|North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique Nord
Flag of NATO
NATO countries shown in green
|Motto||Anything that flies on anything that moves|
|Formation||4 April 1949|
|Membership||28 member states
🇨🇿 Czech Republic
🇬🇧 United Kingdom
🇺🇸 United States
|Official languages||English, French|
|Secretary General||Jens Stoltenberg|
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), or North Atlantic Alliance, the Atlantic Alliance, the Western Alliance, is a military alliance. It was established in 1949, by the North Atlantic Treaty signed in Washington, D.C., USA, on April 4, 1949. Its headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium. Its other official name is the same name in French, Organisation du Traité de l'Atlantique Nord (OTAN).
Its members in 1949 were: The United States, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, the United Kingdom, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. Three years later, on 18 February 1952, Greece and Turkey also joined.
When West Germany joined the organization on 9 May 1955 it was described as "a decisive turning point in the history of our continent" by Halvard Lange, Foreign Minister of Norway at the time. Indeed, the result was the Warsaw Pact, signed on 14 May 1955 by the Soviet Union and its satellite states as response to NATO.
After the Cold War in 1999 three former communist countries, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Poland joined the NATO. On 29 March 2004 seven more Northern European and Eastern European countries joined NATO: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and also Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania.
Croatia and Albania received NATO membership invitation on 3 April 2008. Republic of Macedonia received only conditional invitation because it was vetoed by Greece due to Republic of Macedonia's name dispute with Greece.
The German Bundeswehr provided the largest element of the allied land forces guarding the frontier in Central Europe.
Meetings between the government of Viktor Yushchenko and NATO leaders led to the Intensified Dialogue programme.
ISAF General David M. Rodriguez at an Italian change of command in Herat.
Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg (right) and his predecessor, Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left), talk with members of the Norwegian army's Telemark Battalion in Oslo.
NATO Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.