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Marla Keenan, Victoria K. Holt
The 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw revived a long-standing notion within the Alliance – that of “projecting stability”. Under this banner, the Alliance aims to promote peace and security in its broader neighbourhood using a range of means, including military action against groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as well as training for partner governments.
In developing a concept on the Protection of Civilians (PoC), NATO should consider a cautionary approach, recognizing that the policy adopted by the Warsaw Summit emerges from decades of failure to protect civilians in conflict (NATO, 2016). These failures range from ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, genocide in Rwanda, civilian casualties in Afghanistan, security gaps in Libya, and the inability of the international community to protect civilians during the war in Syria.