Providing Language Support for NATO Operations: Challenges and Solutions

  • Louise Askew


The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO’s) first peace support operation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia in 1995 threw up the unplanned-for linguistic challenge of having to communicate with local populations who did not speak one of its official languages of English and French. This chapter investigates NATO forces’ responses to this challenge not only in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia but also in subsequent operations in Kosovo (1999) and Afghanistan (2003). In each operation, the provision of language support was initially disorganized and improvised but eventually led to the establishment of professional standard language services and, finally, the development of a Doctrine on Language Support for Operations to be followed in all future such operations.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louise Askew
    • 1
  1. 1.SouthwickUK

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