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New Atlanticist

June 11, 2021

NATO allies contribute to a variety of missions. Here’s a look at how each country chips in.

By Connor McPartland, Demetrios Marinides

This article is part of the Transatlantic Security Initiative’s Stronger with Allies series, which charts the course forward for the Alliance in conjunction with the 2021 NATO Summit.

NATO’s efforts to provide security for allies and partners come in many forms. From deterrence on land, sea, and air, to peacekeeping and training, NATO countries contribute manpower and materiel to missions throughout the world. The graphic below lays out contributions, based on recently available numbers, to the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, NATO Mission Iraq, and Enhanced Forward Presence in the Baltics, among others. As troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan, Enhanced Forward Presence is set to become the main effort of the Alliance.

In addition to the missions shown in the chart, NATO allies contribute to the Baltic Air Policing (BAP) Mission on a rotating basis, contributing four to six aircraft for a period of four months. BAP deployments operate from air bases in Lithuania and Estonia, and include staff and support personnel. Read more about current BAP deployments here.

A variety of maritime missions provide security in the Mediterranean, Baltic, and North Seas. This includes two Standing NATO Maritime Groups and two Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Groups. NATO allies contribute vessels and personnel to these missions on a rotating basis. Additionally, Operation Sea Guardian occurs in the Mediterranean on a rotating basis, with allies contributing naval vessels and maritime aircraft to the mission.

The information included above excludes non-NATO countries that contribute to several of these efforts. Nonetheless, this graphic shows the variety of missions across the Alliance, and demonstrates how each country contributes to common defense and deterrence, while also making an impact outside of Europe.

Connor McPartland is the assistant director of the Atlantic Council’s Transatlantic Security Initiative, in the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. Demetrios Marinides is a Summer 2021 Young Global Professional in the Transatlantic Security Initiative.

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