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NATO – Wikipedia

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 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, 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, the first major NATO maritime exercises began; Exercise Mainbrace, and Greece and Turkey acceded.[12][13] In 1955 West Germany was also incorporated into NATO, which resulted 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 1989-1991 removed the de facto main adversary of NATO and caused a strategic re-evaluation of NATO’s purpose, nature, tasks, and their 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.

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.[18] 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,[19] 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[20] 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.

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][21][22]

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.

The Russian intervention in Crimea in 2014 lead 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.[23] At the subsequent 2014 Wales summit, the leaders of NATO’s member states formally committed for the first time spend the equivalent of at least 2% of their gross domestic products on defence by 2024, which had previously been only an informal guideline.[24]

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.[25]

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, during the Bosnian War, 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. This resulted in the taking of 150U.N. personnel hostage on 14 April.[28][29] On 16 April a British Sea Harrier was shot down over Gorade by Serb forces. A two-week NATO bombing campaign, Operation Deliberate Force, began in August 1995 against the Army of the Republika Srpska, after the Srebrenica massacre.[31]

NATO air strikes that year helped bring the Yugoslav wars to an end, resulting in the Dayton Agreement in November 1995.[31] 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.[33]

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,[34] which started a 78-day bombing campaign on 24 March 1999.[35] 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.[36]

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.[36][37] In AugustSeptember 2001, the alliance also mounted Operation Essential Harvest, a mission disarming ethnic Albanian militias in the Republic of Macedonia.[38] As of 1December2013[update], 4,882KFOR soldiers, representing 31countries, continue to operate in the area.[39]

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.[40] 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.[41]

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.[42] 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.[43]

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.[44]

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,[45] and ISAF subsequently expanded the mission in four main stages over the whole of the country.[46]

On 31 July 2006, the ISAF additionally took over military operations in the south of Afghanistan from a US-led anti-terrorism coalition.[47] 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.[48] 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.[49] 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.[50] 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.[51]

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,[52] and again in 2015 after threats by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to its territorial integrity.[53]

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.[54][55] The operation seeks to dissuade and interrupt pirate attacks, protect vessels, and abetting to increase the general level of security in the region.[56]

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 March 19.

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,[57] and additional ships and submarines from NATO members.[58] They would “monitor, report and, if needed, interdict vessels suspected of carrying illegal arms or mercenaries”.[57]

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.[59][60] NATO began officially enforcing the UN resolution on 27 March 2011 with assistance from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.[61] By June, reports of divisions within the alliance surfaced as only eight of the 28 member nations were participating in combat operations,[62] 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.[63][64][65] 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.[66] 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.[67]

While the mission was extended into September, Norway that day announced it would begin scaling down contributions and complete withdrawal by 1 August.[68] Earlier that week it was reported Danish air fighters were running out of bombs.[69][70] The following week, the head of the Royal Navy said the country’s operations in the conflict were not sustainable.[71] 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.[72][73] A report from the organization Human Rights Watch in May 2012 identified at least 72 civilians killed in the campaign.[74]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.[75]

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.[77] French Algeria was however covered until their independence on 3 July 1962.[78] 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][21] Few members spend more than two percent of their gross domestic product on defence,[79] with the United States accounting for three quarters of NATO defense spending.[80]

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 the Republic of Macedonia.In NATO official statements, the Republic of Macedonia is always referred to as the “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, with a footnote stating that “Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia under its constitutional name”. Though Macedonia completed its requirements for membership at the same time as Croatia and Albania, who joined NATO in 2009, its accession was blocked by Greece pending a resolution of the Macedonia naming dispute.[81] In order to support each other in the process, new and potential members in the region formed the Adriatic Charter in 2003.[82] Georgia was also named as an aspiring member, and was promised “future membership” during the 2008 summit in Bucharest,[83] though in 2014, US President Barack Obama said the country was not “currently on a path” to membership.[84]

Russia continues to oppose further expansion, seeing it as inconsistent with informal understandings between Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and European and American negotiators that allowed for a peaceful German reunification.[85] NATO’s expansion efforts are often seen by Moscow leaders as a continuation of a Cold War attempt to surround and isolate Russia,[86] though they have also been criticised in the West.[87] A June 2016 Levada poll found that 68% of Russians think that deploying NATO troops in the Baltic states and Poland former Eastern bloc countries bordering Russia is a threat to Russia.[88] 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[89], and 67% of Poles surveyed in 2018 favour US forces being based in Poland.[90] 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.[91]

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.[92] 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.[93] 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.[94]

A 2006 study in the journal Security Studies argued that NATO enlargement contributed to democratic consolidation in Central and Eastern Europe.[95]

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.[97] Members include all current and former members of the Commonwealth of Independent States.[98] 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.[99] The PfP programme is considered the operational wing of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership.[97] Other third countries also have been contacted for participation in some activities of the PfP framework such as Afghanistan.[100]

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”.[101] 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.

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.[102]

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.[103] 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”.[104][105] 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.[106]

All agencies and organizations of NATO 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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Merkel ist einfach ein AFD MENSCH. 1999 Starb der Vater von Merkel sein Name war Adolf Hitler

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NATO – Wikipedia

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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Member states of NATO – Wikipedia

This article is about the composition of NATO. For historical and future expansion of NATO, see Enlargement of NATO.

NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is an international alliance that consists of 29 member states from North America and Europe. It was established at the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949. Article Five of the treaty states that if an armed attack occurs against one of the member states, it should be considered an attack against all members, and other members shall assist the attacked member, with armed forces if necessary.[1]

Of the 29 member countries, two are located in North America (Canada and the United States) and 27 are European countries while Turkey is in Eurasia. All members have militaries, except for Iceland which does not have a typical army (but does, however, have a coast guard and a small unit of civilian specialists for NATO operations). Three of NATO’s members are nuclear weapons states: France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. NATO has 12 original founding member nation states, and from 18 February 1952 to 6 May 1955, it added three more member nations, and a fourth on 30 May 1982. After the end of the Cold War, NATO added 13 more member nations (10 former Warsaw Pact members and three former Yugoslav republics) from 12 March 1999 to 5 June 2017.

NATO has added new members seven times since its founding in 1949, and since 2017 NATO has had 29 members. Twelve countries were part of the founding of NATO: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1952, Greece and Turkey became members of the Alliance, joined later by West Germany (in 1955) and Spain (in 1982). In 1990, with the reunification of Germany, NATO grew to include the former country of East Germany. Between 1994 and 1997, wider forums for regional cooperation between NATO and its neighbors were set up, including the Partnership for Peace, the Mediterranean Dialogue initiative and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. In 1997, three former Warsaw Pact countries, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Poland, were invited to join NATO. After this fourth enlargement in 1999, the Vilnius group of the Baltics and seven East European countries formed in May 2000 to cooperate and lobby for further NATO membership. Seven of these countries joined in the fifth enlargement in 2004. The Adriatic States Albania and Croatia joined in the sixth enlargement in 2009, Montenegro in 2017.

United States President Donald Trump expressed interest in withdrawing from the organization during his 2016 presidential campaign, and only recently stated the United States would protect allies in the event that Article V is invoked.[2][3][4]

a Iceland has no armed forces.b 2015 data.

The United States has a larger defense expenditure than all other members combined.[6] Criticism of the organization by then newly elected US President Donald Trump caused various reactions from American and European political figures, ranging from ridicule to panic.[7][8][9] Pew Research Center’s 2016 survey among its member states showed that while most countries viewed NATO positively, most NATO members preferred keeping their military spending the same. The response to whether their country should militarily aid another NATO country if it were to get into a serious military conflict with Russia was also mixed. Only in the US and Canada did more than 50% of the people answer that they should.[10][11]

Population data from CIA World FactbookGDP data from IMF[13]Expenditure data (except Iceland) from SIPRI Military Expenditure Database,[14] Icelandic data (2013) from Statistics Iceland[15]Military personnel data from NATO[16]a Iceland has no armed forces.b 2015 data.

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Member states of NATO – Wikipedia

NATO – definition of NATO by The Free Dictionary

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

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

NATO – definition of NATO by The Free Dictionary

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

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 – 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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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.

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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.

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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 – NATO Vacancies

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AllAuditBuilding & Facility ManagementConference ManagementDefenceEngineeringExecutive ManagementInformation & Document ManagementInformation Communication TechnologyLinguistic ServicesManagement and Operations SupportOperationsPolitical AffairsPublic RelationsResearchSecurityAll

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AllAllied Command TransformationCentre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE)Collaboration Support Office (CSO)Headquarters Supreme Allied Commander TransformationHQ AIRCOMHQ MARCOMHQ NAEW & C Force GeilenkirchenInternational Military StaffJoint Analysis and Lessons Learned CentreJoint Force Command Brunssum NLDJoint Force Command NaplesJoint Force Training CentreJoint Warfare CentreLand Command HQNAGSMANATO CIS GroupNATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency)NATO Defense CollegeNATO International Staff (NATO IS)NATO STANDARDIZATION OFFICESCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ORGANIZATION (STO)Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe

AllAllied Command TransformationCentre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE)Collaboration Support Office (CSO)Headquarters Supreme Allied Commander TransformationHQ AIRCOMHQ MARCOMHQ NAEW & C Force GeilenkirchenInternational Military StaffJoint Analysis and Lessons Learned CentreJoint Force Command Brunssum NLDJoint Force Command NaplesJoint Force Training CentreJoint Warfare CentreLand Command HQNAGSMANATO CIS GroupNATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency)NATO Defense CollegeNATO International Staff (NATO IS)NATO STANDARDIZATION OFFICESCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ORGANIZATION (STO)Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe

AllAllied Command TransformationCentre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE)Collaboration Support Office (CSO)Headquarters Supreme Allied Commander TransformationHQ AIRCOMHQ MARCOMHQ NAEW & C Force GeilenkirchenInternational Military StaffJoint Analysis and Lessons Learned CentreJoint Force Command Brunssum NLDJoint Force Command NaplesJoint Force Training CentreJoint Warfare CentreLand Command HQNAGSMANATO CIS GroupNATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency)NATO Defense CollegeNATO International Staff (NATO IS)NATO STANDARDIZATION OFFICESCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ORGANIZATION (STO)Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe

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NATO – NATO Vacancies

Visas for Employees of International Organizations and NATO

Diplomats, government officials, and employees who will work for international organizations in the United States need G visas. Officials and employees of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) who will work for NATO in the United States need NATO visas. With the exception of a Head of State or Government who qualifies for an A visa regardless of the purpose of his or her visit to the United States, the type of visa required by a diplomat or other government official depends upon their purpose of travel to the United States.

If you are an employee of an international organization or NATO personnel who is physically present in the United States on assignment:

Requesting to renew (reapply for) your visa or that of an immediate family member,selectRenewing a G or NATO Visa in the United Statesto learn more. G-5 and NATO-7 visa holders must reapply for their visas outside the United States.

Requesting to change status into or out of G or NATO status,selectChange of Statusto/from A,G, NATO to learn more.

There are several steps to apply for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you apply. Please consult the instructions available on theembassy or consulate websitewhere you will apply.

As part of the visa application process, an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate is required for most visa applicants applying abroad. Embassies and consulates generally do not require an interview for those applying for G-1 – 4 and NATO-1 – 6 visas, although a consular officer can request an interview.

Personal employees, domestic workers, and attendants of the above visa holders, applying for G-5 or NATO-7 visas, are required to be interviewed. Review information in thePersonal Employeessection below.

All applicants for G and NATO visas should complete the following:

All applicants for G and NATO visas should gather and deliver the following required documents to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country:

Review the instructions for how to apply for a visa on the website of theembassy or consulatewhere you will apply. Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified.

Individuals who qualify for an official visa classification (A, G, C-3, NATO) are exempt from paying visa fees.

More About Visa Fees -Individuals holding diplomatic passports may be exempt from visa fees regardless of visa classification and purpose of travel, if they meet one of the qualifying categories. Possession of a diplomatic passport or the equivalent is not by itself sufficient to qualify for a no-fee diplomatic visa. The consular officer will make the determination whether the visa applicant qualifies for an exemption of fees under U.S. immigration laws. Official passport holders are not charged for official visas, but are required to pay visa application and reciprocal issuance fees, if applicable, for all non-official visas.

For A, G, and certain NATO visas, immediate family member is defined as:

1- Thespouseof the principal alien, who is not a member of some other household and who will reside regularly in the household of the principal alien, or

2-unmarried legal sons and daughtersof the principal alien, who are not members of some other household and who will reside regularly in the household of the principal alien, provided that such unmarried sons and daughters are:

If a son or daughter does not qualify as immediate family under this section, he or she may still qualify under section 3:

3- Immediate family member may also include any other person who:

Aliens who may qualify for immediate family status on this basis include: any other relative, by blood, marriage, or adoption, of the principal alien or his/her spouse; a same-sex domestic partner; and a relative by blood, marriage, or adoption of the same-sex domestic partner. The term “domestic partner” means a same-sex domestic partner. Domestic partners may be issued A or G visas if the sending country would provide reciprocal treatment to domestic partners of U.S. citizen government and international organization officials and employees.

For NATO visas, immediate family member means the spouse or child of a member depending on him or her for support.

Personal employees, attendants, domestic workers, or servants of individuals who hold a valid G-1 through G-4, or NATO-1 through NATO-6 visa, may be issued a G-5 or a NATO-7 visa, if they meet the requirements.

The employment contract must be in English and, if the employee does not understand English, also in a language the employee understands.

Employment Contractsigned by both the employer and the employee which must include each of the following items:

The contract must state that wages will be paid to the domestic employee either weekly or biweekly. As of March 2011, the Department determined that no deductions are allowed for lodging, medical care, medical insurance, or travel. As of April 2012, deductions taken for meals are also no longer allowed.

Important Notices:Employers and Personal Employees/Domestic Workersare advised to keep their passport and a copy of their contract in their possession. They should not surrender their contract and/or passport to their employer. Personal employees and domestic workers are advised that they will be subject to U.S. law while in the United States, and that their contracts provide working arrangements that theemployeris expected to respect.

There are several steps to apply for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary at the U.S. embassy or consulate where you apply. As part of the application process, an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate outside the United States is required. The employer and/or recruitment agent does not attend the interview.

You must schedule an appointment for your visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. Please consult the instructions available on theembassy or consulate website.

Visa applicants for G-5 and NATO-7 visas must submit each of the items explained in this webpage and How to Apply sections including:

Learn about your rights in the United States and protection available to you by reading theLegal Rights and Protectionspamphlet, before applying for your visa.

During your visa interview, a consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa. You must establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive a G-5 or NATO-7 visa.

Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken as part of your application process. They are usually taken during your interview, but this varies based on location.

After your visa interview, your application may require furtheradministrative processing. You will be informed by the consular officer if further processing is necessary for your application.

If the visa is approved, you will be informed how your passport with visa will be returned to you.

Personal employees should keep their passport and a copy of their contract in their possession. They should not surrender their contract and passport to their employer under any circumstances. Personal employees should understand that their contracts provide working arrangements that the employer is expected to respect.

Recent changes to U.S. law relate to the legal rights of certain employment-based nonimmigrants under Federal immigration, labor, and employment laws and the information to be provided about protections and available resources. Employers, as well as personal employees, should review the Nonimmigrant Rights, Protections and Resources pamphlet explained above.

Personal employees and domestic workers should understand that they must follow U.S. laws while in the United States.

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Visas for Employees of International Organizations and NATO

Nato | Define Nato at Dictionary.com

[ney-toh]

ExamplesWord Origin

N(orth) A(tlantic) T(reaty) O(rganization)

Dictionary.com UnabridgedBased on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Random House, Inc. 2018

In his statement, Rigi named Naser Boledi as a main mediator between him and representatives of NATO.

This must be added to our national security priorities and those of NATO.

Turkey, a NATO member and European Union aspirant, has a long history of jailing journalists and dissenters.

It took more than a dozen years for the Afghan and NATO forces to really understand each other, but all that will soon be history.

Turkey has been a candidate to the European Union since 1999 and a staunch NATO partner since 1952.

NATO and the international peacekeeping force against an unholy and, until recently, improbable alliance.

NATO, struggling to redefine itself and perpetuate its totally superfluous existence.

Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

acronym of North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which was set up in 1949.

Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010 Douglas Harper

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Nato | Define Nato at Dictionary.com

U.S. Mission to NATO

3 October, 2018 | Ambassador, NATO Ministerials, Transcripts

Briefing with Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO October 2, 2018 Moderator: Greetings to everyone from the U.S. Department of State.

2 October, 2018 | Ambassador, NATO Ministerials, Transcripts

Kay Bailey Hutchison U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO Press Briefing October 2, 2018 Ambassador Hutchison: Welcome. And thank you all for getting here. I

24 September, 2018 | Ambassador, Speeches, Transcripts

Ambassador Hutchisons address at Oxford Analyticas Global Horizons 2018 Conference Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England Friday, September 21, 2018 I would like to start by thanking

11 September, 2018 | Ambassador, News, Press Releases, U.S. & NATO

United States Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 11 September 2018 Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison Commemorates 9/11 Attacks at NATO Memorial

11 September, 2018 | Ambassador, U.S. & NATO

Ambassador Hutchisons Remarks to Commemorate the September 11 Attacks at the 9/11 and Article 5 Memorial NATO HQ Tuesday, September 11, 2018 Thank

10 July, 2018 | Ambassador, NATO Summits, News, Transcripts

Kay Bailey Hutchison U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO NATO Press Briefing July 10, 2018 Ambassador Hutchison: Good afternoon. Well thank you very much for

6 June, 2018 | Ambassador, NATO Ministerials, News, Secretary Mattis, Transcripts

Kay Bailey Hutchison U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO Telephonic Briefing June 6, 2018 Moderator: Greetings to everyone from the U.S.-European Media Hub in Brussels.

6 June, 2018 | Ambassador, NATO Ministerials, News, Secretary Mattis, Transcripts

Kay Bailey Hutchison U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO NATO Press Briefing June 6, 2018 Ambassador Hutchison: Hello. This is a new arena and a

25 May, 2018 | Ambassador, News, Press Releases

United States Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 25 May 2018 Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchisons Visit to Washington: NATO is

22 May, 2018 | Ambassador, News, Press Releases

United States Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 22 May 2018 U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison

16 May, 2018 | Ambassador, News, President of the United States, Press Releases

United States Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 16 May 2018 U.S. Ambassador to NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison Travels

26 April, 2018 | Ambassador, NATO Ministerials, News, Transcripts

Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO Pre-Ministerial Press Briefing April 26, 2018 Ambassador Hutchison: Good afternoon. Im so pleased to

26 April, 2018 | Ambassador, NATO Ministerials, News, Transcripts

Kay Bailey Hutchison U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO Telephonic Briefing April 26, 2018 Moderator: Greetings to everyone from the U.S. Department of State. I

16 April, 2018 | Ambassador, News, Press Releases

United States Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 16 April 2018 Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchisons Visit to Kyiv: NATOs Partnership

14 April, 2018 | Ambassador, News, Press Releases

United States Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 14 April 2018 Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison on the North Atlantic

12 April, 2018 | Ambassador, News, Press Releases

United States Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 12 April 2018 Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchisons Visit to London: The

11 April, 2018 | Ambassador, News, Press Releases

United States Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 11 April 2018 U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison Travels to

9 April, 2018 | Ambassador, News, Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATERELEASE 9April 2018 Ambassador Kay Bailey HutchisonVisit to Texas: NATO is the Cornerstone of U.S. and Transatlantic Security Brussels, Belgium U.S.Permanent Representativeto

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U.S. Mission to NATO

Member states of NATO – Wikipedia

This article is about the composition of NATO. For historical and future expansion of NATO, see Enlargement of NATO.

NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is an international alliance that consists of 29 member states from North America and Europe. It was established at the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949. Article Five of the treaty states that if an armed attack occurs against one of the member states, it should be considered an attack against all members, and other members shall assist the attacked member, with armed forces if necessary.[1]

Of the 29 member countries, two are located in North America (Canada and the United States) and 27 are European countries while Turkey is in Eurasia. All members have militaries, except for Iceland which does not have a typical army (but does, however, have a coast guard and a small unit of civilian specialists for NATO operations). Three of NATO’s members are nuclear weapons states: France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. NATO has 12 original founding member nation states, and from 18 February 1952 to 6 May 1955, it added three more member nations, and a fourth on 30 May 1982. After the end of the Cold War, NATO added 13 more member nations (10 former Warsaw Pact members and three former Yugoslav republics) from 12 March 1999 to 5 June 2017.

NATO has added new members seven times since its founding in 1949, and since 2017 NATO has had 29 members. Twelve countries were part of the founding of NATO: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1952, Greece and Turkey became members of the Alliance, joined later by West Germany (in 1955) and Spain (in 1982). In 1990, with the reunification of Germany, NATO grew to include the former country of East Germany. Between 1994 and 1997, wider forums for regional cooperation between NATO and its neighbors were set up, including the Partnership for Peace, the Mediterranean Dialogue initiative and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. In 1997, three former Warsaw Pact countries, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Poland, were invited to join NATO. After this fourth enlargement in 1999, the Vilnius group of the Baltics and seven East European countries formed in May 2000 to cooperate and lobby for further NATO membership. Seven of these countries joined in the fifth enlargement in 2004. The Adriatic States Albania and Croatia joined in the sixth enlargement in 2009, Montenegro in 2017.

United States President Donald Trump expressed interest in withdrawing from the organization during his 2016 presidential campaign, and only recently stated the United States would protect allies in the event that Article V is invoked.[2][3][4]

a Iceland has no armed forces.b 2015 data.

The United States has a larger defense expenditure than all other members combined.[6] Criticism of the organization by then newly elected US President Donald Trump caused various reactions from American and European political figures, ranging from ridicule to panic.[7][8][9] Pew Research Center’s 2016 survey among its member states showed that while most countries viewed NATO positively, most NATO members preferred keeping their military spending the same. The response to whether their country should militarily aid another NATO country if it were to get into a serious military conflict with Russia was also mixed. Only in the US and Canada did more than 50% of the people answer that they should.[10][11]

Population data from CIA World FactbookGDP data from IMF[13]Expenditure data (except Iceland) from SIPRI Military Expenditure Database,[14] Icelandic data (2013) from Statistics Iceland[15]Military personnel data from NATO[16]a Iceland has no armed forces.b 2015 data.

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Member states of NATO – Wikipedia

NATO – Home | Facebook

The Netherlands briefed NATO Defence Ministers yesterday on the targeting of the offices of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague by a hostile cyber operation.

The operation was carried out by the GRU, the Russian military intelligence service, but was disrupted by Dutch intelligence services in partnership with the UK. Moreover, the UK has identified the GRU as being behind a number of other cyber-attacks around the world. These have affected citizens in many countries, including Russia, and caused enormous economic costs.

– click below for the full statement by #NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg – #DefMin

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NATO – Home | Facebook

NATO – Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), or North Atlantic Alliance, the Atlantic Alliance, the Western Alliance, is a military alliance. It was established in 1949, by the North Atlantic Treaty signed in Washington, D.C., USA, on April 4, 1949. Its headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium. Its other official name means the same in French, Organisation du Trait de l’Atlantique Nord (OTAN).

NATO has two official languages, English and French, as defined in Article 14 of the North Atlantic Treaty.

Its members in 1949 were: The United States, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, the United Kingdom, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. Three years later, on 18 February 1952, Greece and Turkey also joined.

When West Germany joined the organization on 9 May 1955 it was described as “a decisive turning point in the history of our continent” by Halvard Lange, Foreign Minister of Norway at the time.,[2] the result was the Warsaw Pact, signed on 14 May 1955 by the Soviet Union and its satellite states as response to NATO.

After the Cold War in 1999 three former communist countries, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Poland joined the NATO. On 29 March 2004 seven more Northern European and Eastern European countries joined NATO: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and also Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania.

Croatia and Albania received NATO membership invitation on 3 April 2008. Republic of Macedonia received only conditional invitation because it was vetoed by Greece due to Republic of Macedonia’s name dispute with Greece.

Montenegro joined in 2017.[source?]

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NATO – Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Trumps ambassador to NATO sets off diplomatic incident with …

Paul Sonne

National security reporter focusing on the U.S. military

BRUSSELS The U.S. ambassador to NATO set off alarm bells Tuesday when she suggested that the United States might take out Russian missiles that U.S. officials say violate a landmark arms control treaty.

Although Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchisons comments were somewhat ambiguous, arms control experts said they could be interpreted to mean a preemptive strike. Such a move could lead to nuclear war.

Only after the comments drew a furious response from the Russian Foreign Ministrydid Hutchison clarify on Twitter that shewas not talking about preemptively striking Russia. But the diplomatic damage was already done.

The impression is that people making such claims are unaware of the degree of their responsibility and the danger of aggressive rhetoric, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters, the Interfax news agency reported. Who authorized this lady to make such allegations? The American people? Do ordinary Americans know that they are paying out of their pockets for so-called diplomats who behave so aggressively and destructively?

Russia denies violating the treaty.

Asked during a news conference at NATO headquarters what the United States might do about a new class of Russian missiles that appear to violate the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, Hutchison said, The countermeasures would be to take out the missiles that are in development by Russia in violation of the treaty.

Before Hutchison clarified her position, more than nine hours after her initial remarks, it was unclear whether she meant that the United States would target Russias banned missile installations if Moscow doesnt come back into compliance, or whether she was warning that the United States would enhance its missile defenses so it could take out any banned missiles Russia decided to launch at U.S. or allied targets. The United States currently has limited ability to defend against cruise missile threats.

The question was what would you do if this continues to a point where we know that they are capable of delivering the banned missiles, Hutchison said. And at that point we would then be looking at a capability to take out a missile that could hit any of our countries in Europe and hit America in Alaska.

The treaty, which the United States and the Soviet Union signed in 1987, prohibits the production and deployment of nuclear and conventional missiles that fly from 500 to 5,500 kilometers. It applies to ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles.

NATO defense ministers plan to address the alleged Russian violations at a Brussels meeting on Wednesday and Thursday.

Hutchison, a former Republican senator from Texas, has been President Trumps ambassador to NATO for just over a year.

She does threaten preemption. She just didnt mean it, said Jeffrey Lewis, an arms control scholar at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

Welcome to NATO! You have one job: to not start nuclear war with Russia, he joked. As an expert, I am used to politicians, including politicians who have been appointed as ambassadors, badly mangling simple things. So my default assumption was that she was badly mangling pretty common talking points.

Hutchisons comments set off a flurry of anxiety on Twitter, where arms control experts speculated about what she meant. Several pointed out that taking countermeasures against undeployed missiles that are still in development by definition would be a preemptive strike.

Russia has long feared that U.S. missile shields could be used covertly to preemptively target the man who controls the Russian nuclear arsenal Russian President Vladimir Putin. Although U.S. officials have long denied that is the purpose of their missile defense efforts, Hutchisons comments fed directly into the Russian concerns.

Zakharova said that Russian military experts were preparing a more technical response to Hutchison.

During the final years of the Obama administration, the State Department regularly stated that Russia was violating the treaty but stopped short of specifying which Russian weapon was going against the pact. Last year, Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Russia had violated the treatys spirit and intent by deploying a ground-based cruise missile.

Russia has accused the United States of violating the treaty with its Aegis Ashore missile defense installations in Romania and a similar installation still in the works in Poland, claiming that those platforms could launch Tomahawk cruise missiles in violation of the treaty. The United States has denied those accusations, saying the system launches only SM-3 interceptor missiles not covered by the pact.

Efforts by U.S. diplomats to bring Russia back into compliance with the treaty, including meetings between American and Russian officials as part of the pacts enforcement mechanism, have so far come up short. Under direction from Congress and to ratchet up pressure, the Pentagon has begun drawing up plans for a banned missile that the United States could deploy quickly if the treaty formally falls apart.

The treaty bans only production, testing and use of intermediate-range missiles; research and development isnt prohibited.

The dispute over the INF Treaty has also prompted the U.S. military to consider stepping up defenses against cruise missile threats from Russia in Europe. The Pentagon had drawn up a draft of the Trump administrations new missile defense policy early this year, but top officials sent it back to the drawing board after demanding that itmore thoroughly address the Russian cruise missile threat in Europe.

One possible step would be to stand up a better sensor network that could track any Russian cruise missiles from the moment of their launch at a European target. The Pentagon is also looking at technologies that could be put in place to shoot down missiles heading toward specific targets an effort Hutchison might have been referencing in her remarks.

This treaty is in danger because of Russias actions, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenbergtold reporters. All allies agree that the most plausible assessment would be that Russia is in violation of the treaty. It is therefore urgent that Russia addresses these concerns in a substantial and transparent manner.

paul.sonne@washpost.com

Sonne reported from Washington.

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Trumps ambassador to NATO sets off diplomatic incident with …

NATO – Wikipedia

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 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, 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, the first major NATO maritime exercises began; Exercise Mainbrace, and Greece and Turkey acceded.[12][13] In 1955 West Germany was also incorporated into NATO, which resulted 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 1989-1991 removed the de facto main adversary of NATO and caused a strategic re-evaluation of NATO’s purpose, nature, tasks, and their 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.

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.[18] 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,[19] 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[20] 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.

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][21][22]

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.

The Russian intervention in Crimea in 2014 lead 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.[23] At the subsequent 2014 Wales summit, the leaders of NATO’s member states formally committed for the first time spend the equivalent of at least 2% of their gross domestic products on defence by 2024, which had previously been only an informal guideline.[24]

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.[25]

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, during the Bosnian War, 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. This resulted in the taking of 150U.N. personnel hostage on 14 April.[28][29] On 16 April a British Sea Harrier was shot down over Gorade by Serb forces. A two-week NATO bombing campaign, Operation Deliberate Force, began in August 1995 against the Army of the Republika Srpska, after the Srebrenica massacre.[31]

NATO air strikes that year helped bring the Yugoslav wars to an end, resulting in the Dayton Agreement in November 1995.[31] 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.[33]

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,[34] which started a 78-day bombing campaign on 24 March 1999.[35] 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.[36]

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.[36][37] In AugustSeptember 2001, the alliance also mounted Operation Essential Harvest, a mission disarming ethnic Albanian militias in the Republic of Macedonia.[38] As of 1December2013[update], 4,882KFOR soldiers, representing 31countries, continue to operate in the area.[39]

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.[40] 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.[41]

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.[42] 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.[43]

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.[44]

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,[45] and ISAF subsequently expanded the mission in four main stages over the whole of the country.[46]

On 31 July 2006, the ISAF additionally took over military operations in the south of Afghanistan from a US-led anti-terrorism coalition.[47] 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.[48] 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.[49] 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.[50] 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.[51]

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,[52] and again in 2015 after threats by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to its territorial integrity.[53]

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.[54][55] The operation seeks to dissuade and interrupt pirate attacks, protect vessels, and abetting to increase the general level of security in the region.[56]

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 March 19.

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,[57] and additional ships and submarines from NATO members.[58] They would “monitor, report and, if needed, interdict vessels suspected of carrying illegal arms or mercenaries”.[57]

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.[59][60] NATO began officially enforcing the UN resolution on 27 March 2011 with assistance from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.[61] By June, reports of divisions within the alliance surfaced as only eight of the 28 member nations were participating in combat operations,[62] 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.[63][64][65] 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.[66] 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.[67]

While the mission was extended into September, Norway that day announced it would begin scaling down contributions and complete withdrawal by 1 August.[68] Earlier that week it was reported Danish air fighters were running out of bombs.[69][70] The following week, the head of the Royal Navy said the country’s operations in the conflict were not sustainable.[71] 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.[72][73] A report from the organization Human Rights Watch in May 2012 identified at least 72 civilians killed in the campaign.[74]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.[75]

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.[77] French Algeria was however covered until their independence on 3 July 1962.[78] 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][21] Few members spend more than two percent of their gross domestic product on defence,[79] with the United States accounting for three quarters of NATO defense spending.[80]

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 the Republic of Macedonia.In NATO official statements, the Republic of Macedonia is always referred to as the “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, with a footnote stating that “Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia under its constitutional name”. Though Macedonia completed its requirements for membership at the same time as Croatia and Albania, who joined NATO in 2009, its accession was blocked by Greece pending a resolution of the Macedonia naming dispute.[81] In order to support each other in the process, new and potential members in the region formed the Adriatic Charter in 2003.[82] Georgia was also named as an aspiring member, and was promised “future membership” during the 2008 summit in Bucharest,[83] though in 2014, US President Barack Obama said the country was not “currently on a path” to membership.[84]

Russia continues to oppose further expansion, seeing it as inconsistent with informal understandings between Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and European and American negotiators that allowed for a peaceful German reunification.[85] NATO’s expansion efforts are often seen by Moscow leaders as a continuation of a Cold War attempt to surround and isolate Russia,[86] though they have also been criticised in the West.[87] A June 2016 Levada poll found that 68% of Russians think that deploying NATO troops in the Baltic states and Poland former Eastern bloc countries bordering Russia is a threat to Russia.[88] 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[89], and 67% of Poles surveyed in 2018 favour US forces being based in Poland.[90] 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.[91]

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.[92] 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.[93] 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.[94]

A 2006 study in the journal Security Studies argued that NATO enlargement contributed to democratic consolidation in Central and Eastern Europe.[95]

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.[97] Members include all current and former members of the Commonwealth of Independent States.[98] 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.[99] The PfP programme is considered the operational wing of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership.[97] Other third countries also have been contacted for participation in some activities of the PfP framework such as Afghanistan.[100]

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”.[101] 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.

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.[102]

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.[103] 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”.[104][105] 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.[106]

All agencies and organizations of NATO 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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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 – 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.

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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.

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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


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