Wednesday, March 12, 2014

15 Years in NATO

Today was the 15th anniversary since Czech Republic joined NATO. 

NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.  The organization came about after WWII.  It is a military alliance where all members agree to mutual defense.  An attack on one NATO member is considered an attack on all members.

The alliance is headquartered in Brussels.  

Back in 1949, the alliance began with 12 members - Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the USA.  

Greece, Turkey and West Germany joined in the 1950s and Spain joined in 1982.

Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland joined in 1999 becoming the first former Warsaw Pact members to join the alliance.

Seven new members joined in 2004 - Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and SloveniaAlbania and Croatia both joined in 2009.

Today there are 28 members.  Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia are all in the process of joining as well.  Georgia is another aspiring member.  Given the problems in Crimea, I'm sure that Ukraine wishes it was currently a member.

Macedonia fulfilled the requirements to join at the same time as Albania and Croatia, but its membership was blocked by Greece over the country name of Macedonia.    

Here's a NATO video timeline I found out on YouTube.
I also found a video from 2011 showing Czech NATO troops training police recruits in Afghanistan.


Update: Montenegro joined in 2017.
Update: 2019 is the 20th anniversary of joining NATO.

Update: 2019 - Here's the Czechia is NATO - We Are NATO video.


Update: North Macedonia joined in 2020 becoming the 30th NATO member.

Update:  September 2022 - Here's a short video I found on YouTube about how a country joins NATO.


Update: 4 April 2023 - Finland became the 31st member of NATO.

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