North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Last Updated on November 27, 2023 by Asfa Rasheed

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a global alliance consisting of 29 member states from Europe and America. The three prominent founding members of NATO are the UK, France, and the USA.  

As one of the founding members, the UK has been supporting NATO for over 70 years now since its formation in 1949. Here is all you should know about NATO.  In this article, Dominic Moore shares with you some things you should know about this organisation.

1. An attack on one member is an attack on all

The treaty was established after the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4th April 1949. Under this treaty, all member states shall assist other NATO members with armed forces in case of an attack. 

Article Five of the treaty indicates that an attack on one of the NATO members shall be considered an attack on all members. The collective defence has come into play once during the 9/11 terrorist attack in the US.

2. UK Armed Forces is the most active 

The UK Armed Forces is the most active in the various roles assigned to “North Atlantic Treaty Organization” NATO. They take an active role in most of the operation and exercise that NATO takes part in all over the globe. 

For instance, the UK army took part in the Exercise Trident Juncture, 2018, a test of NATO’s Article Five. All NATO members are constantly training to defend their member states from external attacks and ensure freedom.

3. Who are the decision-makers?

All the 29 active NATO members are involved in decision making. The member states consider and make collective decisions daily on security issues at all levels of the field. That means when NATO decides to take any action, the decision is arrived at through a collective will. 

All the security decisions are made on a consensus basis to ensure all members participate in the process.

4. Contribution to defence

The UK meets and sometimes exceeds this threshold, being one of the founding members of NATO. 

5. NATO partners with other nations 

NATO also partners with other nations that are not full members of the organization. For instance, in 1994, the Mediterranean Dialogue formed a relationship between NATO, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Israel, Morocco, and Mauritania. The partnership was meant to ensure security and stability along the Mediterranean. 

6. Protection from the sky 

NATO defends airspace over countries like Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Albania as part of efforts to the security policy. The airspace defence takes place 24/7 throughout the year to ensure member countries and its partners are protected from external attack. 

In addition, countries that do not have their air capabilities have also formed agreements with NATO to have their airspace protected. RAF, which is part of the British Armed Forces, also takes part in the protection of airspace and in 2019, they were stationed in Romania.

NATO is one of the largest organizations in the world. The members comprise 50% of the world’s GDP and can easily call over 3 million people to active services. There is a lot you should learn about this organization on matters of defence and security.

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