Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 08/2014

NATO and the new US "Af-Pak" Strategy

Christopher M. Schnaubelt

September 2009

NATO Defense College


Operations in Afghanistan pose a strategic challenge for NATO, not only because it is the largest and longest duration combat operation in the history of the Alliance, but also because of the fissures that the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has exposed among NATO members. These difference include questions on how to characterize and approach the violence in Afghanistan and the relative military contributions by member states to the first and thus far only operation conducted by NATO under Article V. Allegations that some members have not been carrying their fair share of the burden have raised the specter of a "two-tier" alliance.