More than 60 years after it was formed, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has become a global player with a military presence on three continents: Europe, Asia, and Africa. Since 2003 its forces have fought in Afghanistan to support nation-building in the war-torn region of the Hindu Kush. In the Balkans, NATO has been present for 15 years and went to war in 1999 to end the human rights violations of the regime of Slobodan Miloševic, former president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The organization airlifts food and equipment to African crisis regions, and ships flying the NATO flag cruise the coast of Somalia battling piracy and securing the sea lines of trade. Even in the United States, in 2005 the NATO Response Force provided disaster relief for the regions hit by Hurricane Katrina.
NATO after Afghanistan
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization should return to the core principles on which it was founded: to strengthen and protect its members' security interests.
By Karl-Heinz Kamp