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Wednesday 23 March 2011
NATO and Complex Operations: The challenge of responding to mass atrocity - by Sarah SEWALL
In the light of current developments in the Arab world, many of the issues and considerations raised in the article by Sarah Sewall, published in Forum Paper 14, are highly relevant to the ongoing intervention in Libya. The Forum Paper was published in the NATO Defense College web site (July 2010).
"This essay argues that NATO is largely ignoring a particularly complex military mission: intervention to halt mass atrocities. By mass atrocities, I mean the significant use of violence by state or non-state armed groups that is aimed principally against non-combatants. Less important than the type of mass atrocity (genocide or a crime against humanity?) or its scale (a number killed or wounded, the rate of harm, or the potential future harm?) is the primary purpose of the violence, the civilian nature of the victim, and the response it triggers. When intervening political authorities determine that the atrocities can no longer be tolerated and direct forces to halt the violence against civilians, the result is a Mass Atrocity Response Operation (MARO)."
"My claim is that a MARO is a different type of military operation than those currently recognized by NATO. The MARO mission poses unique military and political challenges that require advance planning and consideration and are discussed in detail below. Accordingly, this essay concludes by urging NATO to incorporate MARO into its future mission concept..." Click here to download the whole article (Pdf)