North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a military alliance. It consists of 30 member countries, precisely from the northern Atlantic Ocean. During the Cold war, the twelve founding countries formed NATO in 1949. Furthermore, the organization also has a French name – Organisation du traité de l’Atlantique Nord (OTAN). Hence, it has two official languages – English and French.
At first, it served as mutual protection from Soviet threats. Due to the fall of the Soviet block, priorities changed. Nowadays, the goal is to promote democracy and global security. NATO resides in Brussels, Belgium.
Moreover, member countries participate in united drills. Therefore, in the case of a military emergency, the armies are prepared to cooperate. Also, an attack on one member state is an attack on all. However, the alliance focuses on diplomatic solutions. To further combat global security issues, NATO partners with 40 other countries. As a result, they guarantee world peace and security.
Furthermore, each member state is obligated to spend 2% of its GDP on defense. Despite this, only very few countries do so. However, the United States of America spends much more. Altogether, members of NATO spend 70% of the world’s total.
The structure of the alliance divides into two parts. Firstly, the political institution lead by Secretary-General. Hence, no military command role is attributed. Nonetheless, the position holds responsibility for coordinating the alliance, leading NATO’s international staff, and chairing the North Atlantic Council. Secondly, the military institution has two leaders.
- Chairman of the NATO Military Committee – advises the North Atlantic Council on military policy and strategy
- Supreme Allied Commander
Finally, NATO makes decisions based on a unanimous vote of the member countries. Altogether, NATO is the largest peacetime military alliance.
Member countries of NATO