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EducationNATO: The world’s largest military alliance

NATO: The world’s largest military alliance

Published: 14th Jun 2021 6:47 pm

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an alliance of 30 countries that border the North Atlantic Ocean. The Alliance includes the United States, most European Union members, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Turkey. The United States contributes three-fourths of NATO’s budget. NATO is holding its 31 formal meeting of the heads of State and Heads of government in Brussels, Belgium its headquarters on 14 June 2021. Read more about NATO and its objectives…

Member Countries

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NATO’s 30 members are Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States.

On December 1, 2015, NATO announced its first expansion since 2009, offering membership to Montenegro. Russia responded by calling the move a strategic threat to its national security. Russia is worried by the number of Balkan countries along its border that have joined NATO. 

History and purpose

The founding members of NATO signed the North Atlantic Treaty on April 4, 1949. It worked in conjunction with the United Nations, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. The organizations were created during the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference.

NATO’s primary purpose was to defend member nations from threats by communist countries. The United States also wanted to maintain a presence in Europe. It sought to prevent a resurgence of aggressive nationalism and to foster political union. 

Protecting democratic freedom among its 30-member nations remains NATO’S core purpose. As a political and military alliance, the coalition’s value to global security continues to be paramount.

NATO’s mission is to protect the freedom of its members. Its targets include weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and cyber-attacks. 

Alliances

NATO participates in three alliances that expand its influence beyond its 30 member countries. The first is the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, which helps partners become NATO members. It includes 20 non-NATO countries that support NATO’s purpose. It began in 1991.

The Mediterranean Dialogue seeks to stabilize the Middle East. Its non-NATO members include Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia. It began in 1994. 

The Istanbul Cooperation Initiative works for peace throughout the larger Middle East region. It includes four members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. They are Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. It began in 2004.


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