"Comparing Caveats: Understanding the Sources
of National Restrictions upon NATO Missions in Afghanistan"
In their new article "Comparing Caveats: Understanding the Sources of National Restrictions upon NATO Missions in Afghanistan" in the journal International Studies Quarterly, National War College faculty member David Auerswald and co-author Stephen Saideman of McGill University discuss the debilitating influence of caveats within NATO's coalition. The article argues that while NATO stands as the most deeply institutionalized alliance in the world, it nonetheless has faced signifiÂ¬cant problems in running the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. NATO's coalition effort has been plagued by caveats-restrictions on what coalition militaries can and cannot do. Caveats, the authors argue, have diminished the Alliance's overall effectiveness and created resentment within the coalition.
The article traces the reasons for various caveats, which vary predictably according to the political institutions in each contributor to ISAF. Troops from coalition governments are likely to have caveats, they contend; troops from presidential or majoritarian parliamentary governments tend, on average, to have fewer caveats, but specific caveats depend on the background of key decision makers in those countries. The study concludes with implications for both research and North Atlantic Treaty Organization's future. The article is available here; an earlier conference paper version of their argument can be found here.