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NATO worried over Turkish plan to use Russian missile opposed …

FILE PHOTO: New S-400 “Triumph” surface-to-air missile system after its deployment at a military base outside the town of Gvardeysk near Kaliningrad, Russia. Picture taken March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Vitaly Nevar/File Photo/File Photo

ANKARA (Reuters) – The consequences of Turkeys plans to deploy the Russian S-400 missile defense system are worrying, as Washington has made clear it would impose sanctions, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday in a news conference.

Speaking in Ankara following a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Stoltenberg said NATO would want to avoid conditions where allies impose sanctions on one another.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Peter Graff

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NATO worried over Turkish plan to use Russian missile opposed …

NATO – Homepage

NATO constantly reviews and transforms its policies, capabilities and structures to ensure that it can continue to address current and future challenges to the freedom and security of its members. Presently, Allied forces are required to carry out a wide range of missions across several continents; the Alliance needs to ensure that its armed forces remain modern, deployable, and capable of sustained operations.

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In 1949, the prospect of further Communist expansion prompted the United States and 11 other Western nations to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The Soviet Union and its affiliated Communist nations in Eastern Europe founded a rival alliance, the Warsaw Pact, in 1955. The alignment of nearly every European nation into one of the two opposing camps formalized the political division of the European continent that had taken place since World War II (1939-45). This alignment provided the framework for the military standoff that continued throughout the Cold War (1945-91).

Conflict between the Western nations (including the United States, Great Britain, France and other countries) and the Communist Eastern bloc (led by the Union of Soviet Socialists Republics or USSR) began almost as soon as the guns fell silent at the end of World War II (1939-45). The USSR oversaw the installation of pro-Soviet governments in many of the areas it had taken from the Nazis during the war. In response, the U.S. and its Western allies sought ways to prevent further expansion of Communist influence on the European continent. In 1947, U.S. leaders introduced the Marshall Plan, a diplomatic initiative that provided aid to friendly nations to help them rebuild their war-damaged infrastructures and economies.

Did you know? NATO continued its existence beyond the Cold War era and gained new member nations in Eastern Europe during the late 1990s. That development was not well received by leaders of the Russian Federation and became a source of post-Cold War tension between the East and the West.

Events of the following year prompted American leaders to adopt a more militaristic stance toward the Soviets. In February 1948, a coup sponsored by the Soviet Union overthrew the democratic government of Czechoslovakia and brought that nation firmly into the Communist camp. Within a few days, U.S. leaders agreed to join discussions aimed at forming a joint security agreement with their European allies. The process gained new urgency in June of that year, when the USSR cut off ground access to Berlin, forcing the U.S., Britain and France to airlift supplies to their sectors of the German city, which had been partitioned between the Western Allies and the Soviets following World War II.

The discussions between the Western nations concluded on April 4, 1949, when the foreign ministers of 12 countries in North America and Western Europe gathered in Washington, D.C., to sign the North Atlantic Treaty. It was primarily a security pact, with Article 5 stating that a military attack against any of the signatories would be considered an attack against them all. When U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson (1893-1971) put his signature on the document, it reflected an important change in American foreign policy. For the first time since the 1700s, the U.S. had formally tied its security to that of nations in Europethe continent that had served as the flash point for both world wars.

The original membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) consisted of Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the United States. NATO formed the backbone of the Wests military bulwark against the USSR and its allies for the next 40 years, with its membership growing larger over the course of the Cold War era. Greece and Turkey were admitted in 1952, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) in 1955 and Spain in 1982. Unhappy with its role in the organization, France opted to withdraw from military participation in NATO in 1966 and did not return until 1995.

The formation of the Warsaw Pact was in some ways a response to the creation of NATO, although it did not occur until six years after the Western alliance came into being. It was more directly inspired by the rearming of West Germany and its admission into NATO in 1955. In the aftermath of World War I and World War II, Soviet leaders felt very apprehensive about Germany once again becoming a military powera concern that was shared by many European nations on both sides of the Cold War divide.

In the mid-1950s, however, the U.S. and a number of other NATO members began to advocate making West Germany part of the alliance and allowing it to form an army under tight restrictions. The Soviets warned that such a provocative action would force them to make new security arrangements in their own sphere of influence, and they were true to their word. West Germany formally joined NATO on May 5, 1955, and the Warsaw Pact was signed less than two weeks later, on May 14. Joining the USSR in the alliance were Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Hungary, Poland and Romania. This lineup remained constant until the Cold War ended with the dismantling of all the Communist governments in Eastern Europe in 1989 and 1990.

Like NATO, the Warsaw Pact focused on the objective of creating a coordinated defense among its member nations in order to deter an enemy attack. There was also an internal security component to the agreement that proved useful to the USSR. The alliance provided a mechanism for the Soviets to exercise even tighter control over the other Communist states in Eastern Europe and deter pact members from seeking greater autonomy. When Soviet leaders found it necessary to use military force to put down revolts in Hungary in 1956 and in Czechoslovakia in 1968, for example, they presented the action as being carried out by the Warsaw Pact rather than by the USSR alone.

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Member states of NATO – Wikipedia

FlagMapEnglish common and formal names[6][7][8]Domestic common and formal names[6][7]Capital[8][9][10]Date of accessionPopulation[a][11]Area[a][12]NotesAlbania[i]

Republic of Albania

Albanian: Tiran

Kingdom of Belgium

French: Belgique Royaume de Belgique

German: Belgien Knigreich Belgien

Dutch: Brussel

French: Bruxelles

German: Brssel

Republic of Bulgaria

Bulgarian: (Sofia)

French: Canada

Republic of Croatia

Croatian: Zagreb

Czech: Praha

Kingdom of Denmark

Danish: Kbenhavn

Republic of Estonia

Estonian: Tallinn

French Republic

French: Paris

Federal Republic of Germany

German: Berlin

Hellenic Republic

Greek: (Athna)

Hungarian: Budapest

Republic of Iceland

Icelandic: Reykjavk

Italian Republic

Italian: Roma

Republic of Latvia

Latvian: Rga

Republic of Lithuania

Lithuanian: Vilnius

Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

French: Luxembourg Grand-Duch de Luxembourg

German: Luxemburg Groherzogtum Luxemburg

Luxembourgish: Ltzebuerg

French: Luxembourg

German: Luxemburg

Montenegrin: , Podgorica

Kingdom of the Netherlands

West Frisian: Nederln Keninkryk fan de Nederlannen

Papiamento: Hulandu Reino di Hulanda

The Hague (seat of government)

Dutch: Amsterdam

West Frisian: Amsterdam

Papiamento: Amsterdam

Dutch: ‘s-Gravenhage / Den Haag

West Frisian: De Haach

Papiamento: Den Haag

Kingdom of Norway

Nynorsk: Noreg Kongeriket Noreg

Northern Sami: Norga Norgga gonagasriika

Norwegian: Oslo

Republic of Poland

Polish: Warszawa

Portuguese Republic

Portuguese: Lisboa

Romanian: Bucureti

Slovak Republic

Slovak: Bratislava

Republic of Slovenia

Slovene: Ljubljana

Kingdom of Spain

Spanish: Madrid

Republic of Turkey

Turkish: Ankara

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Welsh: Deyrnas Unedig Teyrnas Unedig Prydain Fawr a Gogledd Iwerddon

United States of America

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Every day, NATO Allies work and train together to keep our citizens safe. Through partnership and cooperation, NATO has secured peace and freedom for nearly 70 years.

Member Countries: NATO is a political-military alliance of 29 countries in Europe and North America. All Allies share fundamental values: individual liberty, democracy, and the rule of law.

Purpose: NATO safeguards the freedom and security of its member countries through diplomatic and military means. The Alliance also works to tackle threats including terrorism, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and cyber-attacks.

Solidarity: NATO members protect each other. The collective defence clause of NATOs founding treaty means that an attack against one Ally is considered to be an attack against all Allies.

Accountability: Member countries contribute to the cost of running NATO and implementing its policies and activities. The organisation is accountable to its member governments and their taxpayers.

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Intergovernmental military alliance of Western states

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO ; French: Organisation du trait de l’Atlantique nord; OTAN), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949.[3][4] NATO constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. NATO’s Headquarters are located in Haren, Brussels, Belgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near Mons, Belgium.

Since its founding, the admission of new member states has increased the alliance from the original 12 countries to 29. The most recent member state to be added to NATO is Montenegro on 5 June 2017. NATO currently recognizes Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, North Macedonia and Ukraine as aspiring members.[5] An additional 21countries participate in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, with 15other countries involved in institutionalized dialogue programs. The combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70% of the global total.[6] Members have committed to reach or maintain defense spending of at least 2% of GDP by 2024.[7][8]

On 4 March 1947 the Treaty of Dunkirk was signed by France and the United Kingdom as a Treaty of Alliance and Mutual Assistance in the event of a possible attack by Germany or the Soviet Union in the aftermath of World War II. In 1948, this alliance was expanded to include the Benelux countries, in the form of the Western Union, also referred to as the Brussels Treaty Organization (BTO), established by the Treaty of Brussels.[9] Talks for a new military alliance which could also include North America resulted in the signature of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949 by the member states of the Western Union plus the United States, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland.[10]

The North Atlantic Treaty was largely dormant until the Korean War initiated the establishment of NATO to implement it, by means of an integrated military structure: This included the formation of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in 1951, which adopted the Western Union’s military structures and plans.[11] In 1952 the post of Secretary General of NATO was established as the organization’s chief civilian. That year also saw the first major NATO maritime exercises, Exercise Mainbrace and the accession of Greece and Turkey to the organization.[12][13] Following the London and Paris Conferences, West Germany was permitted to rearm militarily, as they joined NATO in May 1955, which was in turn a major factor in the creation of the Soviet-dominated Warsaw Pact, delineating the two opposing sides of the Cold War.

Doubts over the strength of the relationship between the European states and the United States ebbed and flowed, along with doubts over the credibility of the NATO defense against a prospective Soviet invasion doubts that led to the development of the independent French nuclear deterrent and the withdrawal of France from NATO’s military structure in 1966.[15] In 1982 the newly democratic Spain joined the alliance.

The collapse of the Warsaw Pact in 19891991 removed the de facto main adversary of NATO and caused a strategic re-evaluation of NATO’s purpose, nature, tasks, and focus on the continent of Europe. This shift started with the 1990 signing in Paris of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe between NATO and the Soviet Union, which mandated specific military reductions across the continent that continued after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991.[16] At that time, European countries accounted for 34 percent of NATO’s military spending; by 2012, this had fallen to 21 percent.[17] NATO also began a gradual expansion to include newly autonomous Central and Eastern European nations, and extended its activities into political and humanitarian situations that had not formerly been NATO concerns.[18]

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany in 1989, the organization conducted its first military interventions in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995 and later Yugoslavia in 1999 during the breakup of Yugoslavia.[19] Politically, the organization sought better relations with former Warsaw Pact countries, most of which joined the alliance in 1999 and 2004. Article5 of the North Atlantic treaty, requiring member states to come to the aid of any member state subject to an armed attack, was invoked for the first and only time after the September 11 attacks,[20] after which troops were deployed to Afghanistan under the NATO-led ISAF. The organization has operated a range of additional roles since then, including sending trainers to Iraq, assisting in counter-piracy operations[21] and in 2011 enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1973. The less potent Article 4, which merely invokes consultation among NATO members, has been invoked five times following incidents in the Iraq War, Syrian Civil War, and annexation of Crimea.[22]

The first post-Cold War expansion of NATO came with German reunification on 3 October 1990, when the former East Germany became part of the Federal Republic of Germany and the alliance. As part of post-Cold War restructuring, NATO’s military structure was cut back and reorganized, with new forces such as the Headquarters Allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Corps established. The changes brought about by the collapse of the Soviet Union on the military balance in Europe were recognized in the Adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, which was signed in 1999. The policies of French President Nicolas Sarkozy resulted in a major reform of France’s military position, culminating with the return to full membership on 4 April 2009, which also included France rejoining the NATO Military Command Structure, while maintaining an independent nuclear deterrent.[15][23][24]

Between 1994 and 1997, wider forums for regional cooperation between NATO and its neighbors were set up, like the Partnership for Peace, the Mediterranean Dialogue initiative and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. In 1998, the NATORussia Permanent Joint Council was established. Between 1999 and 2017 NATO incorporated the following Central and Eastern European countries, including several former communist states: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, Croatia and Montenegro.[18]

The Russian intervention in Crimea in 2014 led to strong condemnation by NATO nations and the creation of a new “spearhead” force of 5,000 troops at bases in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria.[25] At the subsequent 2014 Wales summit, the leaders of NATO’s member states formally committed for the first time to spend the equivalent of at least 2% of their gross domestic products on defence by 2024, which had previously been only an informal guideline.[26]

No military operations were conducted by NATO during the Cold War. Following the end of the Cold War, the first operations, Anchor Guard in 1990 and Ace Guard in 1991, were prompted by the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Airborne early warning aircraft were sent to provide coverage of southeastern Turkey, and later a quick-reaction force was deployed to the area.[27]

The Bosnian War began in 1992, as a result of the breakup of Yugoslavia. The deteriorating situation led to United Nations Security Council Resolution 816 on 9 October 1992, ordering a no-fly zone over central Bosnia and Herzegovina, which NATO began enforcing on 12 April 1993 with Operation Deny Flight. From June 1993 until October 1996, Operation Sharp Guard added maritime enforcement of the arms embargo and economic sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. On 28 February 1994, NATO took its first wartime action by shooting down four Bosnian Serb aircraft violating the no-fly zone.

On 10 and 11 April 1994, the United Nations Protection Force called in air strikes to protect the Gorade safe area, resulting in the bombing of a Bosnian Serb military command outpost near Gorade by two US F-16 jets acting under NATO direction. In retaliation, Serbs took 150U.N. personnel hostage on 14 April.[30][31] On 16 April a British Sea Harrier was shot down over Gorade by Serb forces.

In August 1995, a two-week NATO bombing campaign, Operation Deliberate Force, began against the Army of the Republika Srpska, after the Srebrenica massacre.[33] Further NATO air strikes helped bring the Yugoslav wars to an end, resulting in the Dayton Agreement in November 1995.[33] As part of this agreement, NATO deployed a UN-mandated peacekeeping force, under Operation Joint Endeavor, named IFOR. Almost 60,000 NATO troops were joined by forces from non-NATO nations in this peacekeeping mission. This transitioned into the smaller SFOR, which started with 32,000 troops initially and ran from December 1996 until December 2004, when operations were then passed onto European Union Force Althea. Following the lead of its member nations, NATO began to award a service medal, the NATO Medal, for these operations.[35]

In an effort to stop Slobodan Miloevi’s Serbian-led crackdown on KLA separatists and Albanian civilians in Kosovo, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1199 on 23 September 1998 to demand a ceasefire. Negotiations under US Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke broke down on 23 March 1999, and he handed the matter to NATO,[36] which started a 78-day bombing campaign on 24 March 1999.[37] Operation Allied Force targeted the military capabilities of what was then the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. During the crisis, NATO also deployed one of its international reaction forces, the ACE Mobile Force (Land), to Albania as the Albania Force (AFOR), to deliver humanitarian aid to refugees from Kosovo.[38]

Though the campaign was criticized for high civilian casualties, including bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, Miloevi finally accepted the terms of an international peace plan on 3 June 1999, ending the Kosovo War. On 11 June, Miloevi further accepted UN resolution 1244, under the mandate of which NATO then helped establish the KFOR peacekeeping force. Nearly one million refugees had fled Kosovo, and part of KFOR’s mandate was to protect the humanitarian missions, in addition to deterring violence.[38][39] In AugustSeptember 2001, the alliance also mounted Operation Essential Harvest, a mission disarming ethnic Albanian militias in the Republic of Macedonia.[40] As of 1December2013[update], 4,882KFOR soldiers, representing 31countries, continue to operate in the area.[41]

The US, the UK, and most other NATO countries opposed efforts to require the UN Security Council to approve NATO military strikes, such as the action against Serbia in 1999, while France and some others claimed that the alliance needed UN approval.[42] The US/UK side claimed that this would undermine the authority of the alliance, and they noted that Russia and China would have exercised their Security Council vetoes to block the strike on Yugoslavia, and could do the same in future conflicts where NATO intervention was required, thus nullifying the entire potency and purpose of the organization. Recognizing the post-Cold War military environment, NATO adopted the Alliance Strategic Concept during its Washington summit in April 1999 that emphasized conflict prevention and crisis management.[43]

The September 11 attacks in the United States caused NATO to invoke Article5 of the NATO Charter for the first time in the organization’s history. The Article says that an attack on any member shall be considered to be an attack on all. The invocation was confirmed on 4 October 2001 when NATO determined that the attacks were indeed eligible under the terms of the North Atlantic Treaty.[44] The eight official actions taken by NATO in response to the attacks included Operation Eagle Assist and Operation Active Endeavour, a naval operation in the Mediterranean Sea which is designed to prevent the movement of terrorists or weapons of mass destruction, as well as enhancing the security of shipping in general which began on 4 October 2001.[45]

The alliance showed unity: On 16 April 2003, NATO agreed to take command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which includes troops from 42 countries. The decision came at the request of Germany and the Netherlands, the two nations leading ISAF at the time of the agreement, and all nineteen NATO ambassadors approved it unanimously. The handover of control to NATO took place on 11 August, and marked the first time in NATO’s history that it took charge of a mission outside the north Atlantic area.[46]

ISAF was initially charged with securing Kabul and surrounding areas from the Taliban, al Qaeda and factional warlords, so as to allow for the establishment of the Afghan Transitional Administration headed by Hamid Karzai. In October 2003, the UN Security Council authorized the expansion of the ISAF mission throughout Afghanistan,[47] and ISAF subsequently expanded the mission in four main stages over the whole of the country.[48]

On 31 July 2006, the ISAF additionally took over military operations in the south of Afghanistan from a US-led anti-terrorism coalition.[49] Due to the intensity of the fighting in the south, in 2011 France allowed a squadron of Mirage 2000 fighter/attack aircraft to be moved into the area, to Kandahar, in order to reinforce the alliance’s efforts.[50] During its 2012 Chicago Summit, NATO endorsed a plan to end the Afghanistan war and to remove the NATO-led ISAF Forces by the end of December 2014.[51] ISAF was disestablished in December 2014 and replaced by the follow-on training Resolute Support Mission

In August 2004, during the Iraq War, NATO formed the NATO Training Mission Iraq, a training mission to assist the Iraqi security forces in conjunction with the US led MNF-I.[52] The NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I) was established at the request of the Iraqi Interim Government under the provisions of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546. The aim of NTM-I was to assist in the development of Iraqi security forces training structures and institutions so that Iraq can build an effective and sustainable capability that addresses the needs of the nation. NTM-I was not a combat mission but is a distinct mission, under the political control of NATO’s North Atlantic Council. Its operational emphasis was on training and mentoring. The activities of the mission were coordinated with Iraqi authorities and the US-led Deputy Commanding General Advising and Training, who was also dual-hatted as the Commander of NTM-I. The mission officially concluded on 17 December 2011.[53]

Turkey invoked the first Article 4 meetings in 2003 at the start of the Iraq War. Turkey also invoked this article twice in 2012 during the Syrian Civil War, after the downing of an unarmed Turkish F-4 reconnaissance jet, and after a mortar was fired at Turkey from Syria,[54] and again in 2015 after threats by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to its territorial integrity.[55]

Beginning on 17 August 2009, NATO deployed warships in an operation to protect maritime traffic in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean from Somali pirates, and help strengthen the navies and coast guards of regional states. The operation was approved by the North Atlantic Council and involves warships primarily from the United States though vessels from many other nations are also included. Operation Ocean Shield focuses on protecting the ships of Operation Allied Provider which are distributing aid as part of the World Food Programme mission in Somalia. Russia, China and South Korea have sent warships to participate in the activities as well.[56][57] The operation seeks to dissuade and interrupt pirate attacks, protect vessels, and abetting to increase the general level of security in the region.[58]

During the Libyan Civil War, violence between protestors and the Libyan government under Colonel Muammar Gaddafi escalated, and on 17 March 2011 led to the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which called for a ceasefire, and authorized military action to protect civilians. Acoalition that included several NATO members began enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya shortly afterwards, beginning with Opration Harmattan by the French Air Force on 19 March.

On 20 March 2011, NATO states agreed on enforcing an arms embargo against Libya with Operation Unified Protector using ships from NATO Standing Maritime Group1 and Standing Mine Countermeasures Group1,[59] and additional ships and submarines from NATO members.[60] They would “monitor, report and, if needed, interdict vessels suspected of carrying illegal arms or mercenaries”.[59]

On 24 March, NATO agreed to take control of the no-fly zone from the initial coalition, while command of targeting ground units remained with the coalition’s forces.[61][62] NATO began officially enforcing the UN resolution on 27 March 2011 with assistance from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.[63] By June, reports of divisions within the alliance surfaced as only eight of the 28 member nations were participating in combat operations,[64] resulting in a confrontation between US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and countries such as Poland, Spain, the Netherlands, Turkey, and Germany to contribute more, the latter believing the organization has overstepped its mandate in the conflict.[65][66][67] In his final policy speech in Brussels on 10 June, Gates further criticized allied countries in suggesting their actions could cause the demise of NATO.[68] The German foreign ministry pointed to “aconsiderable [German] contribution to NATO and NATO-led operations” and to the fact that this engagement was highly valued by President Obama.[69]

While the mission was extended into September, Norway that day announced it would begin scaling down contributions and complete withdrawal by 1 August.[70] Earlier that week it was reported Danish air fighters were running out of bombs.[71][72] The following week, the head of the Royal Navy said the country’s operations in the conflict were not sustainable.[73] By the end of the mission in October 2011, after the death of Colonel Gaddafi, NATO planes had flown about 9,500 strike sorties against pro-Gaddafi targets.[74][75] A report from the organization Human Rights Watch in May 2012 identified at least 72 civilians killed in the campaign.[76]Following a coup d’tat attempt in October 2013, Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan requested technical advice and trainers from NATO to assist with ongoing security issues.[77]

NATO has twenty-nine members, mainly in Europe and North America. Some of these countries also have territory on multiple continents, which can be covered only as far south as the Tropic of Cancer in the Atlantic Ocean, which defines NATO’s “area of responsibility” under Article 6 of the North Atlantic Treaty. During the original treaty negotiations, the United States insisted that colonies such as the Belgian Congo be excluded from the treaty.[79] French Algeria was however covered until their independence on 3 July 1962.[80] Twelve of these twenty-nine are original members who joined in 1949, while the other seventeen joined in one of seven enlargement rounds.

From the mid-1960s to the mid-1990s, France pursued a military strategy of independence from NATO under a policy dubbed “Gaullo-Mitterrandism”.[citation needed] Nicolas Sarkozy negotiated the return of France to the integrated military command and the Defence Planning Committee in 2009, the latter being disbanded the following year. France remains the only NATO member outside the Nuclear Planning Group and unlike the United States and the United Kingdom, will not commit its nuclear-armed submarines to the alliance.[15][23] Few members spend more than two percent of their gross domestic product on defence,[81] with the United States accounting for three quarters of NATO defense spending.[82]

New membership in the alliance has been largely from Central and Eastern Europe, including former members of the Warsaw Pact. Accession to the alliance is governed with individual Membership Action Plans, and requires approval by each current member. NATO currently has two candidate countries that are in the process of joining the alliance: Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia. North Macedonia signed an accession protocol to become a NATO member state in February 2019, which is undergoing ratification by the member states.[83] Its accession had been blocked by Greece for many years due to the Macedonia naming dispute, which was resolved in 2018 by the Prespa agreement.[84] In order to support each other in the process, new and potential members in the region formed the Adriatic Charter in 2003.[85] Georgia was also named as an aspiring member, and was promised “future membership” during the 2008 summit in Bucharest,[86] though in 2014, US President Barack Obama said the country was not “currently on a path” to membership.[87]

Russia continues to oppose further expansion, seeing it as inconsistent with informal understandings between Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and European and US negotiators that allowed for a peaceful German reunification.[88] NATO’s expansion efforts are often seen by Moscow leaders as a continuation of a Cold War attempt to surround and isolate Russia,[89] though they have also been criticised in the West.[90] A June 2016 Levada poll found that 68% of Russians think that deploying NATO troops in the Baltic states and Polandformer Eastern bloc countries bordering Russiais a threat to Russia.[91] In contrast 65% of Poles surveyed in 2017 Pew Research Center report identified Russia as a “major threat”, with an average of 31% saying so across all NATO countries[92], and 67% of Poles surveyed in 2018 favour US forces being based in Poland.[93] Of non-CIS Eastern European countries surveyed by Gallup in 2016, all but Serbia and Montenegro were more likely than not to view NATO as a protective alliance rather than a threat.[94]

Ukraine’s relationship with NATO and Europe has been politically controversial, and improvement of these relations was one of the goals of the “Euromaidan” protests that saw the ousting of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014. In March 2014, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk reiterated the government’s stance that Ukraine is not seeking NATO membership.[95] Ukraine’s president subsequently signed a bill dropping his nation’s nonaligned status in order to pursue NATO membership, but signaled that it would hold a referendum before seeking to join.[96] Ukraine is one of eight countries in Eastern Europe with an Individual Partnership Action Plan. IPAPs began in 2002, and are open to countries that have the political will and ability to deepen their relationship with NATO.[97]

A 2006 study in the journal Security Studies argued that NATO enlargement contributed to democratic consolidation in Central and Eastern Europe.[98]

The Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme was established in 1994 and is based on individual bilateral relations between each partner country and NATO: each country may choose the extent of its participation.[100] Members include all current and former members of the Commonwealth of Independent States.[101] The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) was first established on 29 May 1997, and is a forum for regular coordination, consultation and dialogue between all fifty participants.[102] The PfP programme is considered the operational wing of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership.[100] Other third countries also have been contacted for participation in some activities of the PfP framework such as Afghanistan.[103]

The European Union (EU) signed a comprehensive package of arrangements with NATO under the Berlin Plus agreement on 16 December 2002. With this agreement, the EU was given the possibility to use NATO assets in case it wanted to act independently in an international crisis, on the condition that NATO itself did not want to act the so-called “right of first refusal”.[104] For example, Article 42(7) of the 1982 Treaty of Lisbon specifies that “If a Member State is the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other Member States shall have towards it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power”. The treaty applies globally to specified territories whereas NATO is restricted under its Article 6 to operations north of the Tropic of Cancer. It provides a “double framework” for the EU countries that are also linked with the PfP programme.[citation needed]

Additionally, NATO cooperates and discusses its activities with numerous other non-NATO members. The Mediterranean Dialogue was established in 1994 to coordinate in a similar way with Israel and countries in North Africa. The Istanbul Cooperation Initiative was announced in 2004 as a dialog forum for the Middle East along the same lines as the Mediterranean Dialogue. The four participants are also linked through the Gulf Cooperation Council.[105]

Political dialogue with Japan began in 1990, and since then, the Alliance has gradually increased its contact with countries that do not form part of any of these cooperation initiatives.[106] In 1998, NATO established a set of general guidelines that do not allow for a formal institutionalisation of relations, but reflect the Allies’ desire to increase cooperation. Following extensive debate, the term “Contact Countries” was agreed by the Allies in 2000. By 2012, the Alliance had broadened this group, which meets to discuss issues such as counter-piracy and technology exchange, under the names “partners across the globe” or “global partners”.[107][108] Australia and New Zealand, both contact countries, are also members of the AUSCANNZUKUS strategic alliance, and similar regional or bilateral agreements between contact countries and NATO members also aid cooperation. Colombia is the NATOs latest partner and Colombia has access to the full range of cooperative activities NATO offers to partners; Colombia became the first and only Latin American country to cooperate with NATO.[109]

All agencies and organizations of NATO are integrated into either the civilian administrative or military executive roles. For the most part they perform roles and functions that directly or indirectly support the security role of the alliance as a whole.

The civilian structure includes:

The military structure includes:

The organizations and agencies of NATO include:

The NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) is a body that sets broad strategic goals for NATO, which meets at two session per year. NATO PA interacts directly with the parliamentary structures of the national governments of the member states which appoint Permanent Members, or ambassadors to NATO. The NATO Parliamentary Assembly is made up of legislators from the member countries of the North Atlantic Alliance as well as thirteen associate members. It is however officially a different structure from NATO, and has as aim to join together deputies of NATO countries in order to discuss security policies on the NATO Council.

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Noun1.NATO – an international organization created in 1949 by the North Atlantic Treaty for purposes of collective securityACLANT, Allied Command Atlantic – a major strategic headquarters of NATO located in the United States; is under the authority of the North Atlantic CouncilNAC, North Atlantic Council – a council consisting of permanent representatives of all the member countries of NATO; has political authority and powers of decisionDanmark, Denmark, Kingdom of Denmark – a constitutional monarchy in northern Europe; consists of the mainland of Jutland and many islands between the North Sea and the Baltic SeaKingdom of Norway, Noreg, Norge, Norway – a constitutional monarchy in northern Europe on the western side of the Scandinavian Peninsula; achieved independence from Sweden in 1905Ellas, Greece, Hellenic Republic – a republic in southeastern Europe on the southern part of the Balkan peninsula; known for grapes and olives and olive oilItalia, Italian Republic, Italy – a republic in southern Europe on the Italian Peninsula; was the core of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire between the 4th century BC and the 5th century ADCanada – a nation in northern North America; the French were the first Europeans to settle in mainland Canada; “the border between the United States and Canada is the longest unguarded border in the world”Portugal, Portuguese Republic – a republic in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula; Portuguese explorers and colonists in the 15th and 16th centuries created a vast overseas empire (including Brazil)Republic of Turkey, Turkey – a Eurasian republic in Asia Minor and the Balkans; on the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, the Young Turks, led by Kemal Ataturk, established a republic in 1923

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NATO – definition of NATO by The Free Dictionary

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During his visit to Bulgaria, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg received a #Martenitsa from Prime Minister – . Martenitsa is a traditional piece of adornment that consists of two small dolls, male and female. It is worn from Baba Marta Day (March 1) until the person who receives it sees the first stork, swallow of a blossoming tree.#WeAreNATO—-Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg praised #Bulgarias commitment to #NATO during a visit to Sofia. After talks with Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, the Secretary General thanked Bulgaria for its strong contributions to NATO missions in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Iraq, and its strategic role in the Black Sea and Western Balkans regions.

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NATO constantly reviews and transforms its policies, capabilities and structures to ensure that it can continue to address current and future challenges to the freedom and security of its members. Presently, Allied forces are required to carry out a wide range of missions across several continents; the Alliance needs to ensure that its armed forces remain modern, deployable, and capable of sustained operations.

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NATO – HISTORY

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In 1949, the prospect of further Communist expansion prompted the United States and 11 other Western nations to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The Soviet Union and its affiliated Communist nations in Eastern Europe founded a rival alliance, the Warsaw Pact, in 1955. The alignment of nearly every European nation into one of the two opposing camps formalized the political division of the European continent that had taken place since World War II (1939-45). This alignment provided the framework for the military standoff that continued throughout the Cold War (1945-91).

Conflict between the Western nations (including the United States, Great Britain, France and other countries) and the Communist Eastern bloc (led by the Union of Soviet Socialists Republics or USSR) began almost as soon as the guns fell silent at the end of World War II (1939-45). The USSR oversaw the installation of pro-Soviet governments in many of the areas it had taken from the Nazis during the war. In response, the U.S. and its Western allies sought ways to prevent further expansion of Communist influence on the European continent. In 1947, U.S. leaders introduced the Marshall Plan, a diplomatic initiative that provided aid to friendly nations to help them rebuild their war-damaged infrastructures and economies.

Did you know? NATO continued its existence beyond the Cold War era and gained new member nations in Eastern Europe during the late 1990s. That development was not well received by leaders of the Russian Federation and became a source of post-Cold War tension between the East and the West.

Events of the following year prompted American leaders to adopt a more militaristic stance toward the Soviets. In February 1948, a coup sponsored by the Soviet Union overthrew the democratic government of Czechoslovakia and brought that nation firmly into the Communist camp. Within a few days, U.S. leaders agreed to join discussions aimed at forming a joint security agreement with their European allies. The process gained new urgency in June of that year, when the USSR cut off ground access to Berlin, forcing the U.S., Britain and France to airlift supplies to their sectors of the German city, which had been partitioned between the Western Allies and the Soviets following World War II.

The discussions between the Western nations concluded on April 4, 1949, when the foreign ministers of 12 countries in North America and Western Europe gathered in Washington, D.C., to sign the North Atlantic Treaty. It was primarily a security pact, with Article 5 stating that a military attack against any of the signatories would be considered an attack against them all. When U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson (1893-1971) put his signature on the document, it reflected an important change in American foreign policy. For the first time since the 1700s, the U.S. had formally tied its security to that of nations in Europethe continent that had served as the flash point for both world wars.

The original membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) consisted of Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the United States. NATO formed the backbone of the Wests military bulwark against the USSR and its allies for the next 40 years, with its membership growing larger over the course of the Cold War era. Greece and Turkey were admitted in 1952, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) in 1955 and Spain in 1982. Unhappy with its role in the organization, France opted to withdraw from military participation in NATO in 1966 and did not return until 1995.

The formation of the Warsaw Pact was in some ways a response to the creation of NATO, although it did not occur until six years after the Western alliance came into being. It was more directly inspired by the rearming of West Germany and its admission into NATO in 1955. In the aftermath of World War I and World War II, Soviet leaders felt very apprehensive about Germany once again becoming a military powera concern that was shared by many European nations on both sides of the Cold War divide.

In the mid-1950s, however, the U.S. and a number of other NATO members began to advocate making West Germany part of the alliance and allowing it to form an army under tight restrictions. The Soviets warned that such a provocative action would force them to make new security arrangements in their own sphere of influence, and they were true to their word. West Germany formally joined NATO on May 5, 1955, and the Warsaw Pact was signed less than two weeks later, on May 14. Joining the USSR in the alliance were Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Hungary, Poland and Romania. This lineup remained constant until the Cold War ended with the dismantling of all the Communist governments in Eastern Europe in 1989 and 1990.

Like NATO, the Warsaw Pact focused on the objective of creating a coordinated defense among its member nations in order to deter an enemy attack. There was also an internal security component to the agreement that proved useful to the USSR. The alliance provided a mechanism for the Soviets to exercise even tighter control over the other Communist states in Eastern Europe and deter pact members from seeking greater autonomy. When Soviet leaders found it necessary to use military force to put down revolts in Hungary in 1956 and in Czechoslovakia in 1968, for example, they presented the action as being carried out by the Warsaw Pact rather than by the USSR alone.

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NATO – HISTORY

NATO | Founders, Members, & History | Britannica.com

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), military alliance established by the North Atlantic Treaty (also called the Washington Treaty) of April 4, 1949, which sought to create a counterweight to Soviet armies stationed in central and eastern Europe after World War II. Its original members were Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Joining the original signatories were Greece and Turkey (1952); West Germany (1955; from 1990 as Germany); Spain (1982); the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland (1999); Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia (2004); Albania and Croatia (2009); and Montenegro (2017). France withdrew from the integrated military command of NATO in 1966 but remained a member of the organization; it resumed its position in NATOs military command in 2009.

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20th-century international relations: The role of NATO

Russian assertiveness complicated Clintons efforts to recast NATO for the post-Cold War world. American neo-isolationists thought that

The heart of NATO is expressed in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, in which the signatory members agree that

an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all; and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

NATO invoked Article 5 for the first time in 2001, after terrorist attacks organized by exiled Saudi Arabian millionaire Osama bin Laden destroyed the World Trade Center in New York City and part of the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., killing some 3,000 people.

Article 6 defines the geographic scope of the treaty as covering an armed attack on the territory of any of the Parties in Europe or North America. Other articles commit the allies to strengthening their democratic institutions, to building their collective military capability, to consulting each other, and to remaining open to inviting other European states to join.

After World War II in 1945, western Europe was economically exhausted and militarily weak (the western Allies had rapidly and drastically reduced their armies at the end of the war), and newly powerful communist parties had arisen in France and Italy. By contrast, the Soviet Union had emerged from the war with its armies dominating all the states of central and eastern Europe, and by 1948 communists under Moscows sponsorship had consolidated their control of the governments of those countries and suppressed all noncommunist political activity. What became known as the Iron Curtain, a term popularized by Winston Churchill, had descended over central and eastern Europe. Further, wartime cooperation between the western Allies and the Soviets had completely broken down. Each side was organizing its own sector of occupied Germany, so that two German states would emerge, a democratic one in the west and a communist one in the east.

In 1948 the United States launched the Marshall Plan, which infused massive amounts of economic aid to the countries of western and southern Europe on the condition that they cooperate with each other and engage in joint planning to hasten their mutual recovery. As for military recovery, under the Brussels Treaty of 1948, the United Kingdom, France, and the Low CountriesBelgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourgconcluded a collective-defense agreement called the Western European Union. It was soon recognized, however, that a more formidable alliance would be required to provide an adequate military counterweight to the Soviets.

By this time Britain, Canada, and the United States had already engaged in secret exploratory talks on security arrangements that would serve as an alternative to the United Nations (UN), which was becoming paralyzed by the rapidly emerging Cold War. In March 1948, following a virtual communist coup dtat in Czechoslovakia in February, the three governments began discussions on a multilateral collective-defense scheme that would enhance Western security and promote democratic values. These discussions were eventually joined by France, the Low Countries, and Norway and in April 1949 resulted in the North Atlantic Treaty.

Spurred by the North Korean invasion of South Korea in June 1950, the United States took steps to demonstrate that it would resist any Soviet military expansion or pressures in Europe. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the leader of the Allied forces in western Europe in World War II, was named Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) by the North Atlantic Council (NATOs governing body) in December 1950. He was followed as SACEUR by a succession of American generals.

The North Atlantic Council, which was established soon after the treaty came into effect, is composed of ministerial representatives of the member states, who meet at least twice a year. At other times the council, chaired by the NATO secretary-general, remains in permanent session at the ambassadorial level. Just as the position of SACEUR has always been held by an American, the secretary-generalship has always been held by a European.

NATOs military organization encompasses a complete system of commands for possible wartime use. The Military Committee, consisting of representatives of the military chiefs of staff of the member states, subsumes two strategic commands: Allied Command Operations (ACO) and Allied Command Transformation (ACT). ACO is headed by the SACEUR and located at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Casteau, Belgium. ACT is headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, U.S. During the alliances first 20 years, more than $3 billion worth of infrastructure for NATO forcesbases, airfields, pipelines, communications networks, depotswas jointly planned, financed, and built, with about one-third of the funding from the United States. NATO funding generally is not used for the procurement of military equipment, which is provided by the member statesthough the NATO Airborne Early Warning Force, a fleet of radar-bearing aircraft designed to protect against a surprise low-flying attack, was funded jointly.

A serious issue confronting NATO in the early and mid-1950s was the negotiation of West Germanys participation in the alliance. The prospect of a rearmed Germany was understandably greeted with widespread unease and hesitancy in western Europe, but the countrys strength had long been recognized as necessary to protect western Europe from a possible Soviet invasion. Accordingly, arrangements for West Germanys safe participation in the alliance were worked out as part of the Paris Agreements of October 1954, which ended the occupation of West German territory by the western Allies and provided for both the limitation of West German armaments and the countrys accession to the Brussels Treaty. In May 1955 West Germany joined NATO, which prompted the Soviet Union to form the Warsaw Pact alliance in central and eastern Europe the same year. The West Germans subsequently contributed many divisions and substantial air forces to the NATO alliance. By the time the Cold War ended, some 900,000 troopsnearly half of them from six countries (United States, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Canada, and the Netherlands)were stationed in West Germany.

Frances relationship with NATO became strained after 1958, as President Charles de Gaulle increasingly criticized the organizations domination by the United States and the intrusion upon French sovereignty by NATOs many international staffs and activities. He argued that such integration subjected France to automatic war at the decision of foreigners. In July 1966 France formally withdrew from the military command structure of NATO and required NATO forces and headquarters to leave French soil; nevertheless, de Gaulle proclaimed continued French adherence to the North Atlantic Treaty in case of unprovoked aggression. After NATO moved its headquarters from Paris to Brussels, France maintained a liaison relationship with NATOs integrated military staffs, continued to sit in the council, and continued to maintain and deploy ground forces in West Germany, though it did so under new bilateral agreements with the West Germans rather than under NATO jurisdiction. In 2009 France rejoined the military command structure of NATO.

From its founding, NATOs primary purpose was to unify and strengthen the Western Allies military response to a possible invasion of western Europe by the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies. In the early 1950s NATO relied partly on the threat of massive nuclear retaliation from the United States to counter the Warsaw Pacts much larger ground forces. Beginning in 1957, this policy was supplemented by the deployment of American nuclear weapons in western European bases. NATO later adopted a flexible response strategy, which the United States interpreted to mean that a war in Europe did not have to escalate to an all-out nuclear exchange. Under this strategy, many Allied forces were equipped with American battlefield and theatre nuclear weapons under a dual-control (or dual-key) system, which allowed both the country hosting the weapons and the United States to veto their use. Britain retained control of its strategic nuclear arsenal but brought it within NATOs planning structures; Frances nuclear forces remained completely autonomous.

A conventional and nuclear stalemate between the two sides continued through the construction of the Berlin Wall in the early 1960s, dtente in the 1970s, and the resurgence of Cold War tensions in the 1980s after the Soviet Unions invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the election of U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1980. After 1985, however, far-reaching economic and political reforms introduced by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev fundamentally altered the status quo. In July 1989 Gorbachev announced that Moscow would no longer prop up communist governments in central and eastern Europe and thereby signaled his tacit acceptance of their replacement by freely elected (and noncommunist) administrations. Moscows abandonment of control over central and eastern Europe meant the dissipation of much of the military threat that the Warsaw Pact had formerly posed to western Europe, a fact that led some to question the need to retain NATO as a military organizationespecially after the Warsaw Pacts dissolution in 1991. The reunification of Germany in October 1990 and its retention of NATO membership created both a need and an opportunity for NATO to be transformed into a more political alliance devoted to maintaining international stability in Europe.

After the Cold War, NATO was reconceived as a cooperative-security organization whose mandate was to include two main objectives: to foster dialogue and cooperation with former adversaries in the Warsaw Pact and to manage conflicts in areas on the European periphery, such as the Balkans. In keeping with the first objective, NATO established the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (1991; later replaced by the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council) to provide a forum for the exchange of views on political and security issues, as well as the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program (1994) to enhance European security and stability through joint military training exercises with NATO and non-NATO states, including the former Soviet republics and allies. Special cooperative links were also set up with two PfP countries: Russia and Ukraine.

The second objective entailed NATOs first use of military force, when it entered the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995 by staging air strikes against Bosnian Serb positions around the capital city of Sarajevo. The subsequent Dayton Accords, which were initialed by representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, committed each state to respecting the others sovereignty and to settling disputes peacefully; it also laid the groundwork for stationing NATO peacekeeping troops in the region. A 60,000-strong Implementation Force (IFOR) was initially deployed, though a smaller contingent remained in Bosnia under a different name, the Stabilization Force (SFOR). In March 1999 NATO launched massive air strikes against Serbia in an attempt to force the Yugoslav government of Slobodan Miloevi to accede to diplomatic provisions designed to protect the predominantly Muslim Albanian population in the province of Kosovo. Under the terms of a negotiated settlement to the fighting, NATO deployed a peacekeeping force called the Kosovo Force (KFOR).

The crisis over Kosovo and the ensuing war gave renewed impetus to efforts by the European Union (EU) to construct a new crisis-intervention force, which would make the EU less dependent on NATO and U.S. military resources for conflict management. These efforts prompted significant debates about whether enhancing the EUs defensive capabilities would strengthen or weaken NATO. Simultaneously there was much discussion of the future of NATO in the post-Cold War era. Some observers argued that the alliance should be dissolved, noting that it was created to confront an enemy that no longer existed; others called for a broad expansion of NATO membership to include Russia. Most suggested alternative roles, including peacekeeping. By the start of the second decade of the 21st century, it appeared likely that the EU would not develop capabilities competitive with those of NATO or even seek to do so; as a result, earlier worries associated with the spectre of rivalry between the two Brussels-based organizations dissipated.

During the presidency of Bill Clinton (19932001), the United States led an initiative to enlarge NATO membership gradually to include some of the former Soviet allies. In the concurrent debate over enlargement, supporters of the initiative argued that NATO membership was the best way to begin the long process of integrating these states into regional political and economic institutions such as the EU. Some also feared future Russian aggression and suggested that NATO membership would guarantee freedom and security for the newly democratic regimes. Opponents pointed to the enormous cost of modernizing the military forces of new members; they also argued that enlargement, which Russia would regard as a provocation, would hinder democracy in that country and enhance the influence of hard-liners. Despite these disagreements, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland joined NATO in 1999; Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia were admitted in 2004; and Albania and Croatia acceded to the alliance in 2009.

Meanwhile, by the beginning of the 21st century, Russia and NATO had formed a strategic relationship. No longer considered NATOs chief enemy, Russia cemented a new cooperative bond with NATO in 2001 to address such common concerns as international terrorism, nuclear nonproliferation, and arms control. This bond was subsequently subject to fraying, however, in large part because of reasons associated with Russian domestic politics.

Events following the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001 led to the forging of a new dynamic within the alliance, one that increasingly favoured the military engagement of members outside Europe, initially with a mission against Taliban forces in Afghanistan beginning in the summer of 2003 and subsequently with air operations against the regime of Muammar al-Qaddafi in Libya in early 2011. As a result of the increased tempo of military operations undertaken by the alliance, the long-standing issue of burden sharing was revived, with some officials warning that failure to share the costs of NATO operations more equitably would lead to unraveling of the alliance. Most observers regarded that scenario as unlikely, however.

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NATO – YouTube

Every day, NATO Allies work and train together to keep our citizens safe. Through partnership and cooperation, NATO has secured peace and freedom for nearly 70 years.

Member Countries: NATO is a political-military alliance of 29 countries in Europe and North America. All Allies share fundamental values: individual liberty, democracy, and the rule of law.

Purpose: NATO safeguards the freedom and security of its member countries through diplomatic and military means. The Alliance also works to tackle threats including terrorism, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and cyber-attacks.

Solidarity: NATO members protect each other. The collective defence clause of NATOs founding treaty means that an attack against one Ally is considered to be an attack against all Allies.

Accountability: Member countries contribute to the cost of running NATO and implementing its policies and activities. The organisation is accountable to its member governments and their taxpayers.

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NATO – YouTube

Member states of NATO – Wikipedia

FlagMapEnglish common and formal names[6][7][8]Domestic common and formal names[6][7]Capital[8][9][10]Date of accessionPopulation[a][11]Area[a][12]NotesAlbania[i]

Republic of Albania

Albanian: Tiran

Kingdom of Belgium

French: Belgique Royaume de Belgique

German: Belgien Knigreich Belgien

Dutch: Brussel

French: Bruxelles

German: Brssel

Republic of Bulgaria

Bulgarian: (Sofia)

French: Canada

Republic of Croatia

Croatian: Zagreb

Czech: Praha

Kingdom of Denmark

Danish: Kbenhavn

Republic of Estonia

Estonian: Tallinn

French Republic

French: Paris

Federal Republic of Germany

German: Berlin

Hellenic Republic

Greek: (Athna)

Hungarian: Budapest

Republic of Iceland

Icelandic: Reykjavk

Italian Republic

Italian: Roma

Republic of Latvia

Latvian: Rga

Republic of Lithuania

Lithuanian: Vilnius

Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

French: Luxembourg Grand-Duch de Luxembourg

German: Luxemburg Groherzogtum Luxemburg

Luxembourgish: Ltzebuerg

French: Luxembourg

German: Luxemburg

Montenegrin: , Podgorica

Kingdom of the Netherlands

West Frisian: Nederln Keninkryk fan de Nederlannen

Papiamento: Hulandu Reino di Hulanda

The Hague (seat of government)

Dutch: Amsterdam

West Frisian: Amsterdam

Papiamento: Amsterdam

Dutch: ‘s-Gravenhage / Den Haag

West Frisian: De Haach

Papiamento: Den Haag

Kingdom of Norway

Nynorsk: Noreg Kongeriket Noreg

Northern Sami: Norga Norgga gonagasriika

Norwegian: Oslo

Republic of Poland

Polish: Warszawa

Portuguese Republic

Portuguese: Lisboa

Romanian: Bucureti

Slovak Republic

Slovak: Bratislava

Republic of Slovenia

Slovene: Ljubljana

Kingdom of Spain

Spanish: Madrid

Republic of Turkey

Turkish: Ankara

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Welsh: Deyrnas Unedig Teyrnas Unedig Prydain Fawr a Gogledd Iwerddon

United States of America

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NATO – Home | Facebook

During his visit to Bulgaria, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg received a #Martenitsa from Prime Minister – . Martenitsa is a traditional piece of adornment that consists of two small dolls, male and female. It is worn from Baba Marta Day (March 1) until the person who receives it sees the first stork, swallow of a blossoming tree.#WeAreNATO—-Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg praised #Bulgarias commitment to #NATO during a visit to Sofia. After talks with Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, the Secretary General thanked Bulgaria for its strong contributions to NATO missions in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Iraq, and its strategic role in the Black Sea and Western Balkans regions.

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NATO: Definition, Purpose, History, Members – The Balance

NATO is an alliance of 28 countries bordering the North Atlantic Ocean. It includesthe United States, most European Union members, Canada, and Turkey. NATO is an acronym for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

At the July 11, 2018, NATO summit, President Trump requested that NATO nations increase their defense spending to 4 percent of GDP. In 2017, the United States spent 4.5 percent. That’s $886 billion in military spending divided by $20 trillion in U.S. GDP.

Trump also criticized Germany for asking the United States to protect it from Russia while importing billions in natural gas from it.

Trump has accused NATO of being obsolete. He argued that the organization focuses on defending Europe against Russia instead of combating terrorism.Member countries worry that Trump’s criticism of NATO and praise of Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, mean they can no longer rely on the United States as an ally in case of attack.

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

At its July 11, 2018, meeting, NATO approvednew steps to contain Russia. These include two new military commands and expanded efforts against cyberwarfare and counterterrorism. It also contains a new plan to deter Russian aggression against Poland and the Baltic States. Trump agreed to these measures.

On November 16, 2015, NATO responded to theterrorist attacks in Paris. It called for a unified approach with the European Union, France, and NATO. France did notinvoke NATO’sArticle 5. That would be a formal declaration of war uponthe Islamic state group. France preferred to launch air strikes on its own. Article 5 states, “an armed attack upon one… shall be considered an attack upon them all.”

NATO’s protection does not extend to members’ civil wars or internal coups. On July 15, 2016, the Turkish military announced it had seized control of the government in a coup. But Turkish President Recep Erdogan announced early on July 16 that the coup had failed. As a NATO member, Turkey would receive its allies’ support in the case of an attack. But in case of a coup, the country will not get allied help.

NATO’s secondary purpose is to protect the stability of the region.

If the stability is threatened, NATO would defend non-members. On August 28,2014, NATO announcedit had photos proving that Russiainvaded Ukraine. Although Ukraine is not a member, it had worked with NATO over the years. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threatenednearby NATO members. They worried other former USSR satellite countries would be next.

As a result, NATO’sSeptember 2014 summitfocused on Russia’ aggression. President Putin vowed to create a “NewRussia” out of Ukraine’s eastern region.President Obamapledged to defend countries such as Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

NATO itself admits that “Peacekeeping has become at least as difficult as peacemaking.” As a result, NATO is strengthening alliances throughout the world. In the age of globalization, transatlantic peace has become a worldwide effort. Itextends beyond military might alone.

NATO’s 28 members are: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary,Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Each member designates an ambassador to NATO. They supply officials to serve on NATO committees. They send the appropriate official to discuss NATO business. That includes a countrys president, prime minister, foreign affairs minister or head of the department of defense.

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

NATO participates in three alliances. They expands its influence beyond its 28 member countries. The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council helps partners become NATO members.Itincludes 23 non-NATO countries that support NATO’s purpose. It beganin 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 in1994.

The Istanbul Cooperation Initiativeworks forpeace throughout the larger Middle East region.It includes four members of theGulf Cooperation Council. They are Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. It began in 2004.

NATO cooperates with eight other countries in joint security issues. There are five in Asia. They are Australia,Japan, Republic of Korea, Mongolia, and New Zealand. There are two in the Middle East: Afghanistan and Pakistan.

NATO’sprimary purpose was to defend member nations from threats by communist countries. The United States also wanted to maintain a presence in Europe. It soughtto prevent a resurgence of aggressive nationalism and foster political union. In this way, NATO made the formation of the European Union possible.U.S. military protection gave European nations the safety needed to rebuild after World War II’s devastation.

During the Cold War, NATO’s mission expanded to prevent nuclear war.

After West Germany joined NATO, thecommunistcountriesformed theWarsaw Pact alliance. That included the USSR, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and EastGermany. In response, NATO adopted the “Massive Retaliation” policy. It promised to usenuclear weaponsif the Pact attacked. NATO’sdeterrence policy allowed Europe to focus oneconomic development. It didn’t have to build large conventional armies.

The Soviet Union continued to build its military presence. By the end of theCold War, it was spending three times what the United Stateswas with only one-third the economic power. When theBerlin Wallfell in 1989, it was due to economic as well as ideological reasons.

After the USSR dissolved in the late 1980s, NATO’s relationship with Russia thawed. In 1997, they signed the NATO-Russia Founding Act to build bilateral cooperation. In 2002, they formed the NATO-Russia Council to partner on shared security issues.

The collapse of the USSR led to unrest in its former satellite states. NATO got involved when Yugoslavia’s civil war becamegenocide. NATO’s initial support of aUnited Nationsnaval embargo led to the enforcement of ano-fly zone. Violations then led to a few airstrikes until September 1999. That’s when NATO conducted a nine-day air campaign that ended the war. By December of that year, NATO deployed a peace-keeping force of 60,000 soldiers. That ended in 2004 when NATO transferred this function to theEuropean Union.

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NATO: Definition, Purpose, History, Members – The Balance

Nato | Define Nato at Dictionary.com

North Atlantic Treaty Organization, an international organization composed of the US, Canada, Britain, and a number of European countries: established by the North Atlantic Treaty (1949) for purposes of collective security. In 1994 it launched the Partnership for Peace initiative, in order to forge alliances with former Warsaw Pact countries; in 1997 a treaty of cooperation with Russia was signed and in 1999 Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic became full NATO members

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Nato | Define Nato at Dictionary.com

NATO – What does NATO stand for? The Free Dictionary

According to President of Lithuania the multinational NATO eFP Battalion Battle Group had become an integral part of Lithuanias defence.com/nato-funding-trump-bills-merkel-billions-money-owed-military-alliance-white-house-2515564) Trump Charges Merkel Billions For Money’Owed’ To US For NATO Protection,White House Denies ReportSo, here is the question: Can NATO be labeled the organization of the Free World while some of its members are authoritarian?NATO as the military bloc of west successfully completed this mission and prevented any danger to national security of member states.The event was dedicated to the opening of the NATO Summit in Wales and organised by the Office of the NATO Liaison Officer in Central Asia and the British and Italian Embassies in Tashkent together with UWED.Regarding Pakistan, he said that Pakistan should go to Brussels, speak to NATO and make its presences in shaping NATO agenda, and engage with NATO.In the second last section, the issue of Russian membership of NATO and the arguments for and against it are discussed.In Chicago, the President will address the Expanded ISAF Meeting of NATO and also meet various Heads of State and Government on the margins of the NATO Summit, the Foreign Ministry said.John Allen, Commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan updated NATO and ISAF Chiefs of Defence (CHODs) on the progress of the transition process.Another key item from the Lisbon Summit was the commitment to undertake the largest reorganization of NATO command structures to date.NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Germany was a strong ally, and thanked the country for its contributions to Afghanistan and Kosovo.In the lead-up to the war in Iraq, with the NATO allies sorely divided over whether to provide defensive measures to protect Turkey in the event that Iraq decided to attack, then US Ambassador to NATO, Nicholas Burns, referred to the political differences at NATO as a “crisis of credibility.

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NATO – What does NATO stand for? The Free Dictionary

NATO – HISTORY

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In 1949, the prospect of further Communist expansion prompted the United States and 11 other Western nations to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The Soviet Union and its affiliated Communist nations in Eastern Europe founded a rival alliance, the Warsaw Pact, in 1955. The alignment of nearly every European nation into one of the two opposing camps formalized the political division of the European continent that had taken place since World War II (1939-45). This alignment provided the framework for the military standoff that continued throughout the Cold War (1945-91).

Conflict between the Western nations (including the United States, Great Britain, France and other countries) and the Communist Eastern bloc (led by the Union of Soviet Socialists Republics or USSR) began almost as soon as the guns fell silent at the end of World War II (1939-45). The USSR oversaw the installation of pro-Soviet governments in many of the areas it had taken from the Nazis during the war. In response, the U.S. and its Western allies sought ways to prevent further expansion of Communist influence on the European continent. In 1947, U.S. leaders introduced the Marshall Plan, a diplomatic initiative that provided aid to friendly nations to help them rebuild their war-damaged infrastructures and economies.

Did you know? NATO continued its existence beyond the Cold War era and gained new member nations in Eastern Europe during the late 1990s. That development was not well received by leaders of the Russian Federation and became a source of post-Cold War tension between the East and the West.

Events of the following year prompted American leaders to adopt a more militaristic stance toward the Soviets. In February 1948, a coup sponsored by the Soviet Union overthrew the democratic government of Czechoslovakia and brought that nation firmly into the Communist camp. Within a few days, U.S. leaders agreed to join discussions aimed at forming a joint security agreement with their European allies. The process gained new urgency in June of that year, when the USSR cut off ground access to Berlin, forcing the U.S., Britain and France to airlift supplies to their sectors of the German city, which had been partitioned between the Western Allies and the Soviets following World War II.

The discussions between the Western nations concluded on April 4, 1949, when the foreign ministers of 12 countries in North America and Western Europe gathered in Washington, D.C., to sign the North Atlantic Treaty. It was primarily a security pact, with Article 5 stating that a military attack against any of the signatories would be considered an attack against them all. When U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson (1893-1971) put his signature on the document, it reflected an important change in American foreign policy. For the first time since the 1700s, the U.S. had formally tied its security to that of nations in Europethe continent that had served as the flash point for both world wars.

The original membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) consisted of Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the United States. NATO formed the backbone of the Wests military bulwark against the USSR and its allies for the next 40 years, with its membership growing larger over the course of the Cold War era. Greece and Turkey were admitted in 1952, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) in 1955 and Spain in 1982. Unhappy with its role in the organization, France opted to withdraw from military participation in NATO in 1966 and did not return until 1995.

The formation of the Warsaw Pact was in some ways a response to the creation of NATO, although it did not occur until six years after the Western alliance came into being. It was more directly inspired by the rearming of West Germany and its admission into NATO in 1955. In the aftermath of World War I and World War II, Soviet leaders felt very apprehensive about Germany once again becoming a military powera concern that was shared by many European nations on both sides of the Cold War divide.

In the mid-1950s, however, the U.S. and a number of other NATO members began to advocate making West Germany part of the alliance and allowing it to form an army under tight restrictions. The Soviets warned that such a provocative action would force them to make new security arrangements in their own sphere of influence, and they were true to their word. West Germany formally joined NATO on May 5, 1955, and the Warsaw Pact was signed less than two weeks later, on May 14. Joining the USSR in the alliance were Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Hungary, Poland and Romania. This lineup remained constant until the Cold War ended with the dismantling of all the Communist governments in Eastern Europe in 1989 and 1990.

Like NATO, the Warsaw Pact focused on the objective of creating a coordinated defense among its member nations in order to deter an enemy attack. There was also an internal security component to the agreement that proved useful to the USSR. The alliance provided a mechanism for the Soviets to exercise even tighter control over the other Communist states in Eastern Europe and deter pact members from seeking greater autonomy. When Soviet leaders found it necessary to use military force to put down revolts in Hungary in 1956 and in Czechoslovakia in 1968, for example, they presented the action as being carried out by the Warsaw Pact rather than by the USSR alone.

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NATO – HISTORY

NATO | Founders, Members, & History | Britannica.com

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), military alliance established by the North Atlantic Treaty (also called the Washington Treaty) of April 4, 1949, which sought to create a counterweight to Soviet armies stationed in central and eastern Europe after World War II. Its original members were Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Joining the original signatories were Greece and Turkey (1952); West Germany (1955; from 1990 as Germany); Spain (1982); the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland (1999); Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia (2004); Albania and Croatia (2009); and Montenegro (2017). France withdrew from the integrated military command of NATO in 1966 but remained a member of the organization; it resumed its position in NATOs military command in 2009.

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The heart of NATO is expressed in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, in which the signatory members agree that

an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all; and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

NATO invoked Article 5 for the first time in 2001, after terrorist attacks organized by exiled Saudi Arabian millionaire Osama bin Laden destroyed the World Trade Center in New York City and part of the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., killing some 3,000 people.

Article 6 defines the geographic scope of the treaty as covering an armed attack on the territory of any of the Parties in Europe or North America. Other articles commit the allies to strengthening their democratic institutions, to building their collective military capability, to consulting each other, and to remaining open to inviting other European states to join.

After World War II in 1945, western Europe was economically exhausted and militarily weak (the western Allies had rapidly and drastically reduced their armies at the end of the war), and newly powerful communist parties had arisen in France and Italy. By contrast, the Soviet Union had emerged from the war with its armies dominating all the states of central and eastern Europe, and by 1948 communists under Moscows sponsorship had consolidated their control of the governments of those countries and suppressed all noncommunist political activity. What became known as the Iron Curtain, a term popularized by Winston Churchill, had descended over central and eastern Europe. Further, wartime cooperation between the western Allies and the Soviets had completely broken down. Each side was organizing its own sector of occupied Germany, so that two German states would emerge, a democratic one in the west and a communist one in the east.

In 1948 the United States launched the Marshall Plan, which infused massive amounts of economic aid to the countries of western and southern Europe on the condition that they cooperate with each other and engage in joint planning to hasten their mutual recovery. As for military recovery, under the Brussels Treaty of 1948, the United Kingdom, France, and the Low CountriesBelgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourgconcluded a collective-defense agreement called the Western European Union. It was soon recognized, however, that a more formidable alliance would be required to provide an adequate military counterweight to the Soviets.

By this time Britain, Canada, and the United States had already engaged in secret exploratory talks on security arrangements that would serve as an alternative to the United Nations (UN), which was becoming paralyzed by the rapidly emerging Cold War. In March 1948, following a virtual communist coup dtat in Czechoslovakia in February, the three governments began discussions on a multilateral collective-defense scheme that would enhance Western security and promote democratic values. These discussions were eventually joined by France, the Low Countries, and Norway and in April 1949 resulted in the North Atlantic Treaty.

Spurred by the North Korean invasion of South Korea in June 1950, the United States took steps to demonstrate that it would resist any Soviet military expansion or pressures in Europe. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the leader of the Allied forces in western Europe in World War II, was named Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) by the North Atlantic Council (NATOs governing body) in December 1950. He was followed as SACEUR by a succession of American generals.

The North Atlantic Council, which was established soon after the treaty came into effect, is composed of ministerial representatives of the member states, who meet at least twice a year. At other times the council, chaired by the NATO secretary-general, remains in permanent session at the ambassadorial level. Just as the position of SACEUR has always been held by an American, the secretary-generalship has always been held by a European.

NATOs military organization encompasses a complete system of commands for possible wartime use. The Military Committee, consisting of representatives of the military chiefs of staff of the member states, subsumes two strategic commands: Allied Command Operations (ACO) and Allied Command Transformation (ACT). ACO is headed by the SACEUR and located at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Casteau, Belgium. ACT is headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, U.S. During the alliances first 20 years, more than $3 billion worth of infrastructure for NATO forcesbases, airfields, pipelines, communications networks, depotswas jointly planned, financed, and built, with about one-third of the funding from the United States. NATO funding generally is not used for the procurement of military equipment, which is provided by the member statesthough the NATO Airborne Early Warning Force, a fleet of radar-bearing aircraft designed to protect against a surprise low-flying attack, was funded jointly.

A serious issue confronting NATO in the early and mid-1950s was the negotiation of West Germanys participation in the alliance. The prospect of a rearmed Germany was understandably greeted with widespread unease and hesitancy in western Europe, but the countrys strength had long been recognized as necessary to protect western Europe from a possible Soviet invasion. Accordingly, arrangements for West Germanys safe participation in the alliance were worked out as part of the Paris Agreements of October 1954, which ended the occupation of West German territory by the western Allies and provided for both the limitation of West German armaments and the countrys accession to the Brussels Treaty. In May 1955 West Germany joined NATO, which prompted the Soviet Union to form the Warsaw Pact alliance in central and eastern Europe the same year. The West Germans subsequently contributed many divisions and substantial air forces to the NATO alliance. By the time the Cold War ended, some 900,000 troopsnearly half of them from six countries (United States, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Canada, and the Netherlands)were stationed in West Germany.

Frances relationship with NATO became strained after 1958, as President Charles de Gaulle increasingly criticized the organizations domination by the United States and the intrusion upon French sovereignty by NATOs many international staffs and activities. He argued that such integration subjected France to automatic war at the decision of foreigners. In July 1966 France formally withdrew from the military command structure of NATO and required NATO forces and headquarters to leave French soil; nevertheless, de Gaulle proclaimed continued French adherence to the North Atlantic Treaty in case of unprovoked aggression. After NATO moved its headquarters from Paris to Brussels, France maintained a liaison relationship with NATOs integrated military staffs, continued to sit in the council, and continued to maintain and deploy ground forces in West Germany, though it did so under new bilateral agreements with the West Germans rather than under NATO jurisdiction. In 2009 France rejoined the military command structure of NATO.

From its founding, NATOs primary purpose was to unify and strengthen the Western Allies military response to a possible invasion of western Europe by the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies. In the early 1950s NATO relied partly on the threat of massive nuclear retaliation from the United States to counter the Warsaw Pacts much larger ground forces. Beginning in 1957, this policy was supplemented by the deployment of American nuclear weapons in western European bases. NATO later adopted a flexible response strategy, which the United States interpreted to mean that a war in Europe did not have to escalate to an all-out nuclear exchange. Under this strategy, many Allied forces were equipped with American battlefield and theatre nuclear weapons under a dual-control (or dual-key) system, which allowed both the country hosting the weapons and the United States to veto their use. Britain retained control of its strategic nuclear arsenal but brought it within NATOs planning structures; Frances nuclear forces remained completely autonomous.

A conventional and nuclear stalemate between the two sides continued through the construction of the Berlin Wall in the early 1960s, dtente in the 1970s, and the resurgence of Cold War tensions in the 1980s after the Soviet Unions invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the election of U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1980. After 1985, however, far-reaching economic and political reforms introduced by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev fundamentally altered the status quo. In July 1989 Gorbachev announced that Moscow would no longer prop up communist governments in central and eastern Europe and thereby signaled his tacit acceptance of their replacement by freely elected (and noncommunist) administrations. Moscows abandonment of control over central and eastern Europe meant the dissipation of much of the military threat that the Warsaw Pact had formerly posed to western Europe, a fact that led some to question the need to retain NATO as a military organizationespecially after the Warsaw Pacts dissolution in 1991. The reunification of Germany in October 1990 and its retention of NATO membership created both a need and an opportunity for NATO to be transformed into a more political alliance devoted to maintaining international stability in Europe.

After the Cold War, NATO was reconceived as a cooperative-security organization whose mandate was to include two main objectives: to foster dialogue and cooperation with former adversaries in the Warsaw Pact and to manage conflicts in areas on the European periphery, such as the Balkans. In keeping with the first objective, NATO established the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (1991; later replaced by the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council) to provide a forum for the exchange of views on political and security issues, as well as the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program (1994) to enhance European security and stability through joint military training exercises with NATO and non-NATO states, including the former Soviet republics and allies. Special cooperative links were also set up with two PfP countries: Russia and Ukraine.

The second objective entailed NATOs first use of military force, when it entered the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995 by staging air strikes against Bosnian Serb positions around the capital city of Sarajevo. The subsequent Dayton Accords, which were initialed by representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, committed each state to respecting the others sovereignty and to settling disputes peacefully; it also laid the groundwork for stationing NATO peacekeeping troops in the region. A 60,000-strong Implementation Force (IFOR) was initially deployed, though a smaller contingent remained in Bosnia under a different name, the Stabilization Force (SFOR). In March 1999 NATO launched massive air strikes against Serbia in an attempt to force the Yugoslav government of Slobodan Miloevi to accede to diplomatic provisions designed to protect the predominantly Muslim Albanian population in the province of Kosovo. Under the terms of a negotiated settlement to the fighting, NATO deployed a peacekeeping force called the Kosovo Force (KFOR).

The crisis over Kosovo and the ensuing war gave renewed impetus to efforts by the European Union (EU) to construct a new crisis-intervention force, which would make the EU less dependent on NATO and U.S. military resources for conflict management. These efforts prompted significant debates about whether enhancing the EUs defensive capabilities would strengthen or weaken NATO. Simultaneously there was much discussion of the future of NATO in the post-Cold War era. Some observers argued that the alliance should be dissolved, noting that it was created to confront an enemy that no longer existed; others called for a broad expansion of NATO membership to include Russia. Most suggested alternative roles, including peacekeeping. By the start of the second decade of the 21st century, it appeared likely that the EU would not develop capabilities competitive with those of NATO or even seek to do so; as a result, earlier worries associated with the spectre of rivalry between the two Brussels-based organizations dissipated.

During the presidency of Bill Clinton (19932001), the United States led an initiative to enlarge NATO membership gradually to include some of the former Soviet allies. In the concurrent debate over enlargement, supporters of the initiative argued that NATO membership was the best way to begin the long process of integrating these states into regional political and economic institutions such as the EU. Some also feared future Russian aggression and suggested that NATO membership would guarantee freedom and security for the newly democratic regimes. Opponents pointed to the enormous cost of modernizing the military forces of new members; they also argued that enlargement, which Russia would regard as a provocation, would hinder democracy in that country and enhance the influence of hard-liners. Despite these disagreements, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland joined NATO in 1999; Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia were admitted in 2004; and Albania and Croatia acceded to the alliance in 2009.

Meanwhile, by the beginning of the 21st century, Russia and NATO had formed a strategic relationship. No longer considered NATOs chief enemy, Russia cemented a new cooperative bond with NATO in 2001 to address such common concerns as international terrorism, nuclear nonproliferation, and arms control. This bond was subsequently subject to fraying, however, in large part because of reasons associated with Russian domestic politics.

Events following the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001 led to the forging of a new dynamic within the alliance, one that increasingly favoured the military engagement of members outside Europe, initially with a mission against Taliban forces in Afghanistan beginning in the summer of 2003 and subsequently with air operations against the regime of Muammar al-Qaddafi in Libya in early 2011. As a result of the increased tempo of military operations undertaken by the alliance, the long-standing issue of burden sharing was revived, with some officials warning that failure to share the costs of NATO operations more equitably would lead to unraveling of the alliance. Most observers regarded that scenario as unlikely, however.

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NATO | Founders, Members, & History | Britannica.com


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