Other NATO operations
Deployed in Kosovo since 1999, KFOR contributes to maintaining a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for the entire population of the country.
Following Kosovo’s declaration of independence in 2008, KFOR began to adjust its force posture towards a deterrent presence. In the light of the improved security situation in the field, this process has led to a reduction in KFOR personnel from 13,000 in 2009 to 5,000 today, which will continue in years to come.
Today, KFOR is supporting the work of the EU in Kosovo, in particular the European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX). KFOR has also provided training and support for the Kosovo Security Force, which will soon be declared by the North Atlantic Council to have reached full operational capability.
France contributes about 300 personnel to KFOR; they are deployed mainly in the North of the country at Camp Novo Selo.
In December 2012, the Allies decided to reinforce Turkey’s air defence capabilities in order to defend its population and territory. In this context, interceptor batteries were deployed by three Allies near the Turkey-Syria border. This was not a new operation, but a reinforcement of assets in the framework of the standing air defence plan.
Operation Active Endeavour was launched in October 2001, following the invocation of Article 5 (collective defence) of the Washington Treaty, in response to the terrorist attacks of 11 September against the United States. Its mission is to help detect and deter terrorist activities in the Mediterranean. Initially limited to the eastern Mediterranean, the area of operation was extended to the whole of the Mediterranean in 2004. Specifically, the participating ships may hail and question the vessels they meet and, in some cases and under certain conditions (with the agreement of the captain and the flag state, in accordance with international law), may board a suspicious vessel to inspect its documentation and cargo. If boarding is refused, the OAE ships convey the relevant information to the authorities of the countries concerned. Studies are underway to assess the operational relevance of the operation and, if appropriate, to amend its mandate and framework. A system of surge operations has already replaced the standing maritime presence, giving the same effectiveness for less cost.
Launched in October 2008 with the name Allied Provider when the UN Secretary General requested escorts for World Food Programme ships passing through the Gulf of Aden, NATO’s counter-piracy operation took the name Operation Ocean Shield in August 2009. Alongside other maritime military actors with which it cooperates, such as the European Union (Operation Atalanta) or the US-led Combined Maritime Forces, Ocean Shield contributes to surveillance and prevention of piracy off the coast of Somalia. The International Maritime Organization has recognized that piracy off the Horn of Africa has diminished sharply since 2011. In addition to the improved application of recommended good practices by shipowners, the maritime operations - including Ocean Shield - have undoubtedly contributed to this result. The current mandate for this operation will expire at the end of 2014.
Operation Unified Protector in Libya
On 1 April 2011, NATO began intervention in Libya in accordance with Resolution 1973 of the United Nations Security Council to protect Libyan civilians in the framework of Operation Unified Protector. This operation followed the coordinated actions of France, the UK, the US and several other Allies on 19 March 2011. In accordance with Resolutions 1970 and 1973, Operation Unified Protector had several components: the enforcement of an aerial and maritime embargo on weapons destined for the Libyan regime, the establishment of a no-fly zone to prevent any air attack against the population, and, finally, strike operations to prevent further violence against the Libyan people.
For the first time in a NATO operation, it was the Europeans and Canada which provided most of the military assets (although the United States made up for significant shortfalls in key areas such as air-to-air refuelling and intelligence). France played a central role in this operation, carrying out a quarter of the air missions and a third of the air attacks. This was the corollary to the political role played by our country in resolving this crisis. Operation Unified Protector ended on 31 October 2011, having carried out its mandate in full.