Major NATO Military Interventions

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization commonly referred to as NATO is an intergovernmental alliance that brings together military forces from several Member States. NATO has joined states 28 with other countries 22 participating in the peace partnership. NATO’s main responsibility is to maintain peace and security on the international scene. NATO’s main objective is to peacefully resolve conflicts or disputes that threaten the stability of a nation or region. Diplomacy is given top priority in NATO operations, but if it fails, military action is used. Currently, NATO has 18,000 soldiers engaged in its missions around the world. NATO was previously involved in some of the missions that shaped the history of nations and regions.

Anchor Guard, Kuwait-Iraq

Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2nd, 1990 after it accused it of stealing oil. Other sources had indicated that Iraq had planned the attack months before the invasion because Iraq could not pay the money it had borrowed to finance its struggle with Iran. Western countries believed that Iraq was after Kuwaiti oil. Within two days of the Iraqi attack on Kuwait, Saddam announced Kuwait as the 19th province of Iraq. Iraq has received sentences from most countries, including the Arab League. The UN Security Council called for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait unconditionally, but Iraq was unwilling to do so. Iraq was therefore given an ultimatum to come out by January 15, 1991, or facing military action. During this time, the Anchor Guard operation was established with airborne vessels operating from Turkey. This process produced immediate results which saw the liberation of Kuwait on February 25, 1991.

Ace Guard, Kuwait-Iraq

The ace guard was part of the Gulf war that aimed to liberate Kuwait from the invasion of Iraq. The Ace Guard was started in 1991 by NATO as part of a military strategy to drive Iraq out of Kuwait. This strategy was the result of Turkey’s request since Iraq was overwhelming them. Ace Mobile Force along with air defense packages has been deployed in Turkey. The intervention was a great success and on March 9, 1991, the sovereignty of Kuwait was restored.

Operation Joint Guard, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The war in Bosnia broke out in 1992 due to the dissolution of Yugoslavia. The situation was getting worse by calling the attention of the UN Security Council. The UNSC approved a resolution in October 1992 in which the No Fly operation was established. In 1993, NATO forced the operation to deny the flight from June 1993 to 1996. Several NATO operations would follow with the continuation of the war in Bosnia. In 1995 a two-week aerial bombardment began which led to the end of the Yugoslav war.

Operation Allied Force, Kosovo-Montenegro-Serbia

Slobodan Milosevic had led a crackdown on KLA separatists and Albanian civilians in Kosovo. The UNSC passed a resolution in 1998 calling for a ceasefire, but the negotiations could not proceed beyond March 1999. NATO had no choice but to launch Operation Allied Force on March 24, 1999. The goal of the operation was mainly Yugoslav military capability. In June 3, 1999, Slobodan had no choice but to accept the resolution that allows NATO to establish its peacekeeping troops in the country.


NATO did not conduct any operations during the Cold War, even though it was already in place. NATO’s mandate initially was to protect its territories from any threat from the Warsaw Pact. After the 1949 agreement, the NATO framework was expanded to cover peacekeeping and conflict resolution.

Major NATO military interventions

NATO intervention, position Year started
Anchor Guard, Kuwait-Iraq 1990
Ace Guard, Kuwait-Iraq 1991
Operation Joint Guard, Bosnia and Herzegovina 1992
Operation Allied Force, Kosovo-Montenegro-Serbia 1999
Afghanistan War, Afghanistan 2003
NATO training mission: Iraq, Iraq 2004
Operation Ocean Shield, Somalia 2009
Military intervention in Libya 2011


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