10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT NATO
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is one of the world’s major international institutions. It is a political and military Alliance of 28 member countries from Europe and North America. The Alliance takes all its decisions by consensus. Every member country, no matter how large or small, has an equal say in discussions and decisions. Member states are committed to individual liberty, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. These values are at the heart of NATO’s transatlantic bond.
The greatest responsibility of the Alliance is to protect and defend NATO’s territory and populations. Article 5 of NATO’s founding charter, the Washington Treaty, sets out the Alliance’s collective defence commitment. It states that an attack on one shall be considered an attack on all. Article 5 has been invoked only once in NATO’s history, on 12 September 2001, the day after the terrorist attacks on the
NATO has a permanent, integrated military command structure where military and civilian personnel from all member states work together. The Alliance has two top-level Strategic Commands (Allied Command Operations, in Mons, Belgium, and Allied Command Transformation, in Norfolk, United States). Under these Strategic Commands are two Joint Force Commands (in Brunssum, Netherlands and in Naples, Italy) that can deploy and run military operations. The Command Structure also includes one air command (Ramstein, Germany), one land command (Izmir, Turkey) and one maritime command (Northwood, United Kingdom)
Threats like terrorism, piracy, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and cyber warfare know no borders. That is why NATO has developed a global network of security partners that includes over 40 countries from around the globe, as well as international organisations including the United Nations, the European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the African Union. The Alliance’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan includes 13 partner countries. NATO’s operation in Kosovo includes 8 partners. Beside partners taking part in NATO missions and operations, the Alliance has developed a wide network of partnerships since the early 1990s, including the Euro-Atlantic Partnerships Council, the Mediterranean Dialogue, the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, and many partners across the globe, including Australia, Japan and South Korea.- Read More
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