NATO Background Guide: NATO 2012
NATO Topic Descriptions
The NATO committee at SWCHSMUN 2012 will be a crisis committee. The following topics are included in the background guide which will be released on September 1, 2012.These topics should give participants and idea of what direction the crisis committee will take.
1. NATO’s Role in Afghanistan
Afghanistan has been occupied by the US military ever since 2001 after the September 11th terrorist attacks by Al Qaeda. The group had been given safe haven in the country by the Taliban, the extremist Islamic group that seized control of Afghanistan in 1996 after a civil war. The 2001 invasion succeeded in dislodging Al Qaeda and removing the Taliban from power, but not in eradicating either group.After nearly a decade of conflict, the war continues. As the NATO mission begins to scale down in the coming years, the questions about instability in the region persist.
2. The Role of NATO in Combat Missions in non-NATO Member Countries
The Soviet Union, NATO’s primary adversary since the alliance was founded, was officially dissolved on December 25th, 1991, thus ending the Cold War. Without the threat of communist aggression towards Western Europe, NATO was forced to make several key structural changes. Many former Warsaw Pact members joined the alliance, including East Germany, which united with West Germany. As of 2009, 12 new members have joined NATO since the end of the Cold War. Despite the expansion, NATO cut its budget significantly and dismantled many of its military institutions. The NATO charter states that the alliance is purely defensive, leading many to question the legality of pre-emptive NATO actions, such as operations in Kosovo and Libya.
3. Cyber Security
With development and economic growth comes a rapid increase in the use of advanced technologies, primarily a dependence on the internet and other information and communication technologies. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member states exhibit a heavy reliance on computer systems for daily functions within their economic zones and throughout national infrastructure systems. Due to a continually increasing reliance on computer systems by governments and the private sector, there are also more opportunities to disrupt governments or private corporations. Cyber security is a relatively new concept at the international scale, but it is one that NATO is paying more attention to. NATO first began discussion of cyber security initiatives at the 2002 Prague Summit. Throughout the years following the Prague Summit NATO member states reiterated the conclusions of the Prague Summit without much progress being made on the issue.