- Finland joins NATO.
- NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
- It’s a military and political alliance that was founded in 1949 in response to the actions of the Soviet Union.
- In 1955, the Warsaw Pact was formed by the Soviet Union and seven Eastern bloc nations as a collective defense treaty in response to NATO.
- There were 12 founding members of the alliance in 1949:
- Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- The alliance has expanded over time, and its membership now numbers 31 (including Finland).
- The other nations are Greece, Turkey, Germany, Spain, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro and North Macedonia and Finland.
Features of NATO:
- The Alliance is founded on the principle of collective defence, meaning that if one NATO Ally is attacked, then all NATO Allies are attacked.
- Managing crises around the world:
- Since 2003, NATO has helped to ensure that Afghanistan is no longer a safe haven for international terrorist groups.
- NATO has also helped to prevent piracy off the Horn of Africa.
- Since 2016, has helped address the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe.
- NATO plays an important role in fighting terrorism to train local forces in Afghanistan.
- NATO is also a full member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.
- NATO funding:
- Every NATO country contributes to the costs of running the Alliance.
- By far the Allies’ biggest contribution comes in the form of taking part in NATO-led missions and operations.
- At the Wales Summit in 2014, NATO Allies pledged to invest more and better in defence – to stop the cuts, move towards spending 2% of GDP on defence by 2024, and to spend 20% of that on major equipment.
- The “Open Door” Policy:
- The Open Door Policy is a founding principle of NATO and means that any country in the Euro-Atlantic area is free to join NATO.
How is NATO structured as a military force?
- NATO’s multinational Response Force is composed of troops from member nations.
- Troops wear their own country’s uniform, and individual military units are headed by leaders from those units’ home countries.
- The supreme allied commander is at the top of the chain of command.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB