Since there seems to be an ever enlarging group of people discussing NATO in relation to the events in Ukraine and Russia, here is some basic info to
help those understand it.
What is NATO?
* - The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the [North] Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North
Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949.
What is NATO's purpose?
* - The organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any
Current Members of NATO - 28 Full Members
- Albania - 2009
- Belgium - 1949
- Bulgaria - 2004
- Canada - 1949
- Croatia - 2009
- Czech Republic - 1999
- Denmark - 1949
- Estonia - 2004
- France - 1949
- Germany - 1955
- Greece - 1952
- Hungary - 1999
- Iceland - 1949
- Italy - 1949
- Latvia - 2004
- Lithuania - 2004
- Luxembourg - 1949
- Netherlands - 1949
- Norway - 1949
- Poland - 1999
- Portugal - 1949
- Romania - 2004
- Slovakia - 2004
- Slovenia - 2004
- Spain - 1982
- Turkey - 1952
- The United Kingdom - 1949
- The United States - 1949
* - NATO Council
* - NATO Parliamentary Assembly
* - NATO Military
NATO Political Body - North Atlantic Council - Represents the 28 full members.
* - Secretary General: Anders Fogh Rasmussen
* - Each nation is equal regardless of size / strength / economy and get a vote.
* - NATO action requires unanimous agreement.
* - Any member can issue a veto, resulting in the end of the proposal being voted on.
** - This is the area Russia wanted special status on when they were invited to join NATO. They felt larger countries should be allowed to ignore the
smaller countries and should have there vote weigh more. This was rejected by NATO - **
NATO Parliamentary Assembly
* - The body that sets broad strategic goals for NATO is the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO-PA) which meets at the Annual Session, and one other
during the year, and is the organ that directly interacts with the parliamentary structures of the national governments of the member states which
appoint Permanent Members, or ambassadors to NATO. The NATO Parliamentary Assembly is made up of legislators from the member countries of the North
Atlantic Alliance as well as thirteen associate members.
NATO Military Forces
* - Headquarters - Brussels, Belgium
* - Command Structure - Integrated among member nations.
* - NATO has very limited military units. When NATO agrees on an action member nations contribute their forces. Its close to how the UN operates when
it deals with a breach of peace / peacekeeping operations. Member nations volunteer their military forces to the situation.
* - Members' defense spending is supposed to amount to 2% of GDP.
* - POLITICAL - NATO promotes democratic values and encourages consultation and cooperation on defence and security issues to build trust and, in the
long run, prevent conflict.
* - MILITARY - NATO is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. If diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military capacity needed to undertake
crisis-management operations. These are carried out under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty - NATO’s founding treaty - or under a UN mandate, alone
or in cooperation with other countries and international organizations.
Recently we have heard about countries invoking certain articles of the NATO Charter. Here are the more common terms we have heard;
* - Article 4
The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the
Parties is threatened.
*- Turkey invoked article 4 recently with regards to the problems in Syria.
* - Poland invoked article 4 recently with regards to the problems in Ukraine.
* - Article 5
The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and
consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence
recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in
concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North
Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be
terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security .
* - The United States invoked article 5 with regards to 9/11. Some NATO countries sent surveillance aircraft to the US to assist / relieve US assets
so they could be deployed.
* - Spells out specifically what territory is covered under the NATO treaty. Europe and North America along with French territories in Africa. It does
NOT apply outside those areas.
* - Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) - The EAPC consists of all NATO Member countries and partner countries.
* - NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue - Seven countries of the Mediterranean region.
* - Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) - Four countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
* - Partners across the globe - In addition to its formal partnerships, NATO cooperates with a range of countries which are not part of these
structures. Often referred to as “Partners across the globe”, these countries develop cooperation with NATO in areas of mutual interest, including
emerging security challenges, and some contribute actively to NATO operations either militarily or in some other way.
* - International Organizations - In addition to its partnerships with countries, NATO cooperates with a range of international organizations:
* - United Nations (UN) - www.un.org...
* - European Union (EU) - europa.eu...
* - Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe - www.osce.org...
* - NATO Homepage
* - PDF Document NATO Checklist - Overview at a glance
* - NATO - Russia Relations
* - NATO - Ukraine Relations
* - NATO CHARTER
* - NATO Partnerships
* - United Nations Charter
edit on 31-8-2014 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)