INTRODUCTION early years, NATO planners were primarily concerned with

INTRODUCTION

NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) also known as
the North Atlantic Alliance, established in 1949, is a military based
inter-governmental organization that was initially created to collectively provide
security for its member states. Any form of aggression or attack on either of
the members is treated as a direct attack on all members.

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Since
it’s formation in 1949, it has a total of 29 member states with Montenegro
(2017) being the latest member. NATO’s membership is open to European states
that have the capacity to further NATO’s principles as prescribed in their
treaty and also contribute in the provision of security in the North Atlantic
area(s). NATO has the Membership Action
Plan(MAP),
launched in 1999, 1which
assists new members or members who want to join, to prepare for membership and
meet key requirements by providing practical advice and targeted assistance.

NATO
on it’s political agenda seeks to promote democratic values and enable members
to corporate and actively consult on defense and security-related issues to
solve emergent strife, continuously build trust and prevent or intercept prevailing
conflict2.
NATO’s military agenda is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. In
any case whatsoever if diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military capacity to
undertake crisis-management operations. These are carried out
under the collective defense clause of NATO’s founding treaty – Article 5 of the Washington Treaty or under a United Nations
mandate, alone or in cooperation with other countries and international
organizations3.

NATO
was initially formed to deter attacks on Europe by the former Soviet Union, it
was also formed to also allay West European fears of the revival of German
militarism. In its early years, NATO planners were primarily concerned with
building up a well-equipped fighting force. It was not until after Germany
became a fully-fledged member in 1955 that NATO evolved to a highly structured
and unified force. It was Germany’s membership to NATO that prompted the Soviet
Union to form the Warsaw Pact.

NATO
includes civilian, military and military command strands. The North Atlantic
Council has the overall control of NATO and is made up of representative from
each member state. The civilian wing is all time headed by a European and the
Military Wing is controlled by the United States of America.

In the mid-1960s, France withdrew its troops from NATO control, as it
was concerned about the sincerity of US claims that it would use nuclear
weapons to deter a Soviet attack on Europe, it rejoined in 1995, a few years
after the collapse if the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war.

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of
Cold war couple with the drastic reduction of the interstate war and conflict
in the international system has for decades questioned the validity or
relevance of NATO as a security based organization with consideration to the
vastly changed European security environment.

This paper tries to look at the how NATO has
evolved over the years (NATO during the cold war, post-cold war NATO and NATO
in the contemporary world). It also tries to assess the utility of NATO as  a collective security platform in Europe and
how NATO has been involved in reinforcing security for both it’s members and it’s
active role in the International System, it also tries to answer the question
if the direct involvement of NATO as a formidable security bloc is relevant to the
contemporary European security environment putting in mind the technological
advancement of individual European powerhouses in terms of sophistication in military
capability.

 

TERM PAPER QUESTION:

Using illustrations Assess
the utility of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as a collective
security platform in Europe

 

NATO
since it’s inception in 19

1 https://www.nato.int

2 https://www.nato.int

3 https://www.nato.int