Operation Active Endeavour is NATO's only article 5 operation on anti-terrorism
initiated as support to the United States immediately after 9/11. It therefore aims to demonstrate NATO's solidarity and resolve in the fight against terrorism and to help detect and deter terrorist activity in the Mediterranean.
NATO forces have hailed over 100,000 merchant vessels and boarded some 155 suspect ships. By conducting these maritime operations against terrorist activity, NATO's presence in these waters has benefited all shipping traveling through the Straits by improving perceptions of security. NATO is helping to keep seas safe, protect shipping and control suspect vessels. Moreover, this operation is also enabling NATO to strengthen its relations with partner countries, especially those participating in the Alliance's Mediterranean Dialogue. Keeping the Mediterranean's busy trade routes open and safe is critical to NATO's security.