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Mission accomplished? An evaluation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) Environmental Protection Policies for NATO operations in Afghanistan

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Title: Mission accomplished? An evaluation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) Environmental Protection Policies for NATO operations in Afghanistan
Author: San Miguel, Stephanie
Department: School of Environmental Design and Rural Development
Program: Rural Planning and Development
Advisor: FitzSimons, John
Abstract: Military operations can significantly impact the environment, which is why the military sector has come under increasing pressure to protect the environment during operations. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) developed specific policies and guidance on Environmental Protection (EP) for its activities, which were applied for the first time during the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan. This study applied a Theory-driven Outcome evaluation approach to the NATO EP program to determine whether the policies were effective under real operational conditions in Afghanistan during the period 2007-2014, and to uncover the key barriers and enablers to program implementation at ISAF. The study found that the programme theory underpinning the NATO EP policies was flawed and did not reflect the realities of how operations are undertaken. In terms of implementation at ISAF, staffing, funding and the issuance of more detailed NATO guidance during the ISAF mission enabled the implementation of the program, although the effectiveness of these enablers was negatively impacted by high staff turnover, poor coordination, and the organizational placement of the position. Barriers such as operational imperatives, the multinational context and devolved responsibility for EP, and the absence of a monitoring and evaluation program significantly hampered the program. Overall, the study found that the NATO's environmental mission was not accomplished in Afghanistan.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/16209
Date: 2016
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