Major NATO Military Interventions

A NATO meet at NATO headquarters in Brussels 2010.
A NATO meet at NATO headquarters in Brussels 2010.

Major NATO Military Interventions

Northern Atlantic Treaty Organization commonly referred to as NATO is an intergovernmental alliance bringing together military forces from different member states. NATO has a membership of 28 states with additional 22 countries participating in peace partnership. NATO’s chief responsibility is to maintain peace and security on the international stage. The primary aim of NATO is to resolve peacefully conflicts or disputes that threaten the stability of a nation or region. In NATO operations diplomacy is given top priority, but if it fails, then the military action is employed. Currently, NATO has about 18,000 soldiers who are engaged in its missions around the world. NATO has previously been involved in some of the missions that have shaped the history of nations and regions. Some of the major NATO military interventions include;

Anchor Guard, Kuwait-Iraq

Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2nd, 1990 after it accused her of stealing petroleum. Other sources had indicated that Iraq had planned the attack months before the invasion because Iraq could not pay the money it borrowed to finance its fight with Iran. Western countries believed that Iraq was after Kuwait’s petroleum. Within two days of Iraq’s attack on Kuwait, Saddam announced Kuwait as Iraq’s 19th province. Iraq received condemnation from most countries including Arab League. UN Security Council demanded that Iraq withdraws from Kuwait unconditionally, but Iraq was not willing. Iraq was then given an ultimatum to pull out by January 15, 1991, or face military action. During this period, operation Anchor Guard was established with airborne crafts operating from Turkey.This process yielded immediate results that saw the liberation of Kuwait on February 25, 1991.

Ace Guard, Kuwait-Iraq

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

Operation Joint Guard, Bosnia, and Herzegovina

Bosnia war broke out in 1992 due to the breakup of Yugoslavia. The situation was worsening drawing the attention of the UN Security Council. UNSC passed a resolution in October 1992 where operation No Fly was established. In 1993 NATO enforced the operation to deny flight from June 1993 to 1996. Several operations by NATO would follow with the Bosnia War persisting. A two weeks air bombing began in 1995 bringing an end to the Yugoslavian War.

Operation Allied Force, Kosovo-Montenegro- Serbia

Slobodan Milosevic had led a crackdown on KLA separatists and Albanian Civilians in Kosovo. UNSC passed a resolution in 1998 demanding for a ceasefire, but the negotiations could not proceed beyond March 1999. NATO had no other choice but to launch Operation Allied Force on March 24, 1999. The operation’s target was mainly Yugoslavian military capability. On June 3, 1999, Slobodan was left with no choice but to accept the resolution allowing NATO to establish its peacekeeping troupes in the country.


NATO did not conduct any operation during the cold war though it was already in existence.NATO’s mandate initially was to protect its territories from any threat of the Warsaw Pact. After the 1949 agreement, NATO’s scope was expanded to cover peacekeeping and conflict resolutions.

Major NATO Military Interventions

NATO Intervention, LocationYear Initiated
Anchor Guard, Kuwait-Iraq1990
Ace Guard, Kuwait-Iraq1991
Operation Joint Guard, Bosnia and Herzegovina1992
Operation Allied Force, Kosovo-Montenegro-Serbia1999
Afghanistan War, Afghanistan2003
NATO Training Mission-Iraq, Iraq2004
Operation Ocean Shield, Somalia2009
Military Intervention in Libya2011

More in Society