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Cold War Vacuum

Post-Cold War, there were several challenges that NATO faced: what a united
Germany would look like; would Soviet nuclear weapons be dismantled; would
nationalism replace the fall of communism; and what was the future of NATO in a
post-Cold War globe? In 1991, NATO developed the North Atlantic Cooperation
Council to enable a discourse with Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and Central
Asia, known as Partners. These Partners saw a developed relationship with
NATO as desirable: the democratic liberal ideals as espoused by NATO were
parallel with their own aspirations. In 1994, NATO founded the Mediterranean
Dialogue, a forum for Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, and
Algeria (as of 200) in order to secure stability and peace in the Mediterranean.
NATOs newfound connections were tried when ethnic violence arose in the
former Yugoslavia, to which NATO eventually deployed a UN-mandated,
multinational force of 60000 to quell the unrest and to execute the Dayton Peace
Agreement. The void the Cold War left in its place ensued in NATO strengthened
its alliances, so that non-NATO countries could continue to establish intercountry unions to advance the path of democracy. In 1994, NATO established the
Partnership for Peace program, allowing Partners to disclose intelligence and to
reform and remodel their own military forces. The Kosovo War could be
considered the ultimate crisis for NATO in the post-Cold War era: NATO
conducted air strikes for 78 days before they suspended its air campaign on 4
June 1999 when the Serbian army withdrew from Kosovo, after which the NATOled Kosovo Force were deployed (the Kosovo Force maintain their forces in
Kosovo today).
As NATO faces an existential crisis of whether it is still needed today, its reason
for existence was found: Islamic fundamentalism. While it was feared that
nationalism would replace the void of communism, the 2000s commenced with
an egregious attack on the USA, thus defining the new enemy for NATO and
because of that, a new reason for existing. NATO and an associated coalition of
Partners intervened militarily in Afghanistan to deny Al-Qaeda a base of
operations, similar to how NATO is acting to deprive ISIS of strategic locations
currently. The mission, Operation Enduring Freedom, resulted in the fall of the
Taliban, at which the UN authorised the deployment of the International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF) to bolster self-sustaining peace in Kabul. NATO
eventually commanded of the ISAF, indicative of NATOs fulfilment of its
existence. Additionally, the NATO-Russia Council was founded in 2002 so that
certain NATO states could work cooperatively with Russia to offer continued
resistance to the scourge of global extremism. The goal now for NATO is the
radical redefinition of peacemaking in the 21st century: terrorist organisations in
the Middle East can operate in the industrialised centres of the West, especially
in NATO countries. Will NATO transform and adapt itself through continued
peacekeeping efforts, or evolve into a repressive, authoritarian organisation that
will compromise civil liberties to keep its member states safe?