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Quantifying Public Perceptions of NATO and the United Nations

Final Paper PO 601

Sara Naz December 13, 2011 Wilfrid Laurier University

Under the heading of Responsibility to Protect, the United Nations (UN) World Summit Outcome (2005) states, The international community, through the United Nations, also has the responsibility to use appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian and other peaceful means to help protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity (UN General Assembly, 2005, p.31).

Correspondingly, when the preamble to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was signed in 1949, it explicitly stated that it would operate under the framework of UN Charter. In article one of the Treaty, NATO affirmed that it would abstain from using force or the threat of force if deemed inconsistent with the goals of the UN Charter. Article five of the NATO treaty specifically references Article 51 of the UN Charter in stating the rights for its allies to use collective force when deemed necessary and terminating any armed attack and all measures taken as a result, when the UN Security Council has itself taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security (NATO, 2011).

Thus, since its ratification in 1949, NATO stated that it would operate according to the mandate of the United Nations. While it has been a regular occurrence for NATOs Secretary General to report to the UN Secretary General on the developments of its operations, it was not until recently that these meetings led to an official coalition. In 2008, the Secretary Generals of NATO and the UN signed

2 an accord for expanded consultation and cooperation with a framework to deal with issues facing the international community. It was specified that this coalition would develop cooperation in the areas of communication, disclosure, capacitybuilding, training, planning, operation coordination and support, while

understanding the partnering organizations mandate and capabilities (NATO, 2011).

The two organizations share another commonality: the subject of approval or constant scrutiny from the global community. This report will aim at examining the perceived legitimacy of the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Since the only way to gauge such perceptions is by looking at the overall ratings of these International Organizations, a Public Opinion Poll by Gallup International Association, titled, Voice of the People - 2004, has been used because it surveyed adults in 52 countries on their opinion of NATO and the UN.

This poll is particularly useful because only those respondents who mentioned that they had heard of these organizations were then asked for their opinion. In addition, all of the respondents were asked questions regarding globalization, democracy, international goals and opinions of countries (ICPSR, 2004). Ultimately, the goal of this research is to assess this data in order to deduce whether or not the global community has a positive, negative or neutral opinion of NATO and the UN. Further, it is possible that such an assessment will lead to an

3 understanding of the perceived legitimacy of these organizations because a few hundred thousand participants were involved.

Considering the consistent close ties of the UN and NATO and the fact that NATO preceded the UN and operates under its jurisdiction, it was expected that a persons opinion of the former would shape their opinion of the latter.

Rationale NATO functions as a subsidiary of the UN given that its primary role has been to provide the United Nations with military clout and in light of recent events in Afghanistan, NATO has been employed by the UN to enforce Security Council resolutions (McManus, 2008, p.1). In addition, the preamble of the NATO charter states that its purpose is to, reaffirm their faith in the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations (Kaplan, 2010, p. 225).

International Regime Theorist, Robert O. Keohanes (1988) work titled, International Institutions: Two Approaches, looks at the impact of human subjectivity and the embeddedness of contemporary international institutions in pre-existing practices (p.379). In articulating a Rawlsian desire for human progress including the welfare, liberty and security of individuals, Keohane examines the potential of international organizations to facilitate such improvements - through cooperation and discord (p.380). International Regime Theory views international

4 organizations as vehicles of interstates cooperation that may otherwise be impossible. An example of NATOs extended mandate is its decision in 1992 to enforce the decisions of the UN Security Council. The support of such an extension from International Regime Theory is based on the argument that, institutions are easier to adapt once in place than to build from scratch (Lepgold, 1998, p.78). This theoretical framework is the most relevant to the positive view of the new NATO-UN dichotomy.

Potential Nullification This is hypothesis will be framed as a question because there is another side to the view that NATO is a UN subsidiary. The other side echoes the sentiments of the Globe & Mail, In the years right after the Cold War ended, NATO had widely been described as pointless and obsolete[then] the bombs began dropping on Belgrade (Globe&Mail, 2009). Moreover, there are various other opinions regarding NATO role, from those who believe that it is an instrument of European integration, to those who believe that it is a vehicle for enforcing U.S. foreign policy (Globe&Mail, 2009).

To add to these views of NATO as a self-interested organization, there are those who believe that the goals of NATO greatly diverge from those of the UN. Former UN Secretary General, Hans Sponeck (2009), recognized that while the United Nations has not changed its mandate in its sixty-five years of existence, NATOs mandate to protect its allies during the Cold War ended in 1991.

5 Accordingly, in 1999 NATO created a new goal to justify its existence, to become a broad based alliance for the protection of the vital resources needs of its members. This now includes countries that were part of the former USSR. Sponeck believes that the 1999 doctrine no longer adheres to Article 51 of the UN Charter, which accepts the UNs monopoly of the use of force. In acknowledging the 2008 Accord, he asks whether the UN should even be in partnership with NATO. In asking this question, he considers NATOs unlawful bombing of Serbia and Kosovo and the fact that a military alliance with nuclear weapons contradicts Article 2 of the UN Charter, which states that conflicts must be handled peacefully (Sponeck, 2009).

Finally, the expectation itself - that an individuals opinion of the UN and NATO is based on their knowledge of their ties could be potentially inferential. It is possible that a persons opinion of the UN may differ from their opinion of NATO, maybe due to the deemed efficacy of each institution. In addition, there are those who simply may not be familiar with the roles of both organizations and may not know of the recent alliance.

The Research Question Nevertheless, with enough support from existing literature, the focus of this research was on answering a question based on the perspective that these organizations are closely related. Following this logic, the research question was: Does a persons opinion of the United Nations influence their opinion of its counterpart, NATO?

(IV) Opinion of the UN

(DV) -------------------------------------------------- Opinion of NATO

Literature Review
Weak Ties Lawrence Kaplan (2010) author of NATO and the UN: a Peculiar Relationship, writes that at the end of the Cold War, the direction of the NATO-UN relationship was only deepening (p. 186). These closer ties were due to the close alliance of NATO and the UN while dealing with crisis in the Balkans and the Middle East. However, in 1995 Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali begrudgingly surrendered authority of the Bosnian mission to NATO because of his suspicion of an underlying U.S. agenda. Kaplan argues that during this time, NATO officials were unhappy with the frequent identification of the organization as one of many regional organizations that could serve the UN (p.187). Thus, during these years, the alliance of these organizations was based on the recognition that NATO was an autonomous actor.

With the events of September 11 2011, both organizations engaged in a revision of security challenges and priorities. As such, there has been an evolution within NATO doctrine to accommodate new goals and operations. As of 2006, NATO was involved in seven operations in: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia,

7 Iraq, Afghanistan, Darfur and the Mediterranean Sea. Its role in these operations is to assist with humanitarian aid, create and maintain security and assist with technical and training issues (Borel, 2006). However, none of these seven missions were conducted along with the UN. Aside from a joint operation for counternarcotics training, conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) and NATO in Afghanistan, their links are only institutional (Borel, 2006).

Strong Ties In a journal article titled, Before and After Dayton: The UN and NATO in the Former Yugoslavia, Dick Leurdijk (1997) asked if the subcontracting of NATO by the UN, sets precedents for future relationships between the UN and regional organizations, particularly in terms of division of labour and accountability (p.457). He considers the case of the former Yugoslavia because of his belief that it adds to the broader context of the relationship and because it serves as a good example of a controversial post-cold war policy decision and new mission (p.457). In June of 1992, NATO revised its agenda to incorporate the principle of peacekeeping and in the subsequent months wrote the following to the United Nations:

We confirm today the preparedness of our Alliance to support, on a case by case basis, and in accordance with our own procedures, peacekeeping operations under the authority of the UN Security Council, which has the primary responsibility for peace and security (p.459). By May of the next year, NATO was already engaged in the enforcement of UN subcontracted no-fly zone over Bosnia and support for the UN Protection Force

8 (UNPROFOR) for personnel and supplies. In 2006, NATO Secretary General Solana reflected on this role in saying, nowhere has this new role of NATO become more visible than in Bosnia (p.460).

NATOs role in Bosnia was legitimized by the United Nations, partly because of the limitations of UNPROFOR in carrying out these tasks. NATO initially engaged in a monitoring operation in the Adriatic that was part of Operation Maritime Monitor to oversee compliance on an embargo of the deliveries of weapons and economic sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro (p.460).

By the end of 1992, NATO stated that it was ready and willing to support peacekeeping operations under UN authority. In 1993, the UN Security Council declared Operation Deny Flight, whereby a no-fly zone was enforced over Bosnia and Herzegovina. When four warplanes entered this area, a NATO aircraft shot them down; this marked the first UN-NATO military engagement (NATO Peace Support, 2011). Under UN command, NATO assisted UNPROFOR with air support and initiated air strikes. These operations are said to have help pave the way for a comprehensive peace agreement, called the which was signed in 1995. The Dayton Peace Agreement officially recognized Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a single, democratic, and multiethnic state with two entities: The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic Srpska (NATO Peace Support, 2011).

Public Resentment of NATO

9 Despite the success of the NATO-UN alliance in the alliances first combat mission, NATO faces countless criticism for its role in the second combat mission: the 1999 bombings of the former Yugoslavia. This perspective is apparent in an article by Michael Mandelbaum (1999) titled, A Perfect Failure: NATOs War Against Yugoslavia. He writes that, the war itself was the unintended consequence of a gross error in political judgment (p.2)

Prior to NATO intervention, twenty-five hundred people had died in the civil war between Serbian authorities Albanian insurgents called the Kosovo Liberation Army. Additionally, ten thousand people, mostly Albanian civilians, were killed in the eleven weeks of bombing. Like many other critics, notably Noam Chomksy and Amnesty International, Mandelbaum argues, although the worst outcome the permanent exile of Albanians from Kosovo was avoided, the war was not successful(p.3).

This argument is premised on the view that, NATO began its war on the basis of miscalculation (p.5). The miscalculation is present in the logic of NATOs aggression: to fight for Kosovos right to self-determination instead of making concessions with the Serbs at the start. This put NATO in a predicament when, the humanitarian goal NATO sought- the prevention of suffering- was not achieved by bombing; the political goal the air campaign made possible and the Albanian Kosovars favoured independence NATO not only did not seek but actively opposed (p.5). Most importantly, as Mandelbaum notes, NATO acted without

10 authorization from the United Nations, implying that the members could blatantly disregard international law or that any regional alliance could do the same.

Further, the actions of NATO perpetuated mistrust in the international community by those who blame the failure on the Clinton Administration, for [taking] steps short of invasion that inflicted suffering on the civilian population (p.6). Overall, the examples of the first and second combat operations demonstrate how NATO acted with and without the UN, to generate favourable opinion for one mission and global scrutiny for another. Considering these examples, it would be interesting to see whether or not people view these organizations as an alliance, and how they rate them accordingly.

Preliminary Findings A poll conducted in Russia reveals that only 8% of respondents believe that NATO is Russias partner. This poll, which was conducted among sixteen hundred people from 46 Russian regions also revealed that, those who think that NATOs eastwards expansion poses no threat to Russias security grew from 15% to 21% (Rianovosti, 2011). A poll conducted by the International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) found that 68% of Afghan respondents believe that NATO forces do not protect them. This poll was conducted among 552 men in Kandahar and Helmand (Croft, 2010). A third survey conducted amongst Georgians revealed

11 that 74% support the goal of the Georgian government to join NATO (Xinhuanet, 2011).

Finally, a survey conduced by two bipartisan research agencies, revealed that 67% of American respondents believe that the United Nations is still needed today (Better World, 2010). Such findings reveal the diverse perspectives of NATO and the UN from the countries where these studies were conducted. Unfortunately, aside from the data set being used, Voice of the People 2004, there were no other surveys that concurrently asked questions about the UN and NATO, or about their alliance.

The Hypothesis A respondent with a positive opinion of the United Nations will also have a positive opinion of its counterpart, NATO. (IV) (DV)

+ Opinion of the UN -------------------------------------------------- + Opinion of NATO

Recoding of Variables The variables were recoded to exclude Dont Know/ Did Not Answer (DK/DA) because the questions that were asked were of an opinion nature and the hypothesis pertains only to those respondents who answered these questions. In addition, recoding of the variables helped condense the cells, thereby making the results clearer. As an example, a recode was done on Control #1 Globalization brings more problems than it solves to only include those who respondents who

12 said they agreed or disagreed with the statement. This variable was recoded from an ordinal scale agree strongly, agree slightly, disagree slightly and disagree strongly - to condense them on a dichotomous measure: agree or disagree.

Measures of Association Chi Square - to determine the level of significance Tau-B - because both variables are ordinal and they are organized on a symmetrical table (have the same number of values)

Data Processing The use of Basic Cross tabulation was employed to look at the original relationship and Multivariate Crosstabs to introduce a third variable, the control. A multivariate crosstab was used from Control #1 Globalization brings more problems than it solves because the relationship between the IV and the DV are shown separately for the two measurements agree and disagree. A multivariate crosstab was also used for Control #2 because the relationship between the IV and the DV are shown separately for the values of the control: positive, neutral and negative. Cross-tabulation helps control for the third variable because it divides the sample into subgroups according to the categories of the control variable and reassesses the original bivariate relationship within each subgroup (Nachmias, 2008, p.402).

Control Variable #1

13 Globalization brings more problems than it solves Type of Variable: Conditional Rationale: Control#2 was introduced to see if the hypothesized relationship would be affected by the values of the control (Agree/ Disagree). The rationale behind the selection of Globalization brings more problem than it solves as a control is that a respondents opinion of Globalization can shape how they feel about international organizations. If they were to feel that issues should be contained within the state, they may deny the legitimacy of such organizations as they transcend traditional state boundaries. Therefore, it was predicted that the relationship would strengthen for those who disagree with this statement, while it would weaken for those who agree with this statement.

Control Variable #2 Opinion on US role in: peace in the world Type of Variable: Conditional Rationale: Control #2 was introduced to see if the hypothesized relationship would be affected by the values of the control (positive, neutral, negative). Control #2 asks people if they have a positive, negative or neutral opinion on the role of the US in: peace in the world. It was predicted that upon the introduction of Control #2, the relationship of the original hypothesis would strengthen for people who view the role as positive; stay the same for those who view the role as neutral; and weaken for those who view the role as negative.

14 The rationale for Control #2 was that it is likely that respondents will consider the close ties of the United States with the allied organizations, considering missions like the UN supported War on Terror and Clintons sanctioned NATO bombings on the former Yugoslavia. In addition, the United States is the member state with the largest fiscal contribution to the United Nations - at an assessed $362,852,996 (UN, 2011). Perhaps then, respondents who view the role of US peace in the word as positive would also be those who support the original hypothesis, in that they have a positive opinion of the UN and thus, a positive opinion of NATO. By contrast, those who have a negative opinion of the US role of peace may weaken this hypothesized relationship; perhaps, this is because of their dismay with the US role of peace and the organizations that engage in the enforcement of this role.


Table 1: The impact of the IV (Positive opinion on the UN) on the DV (Positive opinion on NATO)-(summary of original relationship) Number Cases (N) of Percentage Point Difference 31 Chi Square Tau-B

Original 739158 0.000 0.306 Relationship Note: Data drawn from Voice of the People - 2004. Data has been weighted. Table 2: The impact of the IV (Positive Opinion on the UN) on the DV (Positive Opinion on NATO) controlling for Globalization brings more problems than it solves(summary of original relationship for each category of control 1) of Percentage Chi Square Tau-B Point Difference Agree 664141 28 0.000 0.282 Disagree 664141 32 0.000 0.316 Note: Data drawn from Voice of the People - 2004. Data has been weighted. Table 3: The impact of the IV (Positive Opinion on the UN) on the DV (Positive Opinion on NATO) controlling for Opinion on US role in: peace in the world (summary of original relationship for each category of control 1) of Percentage Chi Square Tau-B Point Difference Positive 714070 27 0.000 0.321 Neutral 714070 22 0.000 0.208 Negative 714070 34 0.000 0.327 Note: Data drawn from Voice of the People - 2004. Data has been weighted. Number Cases (N) Number Cases (N)


Bar Charts
Table 1: Original Relationship

Table 2: Control #1


Table 3: Control#3



Findings and Conclusions

The Original Relationship In addition to finding support for the original hypothesized relationship, those with negative opinions of the UN also have negative opinions of NATO and those with neutral opinions of the UN also have neutral opinions of NATO. The bivariate crosstab revealed that 66.7% of respondents fit the category of neutralneutral for the IV and for the DV. This was followed by 54.8% of participants who fit the category of positive-positive and then by 48.4% of respondents who fit the negative-negative category. Thus, the strongest relationship was for the neutral category.

In interpreting this cross-tab, the percentages were compared along the row (the dependent variable) to see how they differ with respect to the independent variable. For the hypothesized relationship, a 31% point difference was noted. Moreover, a positive coefficient exists since high values on the IV also have high values on the DV, signaling at a positive relationship between the IV and the DV.

The original relationship shows a Chi Square of 0.000, which means that there is less than a 1 in 1000 chance that the relationship will not be observed in the general population. A Tau-B of 0.306 was found in the original relationship, which indicates moderate statistical dependency between the IV and the DV. Overall, the original hypothesis was supported by moderate statistical significance.


Interpretation of Control Variable #1 Globalization brings more problems than it solves As predicted, upon the introduction of Control#1, the relationship weakened for the value agree to a 28% point difference and the relationship strengthened for the value disagree to a 32% point difference (from the original percentage point difference of 31). The Chi Square remained the same but the Tau-B decreased from the original value of 0.306 to 0.282 for the value agree, indicating that the introduction of this control slightly weakened the original hypothesis. Conversely, the Tau-B for the value disagree increased to 0.316, indicating that the original relationship was strengthened for by this value. Thus, it can be said that Control#1 is a conditional variable.

Interpretation of Control Variable #2 Opinion on US role in: peace in the world Upon the introduction of Control#2, it was found that the original percentage point difference decreased for two of the values and increased for one of the values. The original percentage point difference of 31 dropped to 27 for the value positive and to 22 for neutral while it increased to a 34% point difference for the value negative. The Chi Square remained the same while, interestingly, the Tau-B dropped from the original 0.306 to 0.208 for neutral while it increased to 0.321 for positive and 0.327 for negative. This indicates that the relationship moderately weakened for the neutral value of the control, while it slightly strengthened for the

21 negative value and weakened with moderate statistical significance for the positive value. Thus, Control#2 is a conditional variable. In retrospect, the

explanation for such a result could be that the relationship strengthened for those who have negative opinions of US peace because these people would want to push for greater a larger peacekeeping involvement on part of the US through the mechanisms for peace enforcement the UN and NATO.

Overall, this percentage point decrease of a few points combined with a decrease of 0.1 at the most, only changes the relationship slightly. Even considering these alterations, the TAU-B remains above 0.20 and the Chi Square remains at 0.000, indicting slight/moderate statistical significance for the original relationship: A respondent with a positive opinion of the United Nations will also have a positive opinion of its counterpart, NATO.

What Does this Mean? In essence, these results reveal very little about the global opinion on the alliance, as such results cannot be aggregated to the larger population since there are some limitations of the survey itself. For instance, while the survey was able to ask preliminary questions regarding exposure to the UN and NATO, it did not ask any knowledge questions to control for Political knowledge. For the sake of future research it would be interesting to take a different methodological approach, involving a content analysis combined with a historical narrative, which would serve as qualitative methodology. Such an approach could involve the review of

22 published documents including press briefings, speeches and transcripts and official texts from NATO and the UN, academic journals and newspapers articles for a wellrounded perspective. With the coding of certain trends in perception, it could serve as a heuristic to help make inferences about the current role of each organization and about the alliance.

23 Works Cited

Better World Campaign. (2010) United Nations Approval Rating Rises to 60% in New Opinion Poll. Retrieved from http://www.betterworldcampaign.org/news-room/press-releases/unitednations-approval-rating-rises-to-60-percent.html Borel, Benedicte. (2006). NATOs Role in the New Security Environment and its Relations with UN and EU. Retrieved from http://www.worldsecuritynetwork.com/showArticle3.cfm?article_id=13609 Croft, Adrian. (2010). NATO Not Winning Afghan Hearts and Minds: Poll. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/07/17/us-afghanistan-pollidUSTRE66G0D820100717 Kaplan, Lawrence S. (2010). NATO and the UN: A Peculiar Relationship. Columbia, Missouri, USA: University of Missouri Press. Keohene, Robert O. (1988). International Institutions: Two Approaches. International Studies Quarterly. 34:4. Pp. 379-396. Lepgold, Joseph. (1998). NATOs Post-Cold War Collective Action Problem. International Security. 23:1. Pp. 78-106. Leurdijk, Dick. (1997). Before and After Dayton: The UN and NATO in the Former Yugoslavia. Third World Quarterl. 18:3, pp.457-470. Mandelbaum, Michael. (1999). A Perfect Failure: NATOs War against Yugoslavia. Foreign Affairs. 78:5, pp. 2-8. McManus, John F. (2008). NATO is a UN Subsidiary. The New American: American

24 Opinion Publishing, Inc. Nachmias David and Frankfort-Nachmias Chava. (2008). Research Methods in Social Sciences: Seventh Edition. New York, New York, USA: Worth Publishers. NATO (2011). NATOs Relations with the United Nations. Retrieved from http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_50321.htm. NATO. (2011). Peace Support Operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Retrieved from Rianovosti. (2011). Most Russians See NATO Eastwards Expansion as Threat Poll. Retrieved from http://en.rian.ru/society/20111129/169146770.html Sponeck, Hans. (2009). The UN and NATO: Which Security and for Whom? Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.wagingpeace.org/articles/2009/02/17_vonsponeck_un_nato.ph p The Globe & Mail (2009). Afghan War Tests Resolve on NATO on 60th Anniversary. Retrieved from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/afghan-wartests-resolve-of-nato-on-60th-anniversary/article977198/page2/ United Nations. (2011). Chapter 5: Is the United Nations Good Value for the Money. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/geninfo/ir/index.asp?id=150 UN General Assembly (2005). Responsibility to protect: 2005 World Summit Outcome. Retrieved from http://responsibilitytoprotect.org/world%20summit%20outcome%20doc% 202005(1).pdf. Xinhuanet. (2011). Poll Shows Most Georgians Favour Joining EU, NATO. Retrieved

25 from http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/201110/10/c_131183517.htm