NATO ethics in Iraq and Afghanistan

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an international organization that protects its member states from attacks by training, advising and financially assisting security forces of member states and sending troops to countries that have been attacked. NATO has been actively engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan by cooperating with their armed forces and sending troops from different nations to these two countries to improve military operations.

NATO has ethics that define their moral standards and act as a frame of reference to all staff working for the organization. These ethics are based on five principles; integrity, professionalism, loyalty, accountability, and impartiality. Integrity stresses the importance of honesty among staff members. They should always provide truthful information. Staff should also avoid situations with conflicting personal and organizational interests. They should not use private information entrusted to them by the organization to benefit themselves and abuse their positions and privileges for their gain.

Loyalty highlights the importance of staff members to be loyal to the organization. They should respect the principles of NATO. Individuals should team up with other staff members to achieve organizational goals. They should place the interests of the organization before everything else. Accountability states that staff members should be accountable for what they do whether it is right or wrong.  They should be transparent in their actions and cautious to avoid making mistakes that will damage the reputation of NATO or damage their information communication systems.

Impartiality indicates that staff members of NATO should be fair and just. The organization should act independently without interference by other bodies and governments. They should not take bribes or gifts that compromise their impartiality. Every decision made should focus on benefiting the organization. Staff members working for NATO should not engage in off duty activities that conflict with their work at NATO. They should also not use private information to the disadvantage of the organization.

Professionalism states that staff members should be competent. They should constantly improve their skills and knowledge. They should work hard and do their best every day and utilize the limited resources of the organization effectively. Protect workplaces and information about the organization. Respect colleagues and not discriminate against anyone. They should also ensure that their actions do not affect their environment negatively. NATO administration should support the staff members by correcting those who go wrong and applauding and rewarding those who perform well.


Shea, Jamie. “NATO–Upholding Ethics in International Security Policy.” Cambridge Review of International Affairs 15.1 (2002): 75-82.

Morelli, V. (2009). NATO in Afghanistan: a test of the transatlantic alliance. DIANE Publishing.

Hoencamp, Rigo, et al. “Systematic review of the prevalence and characteristics of battle casualties from NATO coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Injury 45.7 (2014): 1028-1034.





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