What is NATO?
Full Form of NATO is North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a political and military defense mechanism to safeguard Europe and North America. The 30 members of the organization come together to provide security and freedom to all the members by political and military means. It came into existence in 1949 with the Washington Treaty, which protects the democratic values of its allies.
According to article 5 of the Washington Treaty attack against one ally is considered an attack against all its members. The collective defense mechanism forms the core of this alliance. In this article, Full Form of NATO, we will look at the other functions.
Only the countries from Europe and North America can be members of NATO. It is an alliance to protect geographical and political boundaries with the help of member nations from external factors.
NATO’s Membership Action Plan helps the inspiring members to understand and practice the protocols and regulations of full membership. Any European member can extend the membership to aspiring members if one can take the responsibility of collective defense.
The list of NATO members is given below:
- NORTH MACEDONIA
- THE UNITED KINGDOM
- THE UNITED STATES
With the signing of the Washington Treaty in 1949, the treaty came into existence. From then till today, the alliance has been working progressively to safeguard its member countries.
#2 The Era of Cold War-1989
The period when two superpowers, the Soviet Union and the United States, fought to maintain their hegemony in world geopolitics. However, the struggle was never direct, and each supported their allies, which turned into a proxy war. NATO was active during the cold era period and succeeded in protecting its allies.
After the Cold War, Europe remained united for a long time. With the termination of the Soviet Union, the European and North American alliances got a significant boost and continued the alliance.
#4 After 9/11 Attack
For the first time after the existence of NATO, the members invoked Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. The allies of NATO went to Afghanistan to ensure that no terror activity from Afghanistan’s soil happened again.
Basic Points about NATO
- The political and military Alliance of NATO aims to provide security to its member countries. Security is essential to safeguard the democratic values of the member nations. If a diplomatic solution is not viable in any crisis, NATO must use the military.
- NATO’s principle lies in collective defense, which states that an attack against one or several members is against all. It was invoked once after the 9/11 attack in the United States.
- The alliance of NATO is between the trans-Atlantic continents of Europe and North America; they work together to solve security-related issues and perform crisis-management operations.
- Strategic Concepts 2022 lays down the plan for the next decade. It deals with a detailed description of areas to be covered.
Member countries of NATO are classified into two major groups.
- NATO Delegations
- Military Representatives
As part of NATO’s delegations membership, each country is a member of the political headquarter in Brussels. The member country keeps a representative to take care of and handle everything that comes into play. The representative at the headquarter involves in the decision-making process.
NATO does not have an extensive permanent military of its own. In a military crisis, the member countries voluntarily send their Troops to fight for NATO. Once the operation is completed, the troops return to their own countries.
The Future of NATO
As we have learned the Full Form of NATO, now we will see the future. For over six decades, NATO has been the cornerstone of security in Europe and North America. Over the years, the challenges have evolved, so NATO needs to upgrade. It is improbable that any external thread will attack the alliance; it needs to shift the focus to unexplored areas like Cyber threats, nuclear proliferation plagiarism, and interruption of energy supplies.
The development of NATO will soon shape the course of the world order. The recent Russia-Ukraine crisis points to the principles of NATO and the changes required to balance the power struggle. The world could turn into a battlefield if the power struggle remains long.