50 interesting facts about NATO and why it matters in today's Ukraine and Russian war
NATO is the organization that has dominated military relations in the 28 member states on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean for more than six decades. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is one of the world's leading international institutions. It is a political and military alliance of 28 member states in Europe and North America.
The alliance makes all decisions by consensus. Each Member State, no matter how large or small, is on an equal footing in the discussions and decisions taken. Member States are committed to respecting and promoting individual freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. These values are NATO's main transatlantic bonds.
You can read the 50 interesting facts about NATO below:
1. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is one of the most important institutions in the world. NATO is a military alliance of 28 member states in Europe and North America. All decisions of the alliance are taken by consensus.
2. Each Member State has an equal position in every discussion and decision that is taken. Member States are committed to respecting individual freedoms, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. These values are extremely important in NATO's transatlantic relationship.
3. The alliance's primary responsibility is to protect and defend the territories of the Member States. Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty provides for a commitment to collective defense, and an attack on a Member State is an attack on the organization.
4. However, Article 5 was invoked only once in NATO's 67-year history on September 12, 2001, a day after the World Trade Center terrorist attacks.
5. NATO has a permanent and integrated command structure, with military personnel from all member states. The Alliance has two Strategic Leaderships, Allied Command Operations in Mons, Belgium, and Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, USA.
6. Subordinate to these two strategic leadership are two joint command forces, based in Brunssum, the Netherlands, and in Naples, Italy, which are responsible for conducting and managing military operations.
7. The Command Structure also includes an Air Force Command Center (Ramstein, Germany), a Center for Land Forces (Izmir, Turkey) and a Navy (Northwood, UK).
8. NATO has a number of active permanent forces, which contribute to the collective defense of the Western military bloc on a permanent basis.
9. These standing forces include four navies, ready to act on the first signal. NATO also has an integrated air defense system, which maintains contact with the national air force and includes the missile shield.
10. NATO is taking part in several air missions in which Alliance fighter jets fly over the airspace of member states that do not have a military air force. NATO permanently defends the airspace of Albania, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia.
11. NATO benefits from military expertise from the 28 member states. This expertise includes tanks, submarines and fighter jets. When the alliance collectively decides to conduct a military operation, member states are called upon to place their troops and equipment under NATO command.
12. Soldiers taking part in NATO operations are collectively treated as "NATO forces", even if they represent multinational forces from bloc member states, and in some cases from partner countries or contributing troops.
13. The only military equipment that is owned by NATO is the AWACS air fleet. From 2013. NATO will operate five Global Hawk monitoring drones. The procedure for requesting troops and military equipment is called "force generation".
14. The 28 member states contribute directly and indirectly to covering the costs of NATO operations and the implementation of Alliance policies and activities.
15. But most of the contributions are indirect, through the participation of allies in NATO military operations. Member States shall cover the costs of operations whenever they agree to participate in such activities.
16. Direct contributions to NATO's common budget are made by member states according to a cost-sharing formula that takes into account national GDP. These contributions finance the costs of integrated structures, common equipment and NATO facilities.
17. In the five decades since World War II, the military alliance has successfully prevented an open conflict between the United States and Russia.
18. Under the security umbrella offered by NATO, people in European states, the United States and Canada were able to enjoy the benefits of democratic elections, the rule of law and substantial economic growth.
19. NATO relies on a combination of conventional and nuclear military capabilities to deter the aggressiveness of third countries, and these remain a key element of the Alliance's strategy.
20. Member States are also committed to controlling firearms, supporting the disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear warheads.
21. NATO has often acted to maintain international security and peace. In 1995, the Western military alliance contributed to the end of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the implementation of the peace agreement.
22. In 1999, NATO put an end to the massacre and expulsion of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo. NATO troops continue to operate in Kosovo under a UN mandate.
23. Since 2003, the NATO presence under the UN mandate has assured the world that Afghanistan will never be a safe haven for terrorists again.
24. In 2011, NATO acted on a UN mandate to ensure the security of Libyan citizens. Alliance ships are fighting piracy off the Somali coast and conducting counterterrorism operations in the Mediterranean.
25. Since February 2016, NATO has provided assistance to European authorities, who have had to deal with a large number of migrants.
26. NATO vessels are taking part in surveillance, monitoring and intelligence gathering operations to support international efforts to reduce illegal migration from the Aegean Sea.
27. NATO forces have repeatedly delivered humanitarian aid, including to the United States, following the devastating Hurricane Katrina and the 2005 earthquake that hit Pakistan hard.
28. It faces threats such as terrorism, piracy, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and cyber warfare, which knows no borders.
29. For this reason NATO has developed a global network of security partners, which includes 40 states around the world and international organizations: the United Nations, the European Union, the OSCE and the African Union.
30. NATO's mission in Afghanistan includes 13 partner states. Kosovo's operations are supported by eight partner states. In addition to partners involved in NATO missions and operations, the Western military bloc has developed a wide network of partnerships, including the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, the Mediterranean Dialogue Forum, the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, and other partners around the world, including Australia, Japan and South Korea.
31. Any European state that can contribute to the security and principles of the Alliance is invited to join. However, accession depends on the decision of that state.
32. Six times, between 1952 and 2009, a number of 16 European states chose to join the alliance and became member states. This process has helped to maintain peace and stability in Europe.
33. On 19 May 2016, Member States' foreign ministers signed a protocol inviting Montenegro to join NATO. Following the signing of the protocol, Montenegrin representatives may attend allied meetings as observers.
34. After the Allies ratify the protocol, Montenegro can become a full member of NATO. Currently, three states aspire to join NATO, namely Georgia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia.
35. The allies evaluate each candidate state according to its own merits. A wide range of political, economic and security reforms must be implemented before a state can join NATO.
36. Member States consult and make decisions on a daily basis on security issues at all levels and in a variety of areas.
37. A "NATO decision" is the expression of the collective will of all 30 Member States, as all decisions are taken by consensus.
38. Hundreds of officials, as well as civilian and military experts, come daily to NATO Headquarters to exchange information, share ideas and help prepare decisions when needed, in cooperation with national delegations and NATO headquarters staff.
39. 40 non-member states work with NATO on a variety of political and security issues. These states pursue dialogue and practical cooperation with the Alliance, and many contribute to NATO-led operations and missions. NATO also cooperates with a wide network of international organizations.
40. Partner States do not have the same decision-making authority as Member States.
41. NATO has always innovated and adapted to ensure that its policies, capabilities and structures take into account current and future threats, including the collective defense of its members.
42. NATO is committed to respecting the principle that an attack on one or more of its members is considered an attack on all. This is the principle of collective defense, enshrined in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.
43. So far, Article 5 has been invoked only once, in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11 in the United States of America in 2001.
44. NATO is an alliance of states in Europe and North America. The alliance represents a unique link between these two continents, giving them the opportunity to consult and cooperate in the field of defense and security and to carry out multinational crisis management operations together.
45. The strategic concepts specify the Alliance's core tasks and principles, its values, the evolving security environment, and the Alliance's strategic objectives for the next decade. The 2010 strategic concept defines NATO's core tasks, such as collective defense, crisis management and cooperation-based security.
46. Membership of NATO is open to "any other European State capable of developing the principles of this Treaty and contributing to the security of the North Atlantic area."
47. NATO has what the Treaty calls the Accession Action Plan. It helps aspiring members prepare for membership and meet key requirements by providing practical advice and personalized assistance.
48. NATO benefits from the capabilities and expertise of its members. This includes tanks, submarines and fighter jets. When the Alliance collectively decides to carry out an operation, it calls on the Allies to place troops and equipment under NATO command.
49. Personnel involved in a NATO operation are often collectively referred to as "NATO forces", these are strictly speaking the multinational forces of NATO member countries, and in some cases, it is the partner countries or other countries that contribute troops to these operations.
50. The only military equipment that NATO has is a fleet, AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control) aircraft. Starting in 2018, NATO will also operate five surveillance drones, called the Global Hawk. The procedure for requesting forces and equipment for an operation is often called "force generation".
NATO should be afraid of this Russian soldier
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