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North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

  • By: Joshua Hagen
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, commonly known as NATO, is a mutual defense alliance founded on April 4, 1949. NATO's most basic principle is that its 26 member countries pledge to regard an attack on any one of the members as an attack on all members and respond accordingly. In addition to responding after an attack, NATO also provides an organizational framework for joint military training, planning, and command and control during peacetime. By fostering a high degree of military cooperation and preparedness, NATO aims to deter external threats and advance the collective security of its members.

NATO was one of a number of supranational organizations established in Europe following World War II. Although varied in form and function, these international organizations helped facilitate Europe's ...

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