What is NATO?

As the world fears war between Russia and Ukraine, many ask questions like “what is NATO?”

(STL.News) You will hear a lot about NATO.  But what is it?  It is the acronym for “North Atlantic Treaty Organization.”

It began on March 4, 1947, starting with France and the UK, creating the Treaty of Alliance of Mutual Assistance, which was a strategy that would be used after World War II in the event that Germany or the Soviet Union attacked.  The treaty expanded over the years to include thirty countries, including the United States.

In summary, it is an agreement between the members agreeing to support and help defend each other during times of war.  Members have decided to reach and maintain the target defense spending at least 2% of their GDP by 2024.

It is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, and the Allied Command Operations are based near Mons, Belgium.

Unfortunately, the world is currently focusing on the potential of “war.”  A significant amount of the news is focused around the Russia and Ukraine conflict, which has not broken out into war thus far, but it appears on most fronts to be imminent.

Another problem the world fears now is the new alliance announced between China and Russia.  It appears that the communist countries are forming their own type of alliance, which has a completely different agenda.

NATO member countries are as follows, as of February 6, 2022:

  1. Albania
  2. Belgium
  3. Bulgaria
  4. Canada
  5. Croatia
  6. Czech Republic
  7. Denmark
  8. Estonia
  9. France
  10. Germany
  11. Greece
  12. Hungary
  13. Iceland
  14. Italy
  15. Latvia
  16. Lithuania
  17. Luxembourg
  18. Montenegro
  19. Netherlands
  20. North Macedonia
  21. Norway
  22. Poland
  23. Portugal
  24. Romania
  25. Slovakia
  26. Slovenia
  27. Spain
  28. Turkey
  29. United Kingdom
  30. United States

Additional references:

  1. North Atlantic Treaty Organization website
  2. Wikipedia