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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 and the Primacy of National Decisions in Multilateral Interventions

NATO and the Primacy of National Decisions in Multilateral Interventions

(p.31) 2 NATO and the Primacy of National Decisions in Multilateral Interventions
NATO in Afghanistan

David P. Auerswald

Stephen M. Saideman

Princeton University Press

This chapter describes NATO: how the organization works, how its origins give its members latitude to influence their contingents, and how the commanders of its multilateral efforts cope with the challenges of multilateral contingents. As caveats, red cards, phone calls, and other techniques for managing individual contingents have proven to be problematic, NATO has worked hard to mitigate those techniques' impact upon ISAF's (International Security Assistance Force) effectiveness. Despite these efforts, the alliance cannot hope to compete with national command chains. The chapter then compares the intervention venues that states can use from a theoretical perspective, to include unilateralism, coalitions of the willing, and alliance actions. NATO interventions provide individual alliance members with the benefits of multilateralism while maintaining ultimate national controls on deployed troops. In NATO interventions, national commands have authority over choosing their nation's commanders, delegating authority to those commanders, conducting oversight, and providing incentives for appropriate military behavior—authority that the alliance cannot match.

Keywords:   NATO, multilateral efforts, multilateral contingents, International Security Assistance Force, unilateralism, coalitions, alliance actions, NATO interventions, multilateralism, national commands

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