Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 08/2014

NATO's Fight Against Terrorism: Where Do We stand?

Claudia Bernasconi

April 2011

NATO Defense College


Terrorism has played a major role in shaping the global security landscape over the last decade, one important manifestation of this being its consequences for NATO. The 9/11 attacks resulted in a considerable and unexpected commitment for the Alliance, which subsequently experienced a reorientation towards new challenges; within a very short time, terrorism reached the very top of NATO's agenda. A decade after 9/11 - and with the Alliance nourished by the lifeblood of the New Strategic Concept - it is time for a critical assessment. What has NATO done? What are the shortcomings of its actions? What is left to do? The role played by the Alliance, together with the goals thus achieved, will be brought into focus in the first part of this study. Following this, an investigation into the real limits NATO encounters in combating terrorism will lead us to ponder the efforts which are still to be undertaken, highlighting potential future recommendations.