What is NATO?
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is an alliance of 28 countries from North America and Europe committed to fulfilling the goals of the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949.
What does NATO do?
The fundamental role of NATO is to safeguard the freedom and security of its member countries by political and military means. NATO has helped end bloody conflicts in Bosnia, Kosovo and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Today, NATO-led forces are helping to bring stability to Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Darfur. Dialogue and co-operation with non-NATO countries are helping to overcome the divisions of the Cold War era and to extend security and stability well beyond NATO borders. The Alliance is taking on new operations: bringing stability to Afghanistan, assisting Iraq, protecting against terrorism in the Mediterranean and helping the African union to bring peace to the Darfur region of Sudan. NATO is also broadening cooperation with other international organisations such as the European Union.
Peace-keeping Efforts in Iraq
There have been attempts by the international community to improve and repair the infrastructure of Iraq in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion, when much was destroyed. The NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I) was set up in 2004 at the request of the Iraqi Government. NTM-I focuses on training and mentoring through the NATO Training and Equipment Co-ordination Group. Their main aim is to help Iraq develop a democratic and safe country. To enforce this initiative, NATO works with the Iraqi government on a structured cooperation framework to develop a long-term relationship with Iraq.
How the Efforts are being carried out:
NATO is helping the Iraqi government build the capability to ensure, by its own means, the security needs of the Iraqi people.
The NATO Training Implementation Mission was established on 30 July 2004. NATO extended training assistance to bridge the gap between routine police work and military operations. Training is also expanded to include navy and force leadership training, border security and small arms accountability. NATO members contribute to training efforts in Iraq through financial contributions or donations of equipment.
Expanding NATO's assistance
On 9 December 2004, NATO Foreign Ministers authorized the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) to start the next stage of the mission.This paved way for the deployment of 300 additional staff, including trainers and support staff, and a significant increase in the existing training and mentoring given to mid- and senior-level personnel from the Iraqi security forces.
Thus, it changed the mission’s name from NATO Training Implementation Mission to NATO Training Mission-Iraq. In April 2008, NATO leaders extended the Mission through 2009 and approved proposals for a structured cooperation framework to develop the Alliance’s long-term relationship with Iraq.