We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is NATO?

By Garry Crystal
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Historical Index is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Historical Index, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed in Washington on 4 April 1949. Made up of nations from North America and Europe, 12 independent countries originally signed the North Atlantic Treaty. The treaty's purpose was to commit each signatory country to the peace and security of all other members. A total of 28 countries are now members.

Since the Cold War ended, the structure of the treaty has been redesigned. The emphasis is now maintaining peace through the treaty's political and military guidelines. Other countries who are not members of NATO also cooperate, although sometimes unsuccessfully, with treaty guidelines. Apart from peacekeeping between countries and deterring war, NATO also acts in the area of crisis management. NATO has guidelines set out in order to prevent conflict between countries and to help resolve any crisis.

Examples of the treaty in action include the reversal of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. When hundreds of thousands of Kosovan people fled their country in 1999 due to repression by the government, they were left homeless. NATO helped the refugees return safely to their homeland. NATO also assisted in rebuilding homes and lives in Kosovo. They were also instrumental in developing a democratic society in which the refugees should be able to live in peace.

Russian relations are also a top issue for NATO. The establishment and maintenance of peaceful relations with the Ukraine and throughout Central and Eastern Europe are a high priority. The Alliance, as the group of members is known, has been achieving these peace-keeping goals for over 50 years.

Since World War II, the treaty has been the only security organization to combine the United Stated and Canada with Europe. After the war ended, Europe was able to rebuild itself thanks to the written agreement by NATO. The treaty ensures that any threat of war to Europe is also seen as a threat to the United States.

The NATO treaty ensured that each country would reciprocate these understandings. Political solidarity was thus obtained by all members of NATO. Each country promised to take a share in the others' security.

In the years since the treaty was signed, other initiatives have been formed as a result of NATO. In 1991, the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC) was formed, and in 1994, the Partnership for Peace (PFP) took place. In 1997, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) built new structures of alliance and agreement between other countries.

Historical Index is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
By anon249446 — On Feb 21, 2012

Was there any particular person who thought of forming NATO?

By anon150718 — On Feb 08, 2011

Is it just North America? Or is South America there too?

By anon110762 — On Sep 13, 2010

Your articles helped me in passing my exams. thanks a lot.

By Raine28 — On Apr 04, 2010

have any been added since?

By anon30505 — On Apr 20, 2009

Is the Iron Curtain the same thing as the Berlin Wall?

By anon12282 — On May 03, 2008

I love how all of your articles are so straightforward & simple! Thanks!

By anon1534 — On Jun 04, 2007

Currently, NATO member countries are: Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Historical Index, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Historical Index, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.