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THE HISTORY OF NATO

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a significant military alliance formed in 1949. This alliance brought together 31 nations, including two North American and 29 European countries, intending to promote regional security and stability. The idea for building this framework of defence and security came after the Second World War, which demonstrated the urgency and importance of collective security arrangements to prevent future conflicts of this scale. The birth of NATO culminated in the execution of the North Atlantic Deal, endorsed in Washington, D.C., on April 4, 1949, which aimed to offer a platform for collective security whereby independent member states agreed to protect one another from external attacks. In this regard, NATO has been a critical system for collective security, acting as a check on the Soviet Union's threat during the Cold War, and its alliance stayed resilient even after the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. Over the years, the coalition has participated in military activities in many regions worldwide, including the Balkans, the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa, attesting to its role as a global peacemaker.

1949
FOUNDED
NATO IS FOUNDED

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is founded as a way to deter expansion by the Soviet Union and a revival of European militarism. The 12 founding members are Belgium, Canada,
Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom, United States.

1952
ASCENSION
1st NATO EXPANSION

Greece and Turkey join NATO Greece and Turkey join in the NATO alliance’s first round of expansion.

1955
ASCENSION
2nd NATO EXPANSION

West Germany becomes the 3rd nation to join the NATO Alliance. In response to this, the Soviet Union and seven Eastern Bloc nations go on to  form the eight-nation Warsaw Pact.

1982
ASCENSION
3rd NATO EXPANSION

Spain becomes the 16th member of NATO in the alliance's 3rd Expansion.

 
1991
KEY HISTORICAL DATE
FALL OF THE SOVIET UNION

The Soviet Union collapses and the Warsaw Pact is dissolved.

1994
PROGRAM CREATED
NATO PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE

NATO Partnership for Peace program was created

1994
PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE
FINLAND AND SWEDEN JOIN PFP

Finland and Sweden joined Partnership for Peace program. In 1995 they joined the European Union, which brought to an end their neutral status, but they did remain military nonaligned.

1999
ASCENSION
4TH NATO EXPANSION

In the 4th round of NATO expansion The first former Warsaw-Pact nations of the Czech Republic (Czechia), Hungary, Poland become full NATO members.

2001
TREATY
ARTICLE 5 TRIGGERED FOR THE FIRST TIME

Article 5 of the NATO treaty, which states that an attack on any NATO member is an attack on all, is triggered for the first time in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

2002
PROGRAM CREATED
NATO-RUSSIA COUNCIL IS FORMED

The NATO-Russia Council is formed to assist NATO members and Russia to work together on security issues.

2003
CONFLICT
NATO IN AFGHANISTAN

NATO takes command of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (ISAF).

2004
ASCENSION
5TH NATO EXPANSION

The 5th round of NATO expansion saw the former Eastern Bloc nations of Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia all join the alliance.

2008
Sub Label
UKRAINE & GEORGIA WISH TO JOIN NATO

NATO countries welcomes both Ukraine's and Georgia’s aspirations in wishing to join the alliance, angering Russia in the process. In August, Russia won it's short war with neighbour Georgia over the Russian speaking breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which Moscow recognized as independent states.

2009
ASCENSION
6th NATO EXPANSION

The 6th Round of NATO expansion saw former Eastern Bloc Nations Albania and Croatia become full members of the alliance

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2011
CONFLICT
NATO ENFORCES NO FLY ZONE OVER LIBYA

NATO agrees to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya. Sweden takes part in the operation by deploying fighter jets on reconnaissance missions.

November 2013
KEY HISTORICAL DATE
EUROMAIDAN PROTEST

The Euromaidan or the Maidan Uprising protests were sparked by the then President Viktor Yanukovych's sudden decision not to sign the European Union–Ukraine Association Agreement, instead choosing closer ties to Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union.

February 2014
KEY HISTORICAL DATE
MAIDAN REVOLUTION

The Revolution of Dignity also known as the Maidan Revolution or the Ukrainian Revolution Starts.

April 2014
KEY HISTORICAL DATE
NATO SUSPENDS COOPERATION WITH RUSSIA

NATO suspends most of it's cooperation with Russia after its annexation of Crimea.

2015
CONFLICT
NATO ENDS ISAF MISSION IN AFGHANISTAN

NATO ends the ISAF operations in Afghanistan. However the alliance remained in Afghanistan in order to train local security forces until the Taliban took over in 2021.

2017
ASCENSION
7TH NATO EXPANSION
Image by jorono from Pixabay

In the 7th round of NATO expansion saw Montenegro become its latest member. The former region of the Eastern Bloc Balkans nation of Yugoslavia

2020
ASCENSION
8TH NATO EXPANSION

The 8th round of NATO Expansion returned to the Balkans with the addition of North Macedonia into the alliance

2022
ASCENSION POTENTIAL
FUTURE MEMBERS

Sweden and Finland explore the possibility of Full NATO membership following Russia’s Military activity in Ukraine.

2023
ASCENSION
9TH NATO EXPANSION

The 9th round of NATO expansion saw the Scandinavian country of Finland become the latest full member of the Alliance.

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