Portal:NATO

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North Atlantic Treaty Organization Portal
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Introduction

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO /ˈnt/; French: Organisation du Traité de l'Atlantique Nord; OTAN), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The alliance is based on the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949. NATO constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. NATO Headquarters are located in Haren, Brussels, Belgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near Mons, Belgium.

NATO was little more than a political association until the Korean War galvanized the organization's member states, and an integrated military structure was built up under the direction of two US Supreme Commanders. The course of the Cold War led to a rivalry with nations of the Warsaw Pact which formed in 1955. Doubts over the strength of the relationship between the European states and the United States ebbed and flowed, along with doubts over the credibility of the NATO defense against a prospective Soviet invasion – doubts that led to the development of the independent French nuclear deterrent and the withdrawal of France from NATO's military structure in 1966 for 30 years. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany in 1989, the organization conducted its first military interventions in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995 and later Yugoslavia in 1999 during the breakup of Yugoslavia. Politically, the organization sought better relations with former Warsaw Pact countries, several of which joined the alliance in 1999 and 2004.

Selected article

Operation Strikeback was a major naval exercise of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) that took place over a ten-day period in September 1957.

As part of a series of exercises to simulate an all-out Soviet attack on NATO, Operation Strikeback was tasked with two objectives. Its initial objective was the deployment of NATO's naval forces (designated the "Blue Fleet") against other NATO forces attempting to simulate an "enemy" navy that featured a large number of submarines (designated the "Orange Fleet"). Its other objective was to have the Blue Fleet execute carrier-based air strikes against "enemy" formations and emplacements along NATO's northern flank in Norway.

Operation Strikeback involved over 200 warships, 650 aircraft, and 75,000 personnel from the United States Navy, the United Kingdom's Royal Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy, the French Navy, the Royal Netherlands Navy, and the Royal Norwegian Navy. As the largest peacetime naval operation up to that time, military analyst Hanson W. Baldwin of the New York Times characterized Operation Strikeback as "constituting the strongest striking fleet assembled since World War II."

Selected image

NATO aircraft in flight
A NATO E-3 AWACS aircraft flying with three US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons during a NATO exercise.

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Selected member military

Coat of arms of the Albanian JFC.svg
The Albanian Armed Forces (AAF) Albanian: Forcat e Armatosura të Shqipërisë (FASH) is the armed forces of Albania, first formed after independence in 1912. Today it is made up of the General Staff Headquarters, the Albanian Joint Forces Command, the Albanian Support Command and the Albanian Training and Doctrine Command. The Albanian Joint Forces Command Headquarter is situated in Durrës. This Command includes all the Operational Forces of the Albanian Navy Brigade, the Albanian Air Brigade, an Infantry Rapid Reaction Brigade plus a Commando Regiment, and the Area Support Brigade. The Albanian Army is mostly supported by the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, United Kingdom, Turkey, Switzerland, Denmark and Belgium.

Since February 2008, Albania participates officially in NATO's Operation Active Endeavor in the Mediterranean and received a NATO membership invitation on 3 April 2008. Albania became a full member of NATO on April 1, 2009.

NATO news

  • June 22: The Turkish government has agreed to allow NATO AWACS aircraft to operate from bases in Western Turkey providing better air traffic control and radar control over Afghanistan. Read more...
  • June 18: During a farewell visit to Afghanistan, outgoing NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer announced that the alliance would send an extra 8,000 to 10,000 troops to the country to provide additional security during August elections. Read mores...
  • June 14: A warship from the NATO naval force off Somalia freed 14 Indian sailors held hostage by pirates. Read more...

Selected biography

General Wesley Clark official photograph.jpg

Wesley Kanne Clark, Sr., KBE (born December 23, 1944) is a retired general of the United States Army. Clark was valedictorian of his class at West Point, was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford where he obtained a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and later graduated from the Command and General Staff College with a master's degree in military science. He spent 34 years in the Army and the Department of Defense, receiving many military decorations, several honorary knighthoods, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Clark commanded Operation Allied Force in the Kosovo War during his term as the Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO from 1997 to 2000.

Quotes

  • The threats we face today are not unique to any of us – they are common across the globe, and none of our countries is immune to them. --Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
  • Our unique partnership was born in common philosophies of freedom and democracy. It was forged during half a century's fight against tyranny. Now it stands as a beacon of democracy, toleration, plurality, openness and candor in a world menaced by extremism and instability. --Lord Robertson

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