in history.It states that attack on any member nation will be considered as attack on all the nations.It culminated in the war against terrorism.NATO also took command of International Security Assistance Force.After that NATO involved in Iraq and Afghanistan invasion as well.In 2002 the Berlin Plus Agreement was signed between NATO and EU.It enabled EU the option to use NATO's assets in an international crisis where NATO was reluctant to take steps.From then onwards there has been continuous increase in NATO membership.

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