NATO Allies and the Protection of Civilians

January 2023

NATO as an organization and Allies have made significant progress in developing PoC policies and guidance. However, it is less clear how prepared the Alliance is to implement and mobilize its PoC approach in a future crisis.

An organization-wide ‘PoC preparedness assessment’ or ‘PoC audit’ could help determine Allies’ preparedness for implementing PoC. National policies can influence NATO doctrine and policy guidelines just as NATO doctrine and policy can directly affect national policy-making processes. Therefore, while there is no current NATO framework for a PoC audit or assessment, the Alliance can learn from existing precedents from Allies such as Germany on PoC evaluations. This paper discusses an assessment for the German Ministry of Defence between 2019 and 2021, entitled “Implementing the Protection of Civilians Concept in United Nations Peace Operations,” and seeks to determine how other NATO allies can benefit from and build on this approach for future implementation of their own national PoC preparedness assessment.

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