What you might not know about NATO

What is NATO? -
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed on April 4, 1949 in Washington, D.C.

Original NATO member countries - NATO currently has 30 member states.

Warsaw Pact -
Following the membership of West Germany in 1955, the Soviets responded to NATO by signing the Warsaw Pact. 

Mission -
“NATO’s purpose is to guarantee the freedom and security of its members through political and military means.”

NATO’s strategic commander appointment - In December 1950, NATO appointed its first Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

SACEUR -
The SACEUR is responsible to NATO’s highest military authority, the Military Committee (MC). The current SACEUR is Tod D. Wolters, United States Air Force.

SACT -
The SACEUR works in cooperation with the other strategic commander: the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT). 

Military structure -
NATO itself doesn’t have its own armed forces. Instead, its military force is composed of those of member countries.

Military spending -
In summary, NATO member countries spend around 2% of their GDP on the military. 

The Soviet Union tried to join NATO - In 1954, a year after Stalin died, the Soviets asked to join NATO. 

MC 48 -
While this is not explicitly mentioned, wording such as "all types of weapons without exception" implies that nuclear weapons can be used.

Operation Allied Force -
On March 24, 1999, NATO forces started a bombing campaign in Yugoslavia that lasted 78 days.

Enhanced Forward Presence -
The Enhanced Forward Presence mission was established in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland in 2016.

NATO -
Ukraine applied for fast-track NATO membership on September 30 in response to Russia's annexation of four regions of Ukraine.

Click Here