Definition of NATO in English

Among top acronyms listed on abbreviationfinder, NATO stands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It is a political-military alliance created during the Cold War in 1949 and is based on mutual military support to member countries in case of aggression by third parties.

The North Atlantic Treaty is signed on April 4, 1949 by the United States and its European allies, in Washington DC. Its objective is the creation of an alliance between Europe and North America in order to guarantee the freedom and security of the member countries through political and military means.

The political media are based on democratic values, enabling its members to consult and cooperate in matters related to defense and security for conflict resolution, building trust and preventing future conflicts.

In the military sense, NATO manages crisis management operations and appeals to the collective defense stipulated in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, also known as the Washington Treaty. NATO troops are also mobilized under the mandate of the United Nations (UN) through the Security Council.

Article number 5 has been invoked only once before NATO. In 2001, the United States appeals to NATO’s assistance in response to the September 11 attacks of the same year against the twin towers in New York.

NATO and member countries

NATO (NATO in English) is constituted until 2017 by 29 member countries.

In 1949 the following countries signed the treaty:

  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • United Kingdom

In 1952: Greece and Turkey joined,

In 1955: Germany,

In 1982: Spain,

In 1999: Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland,

In 2004: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia,

In 2009: Albania and Croatia,

In 2017: Montenegro.

NATO internal structure

NATO is an alliance between countries in Europe and North America. As for its internal structure, the decision-making body of the organization is the Atlantic Council, composed of allied countries, represented by ambassadors, ministers or heads of state and governments.

The Atlantic Council is chaired by the Secretary General. Likewise, from the Atlantic Council, a series of committees that carry out previous work, of advice and execution of the decisions taken by the Council, such as: Military Committee.

NATO headquarters are in Brussels.

What are the objectives of NATO?

The objectives of NATO are to guarantee freedom and security in the transatlantic zone between Europe and North America. This enables consultation and cooperation in the field of defense and security of its member countries and the joint conduct of multinational crisis management operations. Its main tasks are summarized in 3 aspects:

  1. Collective defense
  2. Crisis management
  3. Cooperative security

In this sense, NATO countries share arms resources thus reinforcing the military might of their members.