What is NATO?0
This Spring, leaders of member nations of the organization known as NATO will meet in Chicago, IL, United States of America, to discuss matters of mutual interest to the alliance. As you read news about this summit, you may be asking yourself “What is NATO?”. You won’t need to pull out your dictionary set for this one as World Book Encyclopedia has got you covered.
NATO is an acronym for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. NATO is a military alliance of 23 member countries, primarily in North America and Europe, who seek to protect the security of its members through military and political efforts. NATO participates in a variety of peace-keeping activities throughout the world.
NATO was founded in the early days of the Cold War. The Cold War was a period of political tension between the Soviet Union and the United States and its allies in Western Europe. NATO was founded by the US and it’s allies to counteract the influence of the Soviet Union. By joining NATO, each nation agreed that an attack one country was an attack on all NATO members. In the 1950’s, the Soviet Union created an alliance of it’s own which was called the Warsaw Pact.
The Cold War ended in the 1990’s with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and the Warsaw Pact. Many people believed that without the Warsaw Pact, NATO no longer served a purpose. However, NATO has altered its main objectives. Nowadays, NATO ‘s central aims include resolving international crises and prevention of terrorism. Many former Warsaw Pact members have joined NATO in the years since that alliance’s collapse. Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has been involved in many conflicts around the world, including efforts to stop civil wars in the Balkans. Following the September 11th attacks, NATO was involved with efforts to root out the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. NATO has also recently been active in fighting piracy in the Indian Ocean.
For more information on NATO check out the World Book Encyclopedia 2012 for more details.
Cronin, Bruce. “North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2012. Web. 16 May 2012.