Celebrating 75 years of NATO

In celebration of NATO's 75th anniversary, foreign ministers gathered in Brussels to discuss the alliance's future. Among the key agreements made was the decision to plan for a more substantial NATO role in coordinating security assistance and training for Ukraine.

To support Ukraine's military in this effort, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg proposed a fund of 100 billion euros over the course of five years. This proposal highlights NATO's commitment to working closely with Ukraine to help strengthen its defense capabilities and promote regional stability.

What is NATO?

NATO, short for North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is an international military alliance aimed at ensuring collective defense against potential aggression. Initially founded in 1949 to defend Western Europe against the Soviet Union during the Cold War, its role has since expanded to address various security challenges beyond its original purpose.

 The Origins of NATO

  • Following World War II in 1945, Western Europe was left in a state of economic exhaustion and military weakness. As a result, the western Allies significantly reduced their armies at the end of the war. 
  • In 1948, the United States launched the Marshall Plan, providing substantial economic aid to the countries of western and southern Europe on the condition that they work together and engage in joint planning to accelerate their mutual recovery. 
  • Regarding military recovery, under the Brussels Treaty of 1948, the United Kingdom, France, and the Low Countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) concluded a collective-defense agreement called the Western European Union. However, it soon became clear that a stronger alliance was necessary to provide adequate military support against the Soviets. 
  • In March 1948, following a virtual communist coup d’état in Czechoslovakia in February, the three governments began discussing a multilateral collective-defense scheme that would enhance Western security and promote democratic values. France, the Low Countries, and Norway later joined these discussions, which resulted in the North Atlantic Treaty in April 1949. 
  • At the end of World War 2, the deteriorating relations between the United States and the USSR eventually led to the Cold War. The USSR sought to expand its influence in Europe through the spread of communism, while the US saw the ideology of the USSR as a threat to its way of life. 
  • In 1955, as the Cold War was gaining momentum, the Soviet Union signed up the socialist republics of Central and Eastern Europe to the Warsaw Pact (1955). This Pact was primarily a political-military alliance seen as a direct strategic counterweight to NATO. It included Albania (which withdrew in 1968), Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania. 
  • The Pact was officially disbanded in early 1991 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union itself.

NATO's headquarters is located in Brussels, Belgium.

Headquarters of Allied Command Operations: Mons, Belgium.


Starting Members: NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, was initially established with 12 founding members which included Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 

Expansion: Since its inception, NATO has expanded its membership with new countries joining in multiple rounds. Currently, the alliance has 32 member countries. Apart from the original 12, other members include Greece and Turkey (1952), West Germany (1955, later as Germany), Spain (1982), the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland (1999), Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia (2004), Albania and Croatia (2009), Montenegro (2017), North Macedonia (2020), Finland (2023), and Sweden (2024).


Political Objectives

NATO is an organization whose political objectives include promoting democratic values and enabling members to consult and cooperate on defense and security-related issues. The organization aims to solve problems, build trust, and prevent conflict in the long run.

Military Objectives

NATO is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. If diplomatic efforts fail, the organization has the power to undertake crisis-management operations.These include conflict prevention, peacekeeping, and stabilization efforts in diverse regions globally. NATO's role in crisis management is crucial to maintaining global peace and security. These are carried out under the collective defense clause of NATO's founding treaty - Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, or under a United Nations mandate, alone or in cooperation with other countries and international organizations.

Invocation of Article 5

NATO has only invoked Article 5 once, on September 12, 2001, following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in the US. This article specifies that an attack on any member nation will be regarded as an attack on all, triggering a collective response from the members.

Present Concerns about NATO

There are growing concerns about NATO's actions, which have shifted from their original objective of defending member states from aggression to initiating offensive military actions. Over the past 70 years, NATO has participated in more than 200 military conflicts worldwide, including major ones such as the bombing of Yugoslavia, invasion of Iraq, disruption of statehood in Libya, military interference in Syria, and combating terrorism in Afghanistan.

Critics argue that instead of bringing peace and stability, NATO's actions have led to damage, casualties, destruction, and alienation. Some even believe that the US, NATO's leader, played a role in the creation of ISIS.

Furthermore, NATO's expansion since 1991 and its actions in Ukraine are seen as provocative moves against Russia. Despite Russia's restraint, NATO's behavior remains unchanged, maintaining Western hegemony by engaging in warfare or issuing threats of attack against any state that rejects the established liberal "rules-based order." For instance, the invasion of Iraq and the execution of Saddam Hussein.

To increase its presence in the Indo-Pacific region, the US has been actively establishing smaller multilateral arrangements with NATO, such as AUKUS, the US-Japan-South Korea trio, and the Tokyo-Seoul-Canberra-Wellington quartet, to involve them in practical collaboration with NATO.


NATO, established in 1949 to ensure collective defense, has been criticized for engaging in aggressive actions, contributing to global conflicts, and its perceived role in creating ISIS and escalating tensions with Russia. Over time, it has expanded and diversified its roles beyond its original purpose.

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