What is NATO? History, Member Countries, Full Form

2 minute read

NATO, the full form of which is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, was officially established in the year 1949. It was a military alliance that was created to counterweigh Soviet armies that were stationed in central and eastern Europe after the end of World War II and during the Cold War. As the Cold War ended, the organisation was then seen as a “cooperative-security” organization. This organisation currently has 31 countries as its members. Let us learn more about what is NATO in this short article!

History and Members

After World War II ended in the year 1945, Western Europe had become militarily weak and economically exhausted. On the other hand, the newly formed powerful communist communities had gained power in Italy and France. The Soviet Union had emerged as dominating all the states of central and eastern Europe.  

By the year 1948, Moscow had consolidated its control on the governments of such countries and hence started to suppress all non-communist political activity. Each of these sides has its own sector in occupied Germany. This led to the emergence of two German states, a communist one in the east and a democratic one in the west

The USA launched the Marshall Plan in the year 1948. This helped in infusing massive amounts of economic aid to the countries that were present in Western and Southern Europe. However, the condition was that these countries cooperate with each other and jointly plan to hasten their mutual recovery. Similarly, the Brussels Treaty of 1948, was signed for military recovery.  UK, France, Belgium,  Luxembourg and the Netherlands — decided on a collective-defense agreement called the Western European Union. 

Later, in the month of March 1948, Britain, Canada, and the USA began discussions on a multilateral collective-defense scheme for enhancing Western security as well as promoting democratic values. Eventually, France joined these discussions, while later some other countries joined as well. These joint efforts resulted in the North Atlantic Treaty created in the year 1949.

Objectives on which NATO Works

The primary objective of NATO is to safeguard and protect the freedom and independence of its member nations. However, it has extended its objective in recent years. This is in line with the increasing context of violence in different forms and has agreed to protect and defend member nations from cyber-attacks, weapons of mass destruction as well as terrorism. 



#1. How many member nations does NATO has right now?

#2. In which year was NATO established?

#3. When was the Brussels Treaty signed?


Hope you have gotten all the relevant information about what is NATO! If you want to know more about topics like this, then visit our general knowledge page! Alternatively, you can also read our blog on general knowledge for competitive exams!

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