North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a military alliance formed in 1949 by 12 countries, including the US, Canada, the UK, and France.
Members agree to come to one another’s aid in the event of an armed attack against any one member state. Its point was initially to counter the danger of post-war Russian extension in Europe.
In 1955 Soviet Russia answered to Nato by making its own tactical union of eastern European socialist nations, called the Warsaw Pact.
Following the breakdown of the Soviet Union in 1991, various previous Warsaw Pact nations exchanged sides and became Nato individuals. The union currently has 30 members.
Founded in 1949 as a bulwark against Soviet aggression, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) remains the pillar of U.S.-European military cooperation.
An expanding bloc of NATO allies has taken on a broad range of missions since the close of the Cold War, many well beyond the Euro-Atlantic region.
President Joe Biden has sought to recommit the United States to NATO and mend transatlantic ties that became strained under the Donald Trump administration.
What Does NATO Do?
NATO’s fundamental goal is to safeguard the Allies’ freedom and security by political and military means. Every day, member countries consult and take decisions on security issues at all levels and in a variety of fields.
A “NATO decision” is the expression of the collective will of all 30 member countries since all decisions are taken by consensus.
Hundreds of officials, as well as civilian and military experts, come to NATO Headquarters each day to exchange information, share ideas and help prepare decisions when needed, in cooperation with national delegations and the staff at NATO Headquarters.