Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 08/2014

Building a new military? The NATO Training Mission-Iraq

Florence Gaub

April 2011

NATO Defense College


The military is the cradle of the state - simply because security precedes any social or economic development. In the 1990s, this consideration led to the advent of Security Sector Reform, essentially the consequence of the perception that building up strong and viable security institutions under civilian control is a precondition of state consolidation. The multiple defense reforms NATO assisted in many former Warsaw Pact member states, and the NATO Training Cooperation Initiative launched in 2006, are part of the consequent logic of military development aid, which is not entirely altruistic. Security is an intertwined construct, and the Alliance relies on stability and security in other states in order to ensure its own. In this context, NATO's Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I) is just a logical step - although surprising to some, given that it was Iraq that caused the Alliance a "near-death experience." Four years later it was followed by a sister mission in Afghanistan, indicating a trend in security force assistance that is likely to grow.