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What Is NATO?

Born from World War II, NATO aimed to keep Europe safe.

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There were a lot of wars in the first half of the 1900s, including the two world wars. By the time World War II was over, the powerful countries in Europe and North America wanted to make sure a war like that couldn’t happen again.

The United States, the United Kingdom, and ten other European nations formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which we call NATO.

Understanding NATO

NATO began after the Second World War with 12 nations in 1949, but now there are 30 members with many nations around the world still trying to join. The headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium. It’s a collective defense agreement. That means that if any member nation is attacked, it’s considered an attack against the entire alliance. In other words, if you attack one member nation even once, you’ll have to fight the entire alliance.

What Has NATO Done?

Even though NATO has always been a powerful organization , it didn’t get involved in any military conflict until 1990, after Iraq invaded Kuwait. That was about 40 years after it was formed. did not engage in a single military operation in the first 40 years of its existence.

In 1993, NATO got involved in the Bosnian War. This was the first time NATO played a big role in a war.

In 2001, the United States went to war in Afghanistan. Because the U.S. is a member of NATO and the war was in response to the September 11, 2001 attack in New York, NATO was involved too. Three years later, NATO created the NATO Training Mission for the War in Iraq. It was formed as part of a bigger training mission in Baghdad to help train the new Iraqi security forces.

What is the Future of NATO?

It has been more than 70 years since NATO was formed. Will it be around for another seven decades? Over the years, NATO has grown so much larger than it originally was. It’s no longer confined to the U.S. and Europe. There are nations trying to join in even now. But can NATO keep up with that growth?

Economics Correspondent at and Andrew has written extensively on economics, business, and political subjects for the last decade. He also writes about economics at Economic Collapse News and commodities at He is the author of “The War on Cash.” You can learn more at

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