NATO – The North Atlantic Treaty – was formed by the US and European countries after WW2 as a defensive alliance with the simple goal of deterring a Soviet Russian attack or invasion of western democracies. However, ever since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, NATO has been used in several aggressive and offensive military campaigns against countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. NATO bombed a European country, Serbia (as part of then Yugoslavia), invaded an Asian country, Afghanistan, and attacked and destroyed a Middle Eastern country Libya.
In 1995 NATO launched its first offensive bombing campaign when it bombed Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Bosnian War. On March 24, 1999, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) commenced air strikes against Yugoslavia (today’s Serbia) with the bombing of Serbian military positions in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo. The NATO offensive came in response to a new wave of ethnic cleansing and massacres of Civilians launched by Serbian forces against the Kosovar Albanians on March 20. However, the Kosovar Albanian’s KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) had also commited massacres and ethnic cleansing aimed at ethnic Serbs and Albanians populations. The NATO air campaign targeted Serbian government buildings and the country’s infrastructure in an effort to destabilize the Milosevic regime. This included the bombing of a hospital and civilians residential areas in Belgrade. The civilian death toll was estimated to be anything from 500 to over 5,000 people.
NATO troops participated and took a very active part in the US led invasion of Afghanistan, which followed the 9/11 terrorist attack. NATO became involved in ISAF (The International Security Assistance Force) in August 2003, and later that year assumed leadership of it. At this stage, ISAF included troops from 43 countries with NATO members providing the majority of the force. On 28 December 2014, NATO formally ended ISAF combat operations in Afghanistan and officially transferred full security responsibility to the Afghan government. After 2014 NATO’s troops ceased participation in combat operations and remained in Afghanistan in order to provide support and training to Afghan security forces and institutions in their fight against the Taliban.
On 19 March 2011, a multi-state NATO-led coalition began a military intervention in Libya. Libya was relentlessly bombed for more than 7 months, and the bombing operations only ceased after its regime, which was headed by the dictator Muammar Gaddafi, totally collapsed. This resulted in Libya becoming a failed state, and an ongoing civil war that claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Libyans. This was mainly because NATO had no plans as to what to do after Gaddafi was removed from office. The multi-state NATO-led coalition thought that just by bombing Libya and destroying the Gaddafi regime, they will make the world a better place. What happened in reality was after NATO destroyed the Gaddafi regime, a viscous civil war erupted which claimed tens of thousands of lives and turned Libya, once a stable and relatively prosperous country, into a failed state which houses slave markets, human traffickers and terrorist groups. Now Libyans, the middle east, and countries in south of Europe are having to deal with the consequences of the NATO intervention in Libya.
NATO has been a success story in its original defensive mission, to deter Soviet, and later Russian, attacks on its European and western member states. This is the main reason why most of Europe has been at peace since WW2. However, the fact that NATO, a defensive alliance, has been used, repeatedly, as an alliance of war instead of defense, discredits and hurts its basic founding charter and goals, which were and still are to keep European and western countries safe from any sort of Russian military attack.
Originally published on 2020-04-04
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!
Donate to Support Us
We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics, and international relations.