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NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization
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Military Personnel
    (April 4, 1949- )
    Treaty signed in Washington, D.C.
    Formed as a response to Soviet expansionism after World War II
    Initially had 12 members
    Greece and Turkey added (1952), Germany added (1955), Spain added (1982), Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary added (1999)
    France quit the military command in 1966 and rejoined in 1995
    First Supreme Allied Commander was Dwight D. Eisenhower
    First Secretary General was Lord Ismay
    Core provision is Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which states that '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'
    Article was intended to bring US and Canadian aid to Europe in case of Soviet invasion but first invoked after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US
    Political headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium
    Military headquarters is in Mons, Belgium
    Members are the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Poland, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, France, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, Greece and Turkey
    Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania were expected to join NATO in 2004
    Executive body is the North Atlantic Council, which is composed of delegates from each country and the Secretary General
    Secretary General as of 2004 is Jakob Gijsbert de Hoop Scheffer
    Supreme Allied Commander, Europe as of 2004 is General James L. Jones
    The US maintains official records, including copies of the treaty
    Insignia is a white/blue compass
    Web site is www.nato.int
    Austria refuses to join NATO.
    One of its official languages is French even though France has been historically hostile to NATO.
    It has done most of its military action in the Balkans even though none of those countries were members of NATO at the time.
    Sometimes the size of its membership makes it difficult for it to coordinate activities.
    Its name falsely suggests that its membership and activities are limited to the North Atlantic area.
    Iceland joined NATO on the condition that it would not be forced to engage in warfare.
    NATO forces accidentally bombed civilian buildings during the Kosovo campaign.
    It helped destroy the USSR.
    It established the Partnership for Peace, which allows specific non-NATO nations (such as countries not in the US/European area) to discuss issues and conduct joint training exercises with NATO.
    Many renowned US generals including Dwight Eisenhower, Alexander Haig, John Shalikashvili and Wesley Clark have served as supreme NATO commander.
    Unlike the UN, countries must meet stringent military, economic and political requirements and be a functioning democracy to become members.
    NATO forces crushed the dictatorship of Slobodan Milosevic for a minimal loss in Allied casualties.
    It has adapted to the post-Soviet era by joining the war on terrorism.
    It is overseeing the rebuilding of Afghanistan.
    It does humanitarian work on the side with its military operations.
    The unity displayed by its members in signing the pact helped deter Soviet invasion of Europe.
    Its web site is a very comprehensive description of the organization.

Credit: Wang


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