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NATO in AfghanistanFighting Together, Fighting Alone$
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David P. Auerswald and Stephen M. Saideman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691159386

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691159386.001.0001

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NATO at War

NATO at War

In Afghanistan and at Home?

(p.1) 1 NATO at War
NATO in Afghanistan

David P. Auerswald

Stephen M. Saideman

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter demonstrates that operating in a multilateral military effort is challenging. NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) would be more effective if every contingent had no politically imposed restrictions, but that is not to say that the alliance or any multilateral effort is utterly ineffective and doomed to fail. Caveats, red cards, intrusive oversight, selection of officers, and incentives all matter in shaping how the contingents operate. These are political impediments to countries operating together on the battlefield. Countries will vary systematically in how much they can contribute to the fight, wherever the fight happens to be. These dynamics will become increasingly problematic over the next several years, as most NATO countries (and many others) will be cutting defense spending due to various fiscal crises and associated budget constraints.

Keywords:   multilateral military effort, NATO, caveats, red cards, intrusive oversight, incentives, officer selection, NATO countries, defense spending

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