International Order & Conflict
Project

Strengthening NATO’s Ability to Protect

Building bridges between NATO stakeholders and the expert community to act on the Alliance’s ambition to protect civilians with its operations around the world
Project Info

Worldwide, civilians often face harm in modern conflicts. As a multinational, crisis management organization, NATO’s alliance supports its member countries and efforts to foster peace and security—in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean—as well as to mitigate harm to civilians.

In 2016, the NATO Policy on the Protection of Civilians (PoC) made protection an explicit goal of future operations, kicking off development of a military concept on PoC, an action plan, and guidance. Whether in active security operations, train and assist missions, or support to disaster relief, NATO policy is to mitigate harm from its own actions and protect civilians from the harm of others.

To help NATO succeed, Stimson’s innovative project, in partnership with PAX and supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will cultivate and offer external expertise to NATO and help assess the levels of current doctrine and guidance within NATO nations and partners on protection of civilians. Emphasis will be on solutions-focused research and on building bridges across governments, academia, international organizations and NGOs.

Featured
  • Commentary ·

Preparing to Protect: Advice on Implementing NATO’s Protection of Civilian Policy

The 2018 NATO summit in Brussels focused heavily on strong defense and deterrence, with emphasis on counterterrorism operations. In advance, NATO commissioned an article, Preparing to Protect: Advice on Implementing NATO’s Protection of Civilian Policy, by Marla Keenan and Stimson Distinguished Fellow Victoria Holt, to highlight how NATO will address mitigating harm to civilians in these future operations.
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