We explain what the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and member countries are. What's more. What are its characteristics and objectives?
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), also known as the Atlantic Alliance, Atlantic Alliance or North Atlantic Alliance, is a military-type intergovernmental alliance . It is based on the terms of the North Atlantic Treaty or Washington Treaty, signed in 1949.
It consists of a collective defense commitment . All member countries agree to act as a bloc in the event that one of them suffers military aggression by a foreign nation. Although his interventions are made in the name of world peace, his international role has been widely questioned.
This organization emerged in the context of the Cold War and was initially little more than a political alliance. However, it gained strength as its member countries became the world's leading capitalist powers.
NATO currently has 29 member countries , 21 collaborating countries within the Partnership for Peace program, and another fifteen in international dialogue programs. The combined military spending of its member countries in 2017 was 52% of total world spending.
NATO was created in 1949 , right after the Second World War .
It was motivated by the concern of Western powers over the expansion of the Soviet Union 's area of global influence .
The UN , a body created to mediate between countries, could not serve its purposes, since the USSR participated and had the right of veto.
That is why they sought to create an organization that would allow the extension of the military reciprocity treaties of the Western European Union. Thus, NATO was officially created with the signing of the Washington Treaty on April 4, 1949.
Since its foundation , various Western nations began to join , seeking the protection of Western powers. Even the USSR proposed to join NATO, with the aim of maintaining peace in Europe , but was rejected by the member countries. The consequence was the creation of the Warsaw Pact.
Other countries, such as France , withdrew alleging a hidden favoritism between the United States and the United Kingdom, which placed them as the heads of the organization .
The countries that initially signed the North Atlantic Treaty were Belgium, Canada, Denmark, the United States, France , Iceland , Italy , Luxembourg, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, and the United Kingdom .
The primary objective of this organization is to guarantee the freedom and security of its member states , through a joint action of political, diplomatic and military means. This is expressed in the following objectives:
Since it is a cooperation agreement, NATO has very few forces of its own, so it depends on the work of each of the member countries. However, NATO plays an important role in the direction and correlation of the forces of the member countries.
Among its functions are pointing out common enemies or even activating the reciprocity clause to ask its allies for a defensive retaliation against an external attacker. The latter has only happened once in history , and that was the United States in the 2001 war in Afghanistan.
NATO has two structures, depending on its purposes:
The countries that were part of it made up the socialist bloc or Eastern bloc : USSR, the People's Republic of Albania, the Democratic Republic of Germany , the People's Republic of Bulgaria, the Socialist Republic of Czechoslovakia, the People's Republic of Hungary, the People's Republic of Poland and the Socialist Republic of Romania.
This alliance, known as the Warsaw Pact, was called the Treaty of Friendship, Collaboration and Mutual Assistance , and was signed on May 14, 1955 under the leadership of the Soviet Union and its international policy. This pact was dissolved on July 1, 1991.
In addition, NATO's actions in different conflicts such as its intervention in Libya or in the former Yugoslavia were disapproved by the UN, rejected by international public opinion, and repudiated by UNESCO and various foreign ministers of the world. In general terms, it is a powerful organization, but repudiated .
Other countries are official aspirants to NATO membership, such as Georgia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sweden, Ukraine, and Finland.
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