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"A mind unfettered in deliberation" "L'esprit libre dans la consultation"[2]

Formation 4 April 1949; 69 years ago (1949-04-04)

Type Military alliance

Headquarters Brussels, Belgium

Membership

29 states

Albania Belgium Bulgaria Canada Croatia Czech Republic Denmark Estonia France Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Italy Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Montenegro Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain Turkey United Kingdom United States

Official language

English French[3]

Secretary General

Jens Stoltenberg

Chairman of the NATO
NATO
Military Committee

General
General
Petr Pavel, Czech Land Forces

Supreme Allied Commander Europe

General
General
Curtis Scaparrotti, United States
United States
Army

Supreme Allied Commander Transformation

Général
Général
Denis Mercier, French Air Force

Expenses (2017) $0.946 trillion[4]

Website NATO.int

The North Atlantic Treaty
North Atlantic Treaty
Organization ( NATO
NATO
/ˈneɪtoʊ/; French: Organisation du Traité de l'Atlantique Nord; OTAN), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between several North American and European countries based on the North Atlantic Treaty
North Atlantic Treaty
that was signed on 4 April 1949.[5][6] NATO
NATO
constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. Three NATO
NATO
members (the United States, France
France
and the United Kingdom) are permanent members of the United Nations
United Nations
Security Council with the power to veto and are officially nuclear-weapon states. NATO
NATO
Headquarters are located in Haren, Brussels, Belgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations
Allied Command Operations
is near Mons, Belgium. NATO
NATO
is an alliance that consists of 29 independent member countries across North America and Europe. An additional 21 countries participate in NATO's Partnership for Peace
Partnership for Peace
program, with 15 other countries involved in institutionalized dialogue programs. The combined military spending of all NATO
NATO
members constitutes over 70% of the global total.[7] Members' defense spending is supposed to amount to at least 2% of GDP by 2024.[8] NATO
NATO
was little more than a political association until the Korean War galvanized the organization's member states, and an integrated military structure was built up under the direction of two US Supreme Commanders. The course of the Cold War
Cold War
led to a rivalry with nations of the Warsaw Pact, that formed in 1955. Doubts over the strength of the relationship between the European states and the United States ebbed and flowed, along with doubts over the credibility of the NATO defense against a prospective Soviet
Soviet
invasion—doubts that led to the development of the independent French nuclear deterrent and the withdrawal of France
France
from NATO's military structure in 1966 for 30 years. After the fall of the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
in Germany
Germany
in 1989, the organization became involved in the breakup of Yugoslavia, and conducted its first military interventions in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995 and later Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
in 1999. Politically, the organization sought better relations with former Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
countries, several of which joined the alliance in 1999 and 2004. Article 5 of the North Atlantic treaty, requiring member states to come to the aid of any member state subject to an armed attack, was invoked for the first and only time after the September 11 attacks,[9] after which troops were deployed to Afghanistan
Afghanistan
under the NATO-led ISAF. The organization has operated a range of additional roles since then, including sending trainers to Iraq, assisting in counter-piracy operations[10] and in 2011 enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973. The less potent Article 4, which merely invokes consultation among NATO
NATO
members, has been invoked five times: by Turkey
Turkey
in 2003 over the Iraq
Iraq
War; twice in 2012 by Turkey
Turkey
over the Syrian Civil War, after the downing of an unarmed Turkish F-4 reconnaissance jet, and after a mortar was fired at Turkey
Turkey
from Syria;[11] in 2014 by Poland, following the Russian intervention in Crimea;[12] and again by Turkey
Turkey
in 2015 after threats by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
to its territorial integrity.[13] Since its founding, the admission of new member states has increased the alliance from the original 12 countries to 29. The most recent member state to be added to NATO
NATO
is Montenegro
Montenegro
on 5 June 2017. NATO currently recognizes Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Macedonia and Ukraine
Ukraine
as aspiring members.[14]

Contents

1 History

1.1 Beginnings 1.2 Cold War 1.3 French withdrawal 1.4 Détente
Détente
and escalation 1.5 After the Cold War 1.6 Enlargement and reform

2 Military operations

2.1 Early operations 2.2 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
intervention 2.3 Kosovo intervention 2.4 War in Afghanistan 2.5 Iraq
Iraq
training mission 2.6 Gulf of Aden
Gulf of Aden
anti-piracy 2.7 Libya intervention

3 Participating countries

3.1 Members 3.2 Enlargement 3.3 Partnerships

4 Structures

4.1 NATO
NATO
Council 4.2 NATO
NATO
Parliamentary Assembly 4.3 Military structures

5 See also 6 References 7 Bibliography 8 Further reading 9 External links

History Beginnings

The North Atlantic Treaty
North Atlantic Treaty
was signed by US President Harry S. Truman in Washington, D.C., on 4 April 1949 and was ratified by the United States in August 1949.

The Treaty of Brussels
Brussels
was a mutual defence treaty against the Soviet threat at the start of the Cold War. It was signed on 17 March 1948 by Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, and the United Kingdom. It was the precursor to NATO. The Soviet
Soviet
threat became immediate with the Berlin Blockade
Berlin Blockade
in 1948, leading to the creation of the Western European Union's Defence Organization in September 1948.[15] However, the parties were too weak militarily to counter the military power of the USSR. In addition, the 1948 Czechoslovak coup d'état
1948 Czechoslovak coup d'état
by the Communists had overthrown a democratic government and British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin
Ernest Bevin
reiterated that the best way to prevent another Czechoslovakia was to evolve a joint Western military strategy. He got a receptive hearing in the United States, especially considering American anxiety over Italy
Italy
(and the Italian Communist Party).[16] In 1948, European leaders met with U.S. defense, military and diplomatic officials at the Pentagon, under U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall's orders, exploring a framework for a new and unprecedented association.[17] Talks for a new military alliance resulted in the North Atlantic Treaty, which was signed by U.S. President Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
in Washington, D.C. on 4 April 1949. It included the five Treaty of Brussels
Brussels
states plus the United States, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark
Denmark
and Iceland.[18] The first NATO
NATO
Secretary General, Lord Ismay, stated in 1949 that the organization's goal was "to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down".[19] Popular support for the Treaty was not unanimous, and some Icelanders participated in a pro-neutrality, anti-membership riot in March 1949. The creation of NATO
NATO
can be seen as the primary institutional consequence of a school of thought called Atlanticism
Atlanticism
which stressed the importance of trans-Atlantic cooperation.[20] The members agreed that an armed attack against any one of them in Europe or North America would be considered an attack against them all. Consequently, they agreed that, if an armed attack occurred, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence, would assist the member being attacked, taking such action as it deemed necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area. The treaty does not require members to respond with military action against an aggressor. Although obliged to respond, they maintain the freedom to choose the method by which they do so. This differs from Article IV of the Treaty of Brussels, which clearly states that the response will be military in nature. It is nonetheless assumed that NATO
NATO
members will aid the attacked member militarily. The treaty was later clarified to include both the member's territory and their "vessels, forces or aircraft" above the Tropic of Cancer, including some overseas departments of France.[21] The creation of NATO
NATO
brought about some standardization of allied military terminology, procedures, and technology, which in many cases meant European countries adopting US practices. The roughly 1300  Standardization
Standardization
Agreements (STANAG) codified many of the common practices that NATO
NATO
has achieved. Hence, the 7.62×51mm NATO rifle cartridge was introduced in the 1950s as a standard firearm cartridge among many NATO
NATO
countries.[22] Fabrique Nationale de Herstal's FAL, which used the 7.62mm NATO
NATO
cartridge, was adopted by 75 countries, including many outside of NATO.[23] Also, aircraft marshalling signals were standardized, so that any NATO
NATO
aircraft could land at any NATO
NATO
base. Other standards such as the NATO
NATO
phonetic alphabet have made their way beyond NATO
NATO
into civilian use.[24] Cold War Main article: Cold War The outbreak of the Korean War
Korean War
in June 1950 was crucial for NATO
NATO
as it raised the apparent threat of all Communist countries working together and forced the alliance to develop concrete military plans.[25] Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
(SHAPE) was formed to direct forces in Europe, and began work under Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower in January 1951.[26] In September 1950, the NATO Military Committee called for an ambitious buildup of conventional forces to meet the Soviets, subsequently reaffirming this position at the February 1952 meeting of the North Atlantic Council
North Atlantic Council
in Lisbon. The Lisbon
Lisbon
conference, seeking to provide the forces necessary for NATO's Long-Term Defence Plan, called for an expansion to ninety-six divisions. However this requirement was dropped the following year to roughly thirty-five divisions with heavier use to be made of nuclear weapons. At this time, NATO
NATO
could call on about fifteen ready divisions in Central Europe, and another ten in Italy
Italy
and Scandinavia.[27][28] Also at Lisbon, the post of Secretary General
General
of NATO
NATO
as the organization's chief civilian was created, and Lord Ismay was eventually appointed to the post.[29]

The German Bundeswehr
Bundeswehr
provided the largest element of the allied land forces guarding the frontier in Central Europe.

In September 1952, the first major NATO
NATO
maritime exercises began; Exercise Mainbrace
Exercise Mainbrace
brought together 200 ships and over 50,000 personnel to practice the defence of Denmark
Denmark
and Norway.[30] Other major exercises that followed included Exercise Grand Slam
Exercise Grand Slam
and Exercise Longstep, naval and amphibious exercises in the Mediterranean Sea, Italic Weld, a combined air-naval-ground exercise in northern Italy, Grand Repulse, involving the British Army on the Rhine
British Army on the Rhine
(BAOR), the Netherlands
Netherlands
Corps and Allied Air Forces Central Europe
Allied Air Forces Central Europe
(AAFCE), Monte Carlo, a simulated atomic air-ground exercise involving the Central Army Group, and Weldfast, a combined amphibious landing exercise in the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
involving American, British, Greek, Italian and Turkish naval forces.[31] Greece
Greece
and Turkey
Turkey
also joined the alliance in 1952, forcing a series of controversial negotiations, in which the United States
United States
and Britain were the primary disputants, over how to bring the two countries into the military command structure.[26] While this overt military preparation was going on, covert stay-behind arrangements initially made by the Western European Union
Western European Union
to continue resistance after a successful Soviet
Soviet
invasion, including Operation Gladio, were transferred to NATO
NATO
control. Ultimately unofficial bonds began to grow between NATO's armed forces, such as the NATO Tiger Association
NATO Tiger Association
and competitions such as the Canadian Army Trophy
Canadian Army Trophy
for tank gunnery.[32][33]

A 1952 U.S. postage stamp commemorating the third anniversary of NATO. Stamps honoring the organization were issued by many member countries.

In 1954, the Soviet
Soviet
Union suggested that it should join NATO
NATO
to preserve peace in Europe.[34] The NATO
NATO
countries, fearing that the Soviet
Soviet
Union's motive was to weaken the alliance, ultimately rejected this proposal. On 17 December 1954, the North Atlantic Council
North Atlantic Council
approved MC 48, a key document in the evolution of NATO
NATO
nuclear thought. MC 48 emphasized that NATO
NATO
would have to use atomic weapons from the outset of a war with the Soviet
Soviet
Union whether or not the Soviets chose to use them first. This gave SACEUR the same prerogatives for automatic use of nuclear weapons as existed for the commander-in-chief of the US Strategic Air Command. The incorporation of West Germany
Germany
into the organization on 9 May 1955 was described as "a decisive turning point in the history of our continent" by Halvard Lange, Foreign Affairs Minister of Norway
Norway
at the time.[35] A major reason for Germany's entry into the alliance was that without German manpower, it would have been impossible to field enough conventional forces to resist a Soviet
Soviet
invasion.[36] One of its immediate results was the creation of the Warsaw Pact, which was signed on 14 May 1955 by the Soviet
Soviet
Union, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, and East Germany, as a formal response to this event, thereby delineating the two opposing sides of the Cold War. Three major exercises were held concurrently in the northern autumn of 1957. Operation Counter Punch, Operation Strikeback, and Operation Deep Water were the most ambitious military undertaking for the alliance to date, involving more than 250,000 men, 300 ships, and 1,500 aircraft operating from Norway
Norway
to Turkey.[37]

French withdrawal

Map of the NATO
NATO
air bases in France
France
before Charles de Gaulle's 1966 withdrawal from NATO
NATO
military integrated command

NATO's unity was breached early in its history with a crisis occurring during Charles de Gaulle's presidency of France.[38] De Gaulle protested against the USA's strong role in the organization and what he perceived as a special relationship between it and the United Kingdom. In a memorandum sent to President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
and Prime Minister Harold Macmillan
Harold Macmillan
on 17 September 1958, he argued for the creation of a tripartite directorate that would put France
France
on an equal footing with the US and the UK.[39] Considering the response to be unsatisfactory, de Gaulle began constructing an independent defence force for his country. He wanted to give France, in the event of an East German incursion into West Germany, the option of coming to a separate peace with the Eastern bloc instead of being drawn into a larger NATO– Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
war.[40] In February 1959, France
France
withdrew its Mediterranean Fleet from NATO command,[41] and later banned the stationing of foreign nuclear weapons on French soil. This caused the United States
United States
to transfer two hundred military aircraft out of France
France
and return control of the air force bases that it had operated in France
France
since 1950 to the French by 1967. Though France
France
showed solidarity with the rest of NATO
NATO
during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, de Gaulle continued his pursuit of an independent defence by removing France's Atlantic and Channel fleets from NATO
NATO
command.[42] In 1966, all French armed forces were removed from NATO's integrated military command, and all non-French NATO troops were asked to leave France. US Secretary of State Dean Rusk
Dean Rusk
was later quoted as asking de Gaulle whether his order included "the bodies of American soldiers in France's cemeteries?"[43] This withdrawal forced the relocation of SHAPE from Rocquencourt, near Paris, to Casteau, north of Mons, Belgium, by 16 October 1967.[44] France
France
remained a member of the alliance, and committed to the defence of Europe from possible Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
attack with its own forces stationed in the Federal Republic of Germany
Germany
throughout the Cold War. A series of secret accords between U.S. and French officials, the Lemnitzer–Ailleret Agreements, detailed how French forces would dovetail back into NATO's command structure should East-West hostilities break out.[45] When de Gaulle announced his decision to withdraw from the integrated NATO
NATO
command, President Lyndon Johnson
Lyndon Johnson
suggested that when de Gaulle "comes rushing down like a locomotive on the track, why the Germans and ourselves, we just stand aside and let him go on by, then we are back together again."[46] The vision came true. France
France
announced their return to full participation at the 2009 Strasbourg–Kehl summit.[47] Détente
Détente
and escalation Main article: Détente

Détente
Détente
led to many high level meetings between leaders from both NATO
NATO
and the Warsaw Pact.

Wim van Eekelen, Minister of Defence of the Netherlands, greeting American soldiers arriving as they are deployed to NATO
NATO
bases (1987).

During most of the Cold War, NATO's watch against the Soviet
Soviet
Union and Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
did not actually lead to direct military action. On 1 July 1968, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
opened for signature: NATO
NATO
argued that its nuclear sharing arrangements did not breach the treaty as US forces controlled the weapons until a decision was made to go to war, at which point the treaty would no longer be controlling. Few states knew of the NATO
NATO
nuclear sharing arrangements at that time, and they were not challenged. In May 1978, NATO
NATO
countries officially defined two complementary aims of the Alliance, to maintain security and pursue détente. This was supposed to mean matching defences at the level rendered necessary by the Warsaw Pact's offensive capabilities without spurring a further arms race.[48]

During the Cold War, most of Europe was divided between two alliances. Members of NATO
NATO
are shown in blue, with members of the Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
in red, unaffiliated countries are in grey. Yugoslavia, although communist, had left the Soviet
Soviet
sphere in 1948, while Albania
Albania
was only a Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
member until 1968.

On 12 December 1979, in light of a build-up of Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
nuclear capabilities in Europe, ministers approved the deployment of US GLCM cruise missiles and Pershing II theatre nuclear weapons in Europe. The new warheads were also meant to strengthen the western negotiating position regarding nuclear disarmament. This policy was called the Dual Track policy.[49] Similarly, in 1983–84, responding to the stationing of Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
SS-20 medium-range missiles in Europe, NATO
NATO
deployed modern Pershing II
Pershing II
missiles tasked to hit military targets such as tank formations in the event of war.[50] This action led to peace movement protests throughout Western Europe, and support for the deployment wavered as many doubted whether the push for deployment could be sustained. The membership of the organization at this time remained largely static. In 1974, as a consequence of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, Greece
Greece
withdrew its forces from NATO's military command structure but, with Turkish cooperation, were readmitted in 1980[citation needed]. The Falklands War
Falklands War
between the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and Argentina
Argentina
did not result in NATO
NATO
involvement because article 6 of the North Atlantic Treaty specifies that collective self-defence is only applicable to attacks on member state territories north of the Tropic of Cancer.[51] On 30 May 1982, NATO
NATO
gained a new member when the newly democratic Spain
Spain
joined the alliance; Spain's membership was confirmed by referendum in 1986. At the peak of the Cold War, 16 member nations maintained an approximate strength of 5,252,800 active military, including as many as 435,000 forward deployed US forces, under a command structure that reached a peak of 78 headquarters, organized into four echelons.[52] After the Cold War Main article: NATO– Russia
Russia
relations The Revolutions of 1989
Revolutions of 1989
and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
in 1991 removed the de facto main adversary of NATO
NATO
and caused a strategic re-evaluation of NATO's purpose, nature, tasks, and their focus on the continent of Europe. This shift started with the 1990 signing in Paris of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe
Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe
between NATO
NATO
and the Soviet
Soviet
Union, which mandated specific military reductions across the continent that continued after the dissolution of the Soviet
Soviet
Union in December 1991.[53] At that time, European countries accounted for 34 percent of NATO's military spending; by 2012, this had fallen to 21 percent.[54] NATO
NATO
also began a gradual expansion to include newly autonomous Central and Eastern European nations, and extended its activities into political and humanitarian situations that had not formerly been NATO
NATO
concerns.

Reforms made under Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
led to the end of the Warsaw Pact.

The first post- Cold War
Cold War
expansion of NATO
NATO
came with German reunification on 3 October 1990, when the former East Germany
Germany
became part of the Federal Republic of Germany
Germany
and the alliance. This had been agreed in the Two Plus Four Treaty earlier in the year. To secure Soviet
Soviet
approval of a united Germany
Germany
remaining in NATO, it was agreed that foreign troops and nuclear weapons would not be stationed in the east, and there are diverging views on whether negotiators gave commitments regarding further NATO
NATO
expansion east.[55] Jack Matlock, American ambassador to the Soviet
Soviet
Union during its final years, said that the West gave a "clear commitment" not to expand, and declassified documents indicate that Soviet
Soviet
negotiators were given the impression that NATO
NATO
membership was off the table for countries such as Czechoslovakia, Hungary, or Poland.[56] Hans-Dietrich Genscher, the West German foreign minister at that time, said in a conversation with Eduard Shevardnadze
Eduard Shevardnadze
that "[f]or us, however, one thing is certain: NATO
NATO
will not expand to the east."[56] In 1996, Gorbachev wrote in his Memoirs, that "during the negotiations on the unification of Germany they gave assurances that NATO
NATO
would not extend its zone of operation to the east,"[57] and repeated this view in an interview in 2008.[58] According to Robert Zoellick, a State Department official involved in the Two Plus Four negotiating process, this appears to be a misperception, and no formal commitment regarding enlargement was made.[59] As part of post- Cold War
Cold War
restructuring, NATO's military structure was cut back and reorganized, with new forces such as the Headquarters Allied Command Europe
Allied Command Europe
Rapid Reaction Corps established. The changes brought about by the collapse of the Soviet
Soviet
Union on the military balance in Europe were recognized in the Adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, which was signed in 1999. The policies of French President Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy
resulted in a major reform of France's military position, culminating with the return to full membership on 4 April 2009, which also included France
France
rejoining the NATO
NATO
Military Command Structure, while maintaining an independent nuclear deterrent.[45][60] Enlargement and reform Further information: Enlargement of NATO

The NATO
NATO
flag being raised in a ceremony marking Croatia's joining of the alliance in 2009.

Between 1994 and 1997, wider forums for regional cooperation between NATO
NATO
and its neighbors were set up, like the Partnership for Peace, the Mediterranean Dialogue
Mediterranean Dialogue
initiative and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. In 1998, the NATO– Russia
Russia
Permanent Joint Council was established. On 8 July 1997, three former communist countries, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Poland, were invited to join NATO, which each did in 1999. Membership went on expanding with the accession of seven more Central and Eastern European countries to NATO: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania. They were first invited to start talks of membership during the 2002 Prague summit, and joined NATO
NATO
on 29 March 2004, shortly before the 2004 Istanbul summit. At that time, the decision was criticised in the US by many military, political and academic leaders as a "a policy error of historic proportions."[61] According to George F. Kennan, an American diplomat and an advocate of the containment policy, this decision "may be expected to have an adverse effect on the development of Russian democracy; to restore the atmosphere of the cold war to East-West relations, to impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking."[62] New NATO
NATO
structures were also formed while old ones were abolished. In 1997, NATO
NATO
reached agreement on a significant downsizing of its command structure from 65 headquarters to just 20.[63] The NATO Response Force (NRF) was launched at the 2002 Prague summit
2002 Prague summit
on 21 November, the first summit in a former Comecon
Comecon
country. On 19 June 2003, a further restructuring of the NATO
NATO
military commands began as the Headquarters of the Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic were abolished and a new command, Allied Command Transformation
Allied Command Transformation
(ACT), was established in Norfolk, United States, and the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) became the Headquarters of Allied Command Operations (ACO). ACT is responsible for driving transformation (future capabilities) in NATO, whilst ACO is responsible for current operations.[64] In March 2004, NATO's Baltic Air Policing
Baltic Air Policing
began, which supported the sovereignty of Latvia, Lithuania
Lithuania
and Estonia
Estonia
by providing jet fighters to react to any unwanted aerial intrusions. Eight multinational jet fighters are based in Lithuania, the number of which was increased from four in 2014.[65] Also at the 2004 Istanbul summit, NATO
NATO
launched the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative
Istanbul Cooperation Initiative
with four Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
nations.[66]

Meetings between the government of Viktor Yushchenko
Viktor Yushchenko
and NATO
NATO
leaders led to the Intensified Dialogue programme.

The 2006 Riga summit
2006 Riga summit
was held in Riga, Latvia, and highlighted the issue of energy security. It was the first NATO summit to be held in a country that had been part of the Soviet
Soviet
Union. At the April 2008 summit in Bucharest, Romania, NATO
NATO
agreed to the accession of Croatia and Albania
Albania
and both countries joined NATO
NATO
in April 2009. Ukraine
Ukraine
and Georgia were also told that they could eventually become members.[67] The issue of Georgian and Ukrainian membership in NATO
NATO
prompted harsh criticism from Russia, as did NATO
NATO
plans for a missile defence system. Studies for this system began in 2002, with negotiations centered on anti-ballistic missiles being stationed in Poland
Poland
and the Czech Republic. Though NATO
NATO
leaders gave assurances that the system was not targeting Russia, both presidents Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
and Dmitry Medvedev criticized it as a threat.[68] In 2009, US President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
proposed using the ship-based Aegis Combat System, though this plan still includes stations being built in Turkey, Spain, Portugal, Romania, and Poland.[69] NATO
NATO
will also maintain the "status quo" in its nuclear deterrent in Europe by upgrading the targeting capabilities of the "tactical" B61 nuclear bombs stationed there and deploying them on the stealthier Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.[70][71] Following the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia, NATO
NATO
committed to forming a new "spearhead" force of 5,000 troops at bases in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria.[72][73] At the 2014 Wales summit, the leaders of NATO's member states reaffirmed their pledge to spend the equivalent of at least 2% of their gross domestic products on defense by 2024.[74] In 2015, five of its 28 members met that goal.[75][76][77] On 15 June 2016, NATO officially recognized cyberwarfare as an operational domain of war, just like land, sea and aerial warfare. This means that any cyber attack on NATO
NATO
members can trigger Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.[78] Montenegro
Montenegro
became the 29th and newest member of NATO
NATO
on 5 June 2017, amid strong objections from Russia.[79][80] Military operations Early operations No military operations were conducted by NATO
NATO
during the Cold War. Following the end of the Cold War, the first operations, Anchor Guard in 1990 and Ace Guard in 1991, were prompted by the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Airborne early warning aircraft were sent to provide coverage of southeastern Turkey, and later a quick-reaction force was deployed to the area.[81] Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
intervention Main article: NATO
NATO
intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina

NATO
NATO
planes engaged in aerial bombardments during Operation Deliberate Force after the Srebrenica massacre.

The Bosnian War
Bosnian War
began in 1992, as a result of the breakup of Yugoslavia. The deteriorating situation led to United Nations
United Nations
Security Council Resolution 816 on 9 October 1992, ordering a no-fly zone over central Bosnia and Herzegovina, which NATO
NATO
began enforcing on 12 April 1993 with Operation Deny Flight. From June 1993 until October 1996, Operation Sharp Guard
Operation Sharp Guard
added maritime enforcement of the arms embargo and economic sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. On 28 February 1994, NATO
NATO
took its first wartime action by shooting down four Bosnian Serb aircraft violating the no-fly zone.[82] On 10 and 11 April 1994, during the Bosnian War, the United Nations Protection Force called in air strikes to protect the Goražde
Goražde
safe area, resulting in the bombing of a Bosnian Serb military command outpost near Goražde
Goražde
by two US F-16 jets acting under NATO direction.[83] This resulted in the taking of 150 U.N. personnel hostage on 14 April.[84][85] On 16 April a British Sea Harrier was shot down over Goražde
Goražde
by Serb forces.[86] A two-week NATO
NATO
bombing campaign, Operation Deliberate Force, began in August 1995 against the Army of the Republika Srpska, after the Srebrenica massacre.[87] NATO
NATO
air strikes that year helped bring the Yugoslav wars
Yugoslav wars
to an end, resulting in the Dayton Agreement
Dayton Agreement
in November 1995.[87] As part of this agreement, NATO
NATO
deployed a UN-mandated peacekeeping force, under Operation Joint Endeavor, named IFOR. Almost 60,000 NATO
NATO
troops were joined by forces from non- NATO
NATO
nations in this peacekeeping mission. This transitioned into the smaller SFOR, which started with 32,000 troops initially and ran from December 1996 until December 2004, when operations were then passed onto European Union
European Union
Force Althea.[88] Following the lead of its member nations, NATO
NATO
began to award a service medal, the NATO
NATO
Medal, for these operations.[89] Kosovo intervention Main articles: 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia
1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia
and KFOR

German KFOR soldiers patrol southern Kosovo in 1999

In an effort to stop Slobodan Milošević's Serbian-led crackdown on KLA separatists and Albanian civilians in Kosovo, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1199 on 23 September 1998 to demand a ceasefire. Negotiations under US Special
Special
Envoy Richard Holbrooke broke down on 23 March 1999, and he handed the matter to NATO,[90] which started a 78-day bombing campaign on 24 March 1999.[91] Operation Allied Force targeted the military capabilities of what was then the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. During the crisis, NATO
NATO
also deployed one of its international reaction forces, the ACE Mobile Force (Land), to Albania
Albania
as the Albania
Albania
Force (AFOR), to deliver humanitarian aid to refugees from Kosovo.[92] Though the campaign was criticized for high civilian casualties, including bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, Milošević finally accepted the terms of an international peace plan on 3 June 1999, ending the Kosovo War. On 11 June, Milošević further accepted UN resolution 1244, under the mandate of which NATO
NATO
then helped establish the KFOR peacekeeping force. Nearly one million refugees had fled Kosovo, and part of KFOR's mandate was to protect the humanitarian missions, in addition to deterring violence.[92][93] In August–September 2001, the alliance also mounted Operation Essential Harvest, a mission disarming ethnic Albanian militias in the Republic of Macedonia.[94] As of 1 December 2013[update], 4,882 KFOR soldiers, representing 31 countries, continue to operate in the area.[95] The US, the UK, and most other NATO
NATO
countries opposed efforts to require the U.N. Security Council to approve NATO
NATO
military strikes, such as the action against Serbia
Serbia
in 1999, while France
France
and some others claimed that the alliance needed UN approval.[96] The US/UK side claimed that this would undermine the authority of the alliance, and they noted that Russia
Russia
and China
China
would have exercised their Security Council vetoes to block the strike on Yugoslavia, and could do the same in future conflicts where NATO
NATO
intervention was required, thus nullifying the entire potency and purpose of the organization. Recognizing the post- Cold War
Cold War
military environment, NATO
NATO
adopted the Alliance Strategic Concept during its Washington summit in April 1999 that emphasized conflict prevention and crisis management.[97] War in Afghanistan Main articles: International Security Assistance Force
International Security Assistance Force
and War in Afghanistan

The September 11 attacks
September 11 attacks
in the United States
United States
caused NATO
NATO
to invoke its collective defence article for the first time.

The September 11 attacks
September 11 attacks
in the United States
United States
caused NATO
NATO
to invoke Article 5 of the NATO
NATO
Charter for the first time in the organization's history. The Article says that an attack on any member shall be considered to be an attack on all. The invocation was confirmed on 4 October 2001 when NATO
NATO
determined that the attacks were indeed eligible under the terms of the North Atlantic Treaty.[98] The eight official actions taken by NATO
NATO
in response to the attacks included Operation Eagle Assist and Operation Active Endeavour, a naval operation in the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
which is designed to prevent the movement of terrorists or weapons of mass destruction, as well as enhancing the security of shipping in general which began on 4 October 2001.[99] The alliance showed unity: On 16 April 2003, NATO
NATO
agreed to take command of the International Security Assistance Force
International Security Assistance Force
(ISAF), which includes troops from 42 countries. The decision came at the request of Germany
Germany
and the Netherlands, the two nations leading ISAF at the time of the agreement, and all nineteen NATO
NATO
ambassadors approved it unanimously. The handover of control to NATO
NATO
took place on 11 August, and marked the first time in NATO's history that it took charge of a mission outside the north Atlantic area.[100]

ISAF General
General
David M. Rodriguez
David M. Rodriguez
at an Italian change of command in Herat.

ISAF was initially charged with securing Kabul
Kabul
and surrounding areas from the Taliban, al Qaeda and factional warlords, so as to allow for the establishment of the Afghan Transitional Administration
Afghan Transitional Administration
headed by Hamid Karzai. In October 2003, the UN Security Council authorized the expansion of the ISAF mission throughout Afghanistan,[101] and ISAF subsequently expanded the mission in four main stages over the whole of the country.[102] On 31 July 2006, the ISAF additionally took over military operations in the south of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
from a US-led anti-terrorism coalition.[103] Due to the intensity of the fighting in the south, in 2011 France
France
allowed a squadron of Mirage 2000 fighter/attack aircraft to be moved into the area, to Kandahar, in order to reinforce the alliance's efforts.[104] During its 2012 Chicago Summit, NATO
NATO
endorsed a plan to end the Afghanistan
Afghanistan
war and to remove the NATO-led ISAF Forces by the end of December 2014.[105] ISAF was disestablished in December 2014 and replaced by the follow-on training Resolute Support Mission Iraq
Iraq
training mission Main article: NATO
NATO
Training Mission – Iraq In August 2004, during the Iraq
Iraq
War, NATO
NATO
formed the NATO
NATO
Training Mission – Iraq, a training mission to assist the Iraqi security forces in conjunction with the US led MNF-I.[106] The NATO
NATO
Training Mission- Iraq
Iraq
(NTM-I) was established at the request of the Iraqi Interim Government under the provisions of United Nations
United Nations
Security Council Resolution 1546. The aim of NTM-I was to assist in the development of Iraqi security forces training structures and institutions so that Iraq
Iraq
can build an effective and sustainable capability that addresses the needs of the nation. NTM-I was not a combat mission but is a distinct mission, under the political control of NATO's North Atlantic Council. Its operational emphasis was on training and mentoring. The activities of the mission were coordinated with Iraqi authorities and the US-led Deputy Commanding General Advising and Training, who was also dual-hatted as the Commander of NTM-I. The mission officially concluded on 17 December 2011.[107] Gulf of Aden
Gulf of Aden
anti-piracy Main article: Operation Ocean Shield

USS Farragut destroying a Somali pirate skiff in March 2010

Beginning on 17 August 2009, NATO
NATO
deployed warships in an operation to protect maritime traffic in the Gulf of Aden
Gulf of Aden
and the Indian Ocean from Somali pirates, and help strengthen the navies and coast guards of regional states. The operation was approved by the North Atlantic Council and involves warships primarily from the United States
United States
though vessels from many other nations are also included. Operation Ocean Shield focuses on protecting the ships of Operation Allied Provider which are distributing aid as part of the World Food Programme
World Food Programme
mission in Somalia. Russia, China
China
and South Korea
South Korea
have sent warships to participate in the activities as well.[108][109] The operation seeks to dissuade and interrupt pirate attacks, protect vessels, and abetting to increase the general level of security in the region.[110] Libya intervention Main article: 2011 military intervention in Libya During the Libyan Civil War, violence between protestors and the Libyan government under Colonel Muammar Gaddafi
Muammar Gaddafi
escalated, and on 17 March 2011 led to the passage of United Nations
United Nations
Security Council Resolution 1973, which called for a ceasefire, and authorized military action to protect civilians. A coalition that included several NATO
NATO
members began enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya shortly afterwards. On 20 March 2011, NATO
NATO
states agreed on enforcing an arms embargo against Libya with Operation Unified Protector
Operation Unified Protector
using ships from NATO
NATO
Standing Maritime Group 1 and Standing Mine Countermeasures Group 1,[111] and additional ships and submarines from NATO
NATO
members.[112] They would "monitor, report and, if needed, interdict vessels suspected of carrying illegal arms or mercenaries".[111]

Libyan Army Palmaria howitzers destroyed by the French Air Force
French Air Force
near Benghazi
Benghazi
in March 2011

On 24 March, NATO
NATO
agreed to take control of the no-fly zone from the initial coalition, while command of targeting ground units remained with the coalition's forces.[113][114] NATO
NATO
began officially enforcing the UN resolution on 27 March 2011 with assistance from Qatar
Qatar
and the United Arab Emirates.[115] By June, reports of divisions within the alliance surfaced as only eight of the 28 member nations were participating in combat operations,[116] resulting in a confrontation between US Defense Secretary Robert Gates
Robert Gates
and countries such as Poland, Spain, the Netherlands, Turkey, and Germany
Germany
to contribute more, the latter believing the organization has overstepped its mandate in the conflict.[117][118][119] In his final policy speech in Brussels
Brussels
on 10 June, Gates further criticized allied countries in suggesting their actions could cause the demise of NATO.[120] The German foreign ministry pointed to "a considerable [German] contribution to NATO
NATO
and NATO-led operations" and to the fact that this engagement was highly valued by President Obama.[121] While the mission was extended into September, Norway
Norway
that day announced it would begin scaling down contributions and complete withdrawal by 1 August.[122] Earlier that week it was reported Danish air fighters were running out of bombs.[123][124] The following week, the head of the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
said the country's operations in the conflict were not sustainable.[125] By the end of the mission in October 2011, after the death of Colonel Gaddafi, NATO
NATO
planes had flown about 9,500 strike sorties against pro-Gaddafi targets.[126][127] A report from the organization Human Rights Watch in May 2012 identified at least 72 civilians killed in the campaign.[128] Following a coup d'état attempt in October 2013, Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan
Ali Zeidan
requested technical advice and trainers from NATO
NATO
to assist with ongoing security issues.[129] Participating countries

Map of NATO
NATO
affiliations in Europe Map of NATO
NATO
partnerships globally

  

NATO
NATO
members 

  

Membership Action Plan 

  

Individual Partnership Action Plan 

  

Partnership for Peace 

  

Mediterranean Dialogue 

  

Istanbul Cooperation Initiative 

  

Global Partners

 Albania  Belgium  Bulgaria  Canada  Croatia  Czech Republic  Denmark  Estonia  France  Germany  Greece  Hungary  Iceland  Italy  Latvia  Lithuania  Luxembourg  Montenegro  Netherlands  Norway  Poland  Portugal  Romania  Slovakia  Slovenia  Spain  Turkey  United Kingdom  United States

 Bosnia-Herzegovina  Macedonia

 Armenia  Azerbaijan  Bosnia-Herzegovina  Georgia  Kazakhstan  Moldova  Serbia  Ukraine

 Armenia  Austria  Azerbaijan  Belarus  Bosnia  Finland  Georgia  Ireland  Kazakhstan  Kyrgyzstan  Macedonia  Malta  Moldova  Russia  Serbia  Sweden   Switzerland  Tajikistan  Turkmenistan  Ukraine  Uzbekistan

 Algeria  Egypt  Israel  Jordan  Mauritania  Morocco  Tunisia

 Bahrain  Kuwait  Qatar  United Arab Emirates

 Afghanistan  Australia  Colombia  Iraq  Japan  Mongolia  New Zealand  Pakistan  South Korea

Members Main article: Member states of NATO

NATO
NATO
organizes regular summits for leaders of their members states and partnerships.

NATO
NATO
has twenty-nine members, mainly in Europe and North America. Some of these countries also have territory on multiple continents, which can be covered only as far south as the Tropic of Cancer
Tropic of Cancer
in the Atlantic Ocean, which defines NATO's "area of responsibility" under Article 6 of the North Atlantic Treaty. During the original treaty negotiations, the United States
United States
insisted that colonies such as the Belgian Congo
Belgian Congo
be excluded from the treaty.[130][131] French Algeria was however covered until their independence on 3 July 1962.[132] Twelve of these twenty-nine are original members who joined in 1949, while the other seventeen joined in one of seven enlargement rounds. From the mid-1960s to the mid-1990s, France
France
pursued a military strategy of independence from NATO
NATO
under a policy dubbed "Gaullo-Mitterrandism".[citation needed] Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy
negotiated the return of France
France
to the integrated military command and the Defence Planning Committee in 2009, the latter being disbanded the following year. France
France
remains the only NATO
NATO
member outside the Nuclear Planning Group and unlike the United States
United States
and the United Kingdom, will not commit its nuclear-armed submarines to the alliance.[45][60] Few members spend more than two percent of their gross domestic product on defence,[133] with the United States accounting for three quarters of NATO
NATO
defense spending.[134] Enlargement Main article: Enlargement of NATO

NATO
NATO
has added 13 new members since the German reunification
German reunification
and the end of the Cold War.

New membership in the alliance has been largely from Central and Eastern Europe, including former members of the Warsaw Pact. Accession to the alliance is governed with individual Membership Action Plans, and requires approval by each current member. NATO
NATO
currently has two candidate countries that are in the process of joining the alliance: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
and the Republic of Macedonia. In NATO
NATO
official statements, the Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
is always referred to as the "former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", with a footnote stating that " Turkey
Turkey
recognizes the Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
under its constitutional name". Though Macedonia completed its requirements for membership at the same time as Croatia
Croatia
and Albania, who joined NATO
NATO
in 2009, its accession was blocked by Greece
Greece
pending a resolution of the Macedonia naming dispute.[135] In order to support each other in the process, new and potential members in the region formed the Adriatic Charter
Adriatic Charter
in 2003.[136] Georgia was also named as an aspiring member, and was promised "future membership" during the 2008 summit in Bucharest,[137] though in 2014, US President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
said the country was not "currently on a path" to membership.[138] Russia
Russia
continues to oppose further expansion, seeing it as inconsistent with understandings between Soviet
Soviet
leader Mikhail Gorbachev and European and American negotiators that allowed for a peaceful German reunification.[56] NATO's expansion efforts are often seen by Moscow leaders as a continuation of a Cold War
Cold War
attempt to surround and isolate Russia,[139] though they have also been criticised in the West.[140] A June 2016 Levada poll found that 68% of Russians think that deploying NATO
NATO
troops in the Baltic states
Baltic states
and Poland
Poland
– former Eastern bloc
Eastern bloc
countries bordering Russia
Russia
– is a threat to Russia.[141] Ukraine's relationship with NATO
NATO
and Europe has been politically divisive, and contributed to "Euromaidan" protests that saw the ousting of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych
Viktor Yanukovych
in 2014. In March 2014, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk
Arseniy Yatsenyuk
reiterated the government's stance that Ukraine
Ukraine
is not seeking NATO
NATO
membership.[142] Ukraine's president subsequently signed a bill dropping his nation's nonaligned status in order to pursue NATO
NATO
membership, but signaled that it would hold a referendum before seeking to join.[143] Ukraine is one of eight countries in Eastern Europe with an Individual Partnership Action Plan. IPAPs began in 2002, and are open to countries that have the political will and ability to deepen their relationship with NATO.[144] A 2006 study in the journal Security Studies argued that NATO enlargement contributed to democratic consolidation in Central and Eastern Europe.[145] Partnerships Further information: Foreign relations of NATO

Partnership for Peace
Partnership for Peace
conducts multinational military exercises like Cooperative Archer, which took place in Tblisi in July 2007 with 500 servicemen from four NATO
NATO
members, eight PfP members, and Jordan, a Mediterranean Dialogue
Mediterranean Dialogue
participant.[146]

The Partnership for Peace
Partnership for Peace
(PfP) programme was established in 1994 and is based on individual bilateral relations between each partner country and NATO: each country may choose the extent of its participation.[147] Members include all current and former members of the Commonwealth of Independent States.[148] The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) was first established on 29 May 1997, and is a forum for regular coordination, consultation and dialogue between all fifty participants.[149] The PfP programme is considered the operational wing of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership.[147] Other third countries also have been contacted for participation in some activities of the PfP framework such as Afghanistan.[150] The European Union
European Union
(EU) signed a comprehensive package of arrangements with NATO
NATO
under the Berlin Plus agreement
Berlin Plus agreement
on 16 December 2002. With this agreement, the EU was given the possibility to use NATO
NATO
assets in case it wanted to act independently in an international crisis, on the condition that NATO
NATO
itself did not want to act—the so-called "right of first refusal".[151] For example, Article 42(7) of the 1982 Treaty of Lisbon
Lisbon
specifies that "If a Member State is the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other Member States shall have towards it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power". The treaty applies globally to specified territories whereas NATO
NATO
is restricted under its Article 6 to operations north of the Tropic of Cancer. It provides a "double framework" for the EU countries that are also linked with the PfP programme. Additionally, NATO
NATO
cooperates and discusses its activities with numerous other non- NATO
NATO
members. The Mediterranean Dialogue
Mediterranean Dialogue
was established in 1994 to coordinate in a similar way with Israel
Israel
and countries in North Africa. The Istanbul Cooperation Initiative
Istanbul Cooperation Initiative
was announced in 2004 as a dialog forum for the Middle East along the same lines as the Mediterranean Dialogue. The four participants are also linked through the Gulf Cooperation Council.[152] Political dialogue with Japan
Japan
began in 1990, and since then, the Alliance has gradually increased its contact with countries that do not form part of any of these cooperation initiatives.[153] In 1998, NATO
NATO
established a set of general guidelines that do not allow for a formal institutionalisation of relations, but reflect the Allies' desire to increase cooperation. Following extensive debate, the term "Contact Countries" was agreed by the Allies in 2000. By 2012, the Alliance had broadened this group, which meets to discuss issues such as counter-piracy and technology exchange, under the names "partners across the globe" or "global partners".[154][155] Australia
Australia
and New Zealand, both contact countries, are also members of the AUSCANNZUKUS strategic alliance, and similar regional or bilateral agreements between contact countries and NATO
NATO
members also aid cooperation. Colombia
Colombia
is the NATO’s latest partner and Colombia
Colombia
has access to the full range of cooperative activities NATO
NATO
offers to partners; Colombia became the first and only Latin American
Latin American
country to cooperate with NATO.[156] Structures Main article: Structure of NATO

Secretary General of NATO
Secretary General of NATO
Jens Stoltenberg
Jens Stoltenberg
(right) and his predecessor, Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Anders Fogh Rasmussen
(left), talk with members of the Norwegian army's Telemark Battalion
Telemark Battalion
in Oslo.

The main headquarters of NATO
NATO
is located on Boulevard Léopold III/Leopold III-laan, B-1110 Brussels, which is in Haren, part of the City of Brussels
Brussels
municipality.[157] A new €750 million headquarters building began construction in 2010, was completed in summer 2016,[158] and was dedicated on 25 May 2017.[159] The 250,000 square metres (2,700,000 sq ft) complex was designed by Jo Palma and home to a staff of 3800.[160] Problems in the original building stemmed from its hurried construction in 1967, when NATO
NATO
was forced to move its headquarters from Porte Dauphine
Porte Dauphine
in Paris, France
France
following the French withdrawal.[161][44] The staff at the Headquarters is composed of national delegations of member countries and includes civilian and military liaison offices and officers or diplomatic missions and diplomats of partner countries, as well as the International Staff and International Military Staff filled from serving members of the armed forces of member states.[162] Non-governmental citizens' groups have also grown up in support of NATO, broadly under the banner of the Atlantic Council/ Atlantic Treaty Association
Atlantic Treaty Association
movement. The cost of the new headquarters building escalated to about €1.1 billion[163] or $1.23 billion.[164] NATO
NATO
Council Like any alliance, NATO
NATO
is ultimately governed by its 29 member states. However, the North Atlantic Treaty
North Atlantic Treaty
and other agreements outline how decisions are to be made within NATO. Each of the 29 members sends a delegation or mission to NATO's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.[165] The senior permanent member of each delegation is known as the Permanent Representative and is generally a senior civil servant or an experienced ambassador (and holding that diplomatic rank). Several countries have diplomatic missions to NATO through embassies in Belgium.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
with U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry
John Kerry
during the NATO
NATO
Summit in Newport, 5 September 2014

NATO
NATO
foreign ministers and Montenegro's Prime Minister Milo Đukanović have signed a protocol on Montenegro's accession to NATO on 19 May 2016

Together, the Permanent Members form the North Atlantic Council
North Atlantic Council
(NAC), a body which meets together at least once a week and has effective governance authority and powers of decision in NATO. From time to time the Council also meets at higher level meetings involving foreign ministers, defence ministers or heads of state or government (HOSG) and it is at these meetings that major decisions regarding NATO's policies are generally taken. However, it is worth noting that the Council has the same authority and powers of decision-making, and its decisions have the same status and validity, at whatever level it meets. France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and the United States are together referred to as the Quint, which is an informal discussion group within NATO. NATO
NATO
summits also form a further venue for decisions on complex issues, such as enlargement.[166] The meetings of the North Atlantic Council
North Atlantic Council
are chaired by the Secretary General of NATO
Secretary General of NATO
and, when decisions have to be made, action is agreed upon on the basis of unanimity and common accord. There is no voting or decision by majority. Each nation represented at the Council table or on any of its subordinate committees retains complete sovereignty and responsibility for its own decisions.

List of Secretaries General[167]

# Name Country Duration

1 Lord Ismay  United Kingdom 4 April 1952 – 16 May 1957

2 Paul-Henri Spaak  Belgium 16 May 1957 – 21 April 1961

3 Dirk Stikker  Netherlands 21 April 1961 – 1 August 1964

4 Manlio Brosio  Italy 1 August 1964 – 1 October 1971

5 Joseph Luns  Netherlands 1 October 1971 – 25 June 1984

6 Lord Carrington  United Kingdom 25 June 1984 – 1 July 1988

7 Manfred Wörner  Germany 1 July 1988 – 13 August 1994

– Sergio Balanzino†  Italy 13 August 1994 – 17 October 1994

8 Willy Claes  Belgium 17 October 1994 – 20 October 1995

– Sergio Balanzino†  Italy 20 October 1995 – 5 December 1995

9 Javier Solana  Spain 5 December 1995 – 6 October 1999

10 Lord Robertson  United Kingdom 14 October 1999 – 17 December 2003

– Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo†  Italy 17 December 2003 – 1 January 2004

11 Jaap de Hoop Scheffer  Netherlands 1 January 2004 – 1 August 2009

12 Anders Fogh Rasmussen  Denmark 1 August 2009 – 30 September 2014

13 Jens Stoltenberg  Norway 1 October 2014 – present

List of Deputy Secretaries General[168]

# Name Country Duration

1 Jonkheer van Vredenburch  Netherlands 1952–1956

2 Baron Adolph Bentinck  Netherlands 1956–1958

3 Alberico Casardi  Italy 1958–1962

4 Guido Colonna di Paliano  Italy 1962–1964

5 James A. Roberts  Canada 1964–1968

6 Osman Olcay  Turkey 1969–1971

7 Paolo Pansa Cedronio  Italy 1971–1978

8 Rinaldo Petrignani  Italy 1978–1981

9 Eric da Rin  Italy 1981–1985

10 Marcello Guidi  Italy 1985–1989

11 Amedeo de Franchis  Italy 1989–1994

12 Sergio Balanzino  Italy 1994–2001

13 Alessandro Minuto Rizzo  Italy 2001–2007

14 Claudio Bisogniero  Italy 2007–2012

15 Alexander Vershbow  United States 2012–2016

16 Rose Gottemoeller  United States 2016–present

† Acting Secretary General

NATO
NATO
Parliamentary Assembly Main article: NATO
NATO
Parliamentary Assembly

The NATO
NATO
Parliamentary Assembly, an intergovernmental organization of NATO
NATO
and associate countries' elected representatives, meets in London prior to the start of the 2014 Newport summit.

The body that sets broad strategic goals for NATO
NATO
is the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO-PA) which meets at the Annual Session, and one other time during the year, and is the organ that directly interacts with the parliamentary structures of the national governments of the member states which appoint Permanent Members, or ambassadors to NATO. The NATO Parliamentary Assembly
NATO Parliamentary Assembly
is made up of legislators from the member countries of the North Atlantic Alliance as well as thirteen associate members. Karl A. Lamers, German Deputy Chairman of the Defence Committee of the Bundestag
Bundestag
and a member of the Christian Democratic Union, became president of the assembly in 2010.[169] It is however officially a different structure from NATO, and has as aim to join together deputies of NATO
NATO
countries in order to discuss security policies on the NATO
NATO
Council. The Assembly is the political integration body of NATO
NATO
that generates political policy agenda setting for the NATO
NATO
Council via reports of its five committees:

Committee on the Civil Dimension of Security Defence and Security Committee Economics and Security Committee Political Committee Science and Technology Committee

These reports provide impetus and direction as agreed upon by the national governments of the member states through their own national political processes and influencers to the NATO
NATO
administrative and executive organizational entities. Military structures

SHAPE

JFCBS

JFCNP

AIRCOM

LANDCOM

MARCOM

STRIKFORNATO

Location of the commands attatched to NATO's Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), also referred to as Allied Command Operations (ACO)

v t e

Petr Pavel
Petr Pavel
(right), of the Czech Republic, has been Chairman of the NATO Military Committee
NATO Military Committee
since 2015

NATO
NATO
flag raising at opening of Exercise Steadfast Jazz at Drawsko Pomorskie in Poland
Poland
in November 2013.

NATO's military operations are directed by the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee with the Deputy Chairman, and split into two Strategic Commands commanded by a senior US officer and (currently) a senior French officer[170] assisted by a staff drawn from across NATO. The Strategic Commanders are responsible to the Military Committee for the overall direction and conduct of all Alliance military matters within their areas of command.[64] Each country's delegation includes a Military Representative, a senior officer from each country's armed forces, supported by the International Military Staff. Together the Military Representatives form the Military Committee, a body responsible for recommending to NATO's political authorities those measures considered necessary for the common defence of the NATO
NATO
area. Its principal role is to provide direction and advice on military policy and strategy. It provides guidance on military matters to the NATO
NATO
Strategic Commanders, whose representatives attend its meetings, and is responsible for the overall conduct of the military affairs of the Alliance under the authority of the Council.[171] The Chairman of the NATO
NATO
Military Committee is Petr Pavel
Petr Pavel
of the Czech Republic, since 2015, and the Deputy Chairman is Steven Shepro of the United States, since 2016. Like the Council, from time to time the Military Committee also meets at a higher level, namely at the level of Chiefs of Defence, the most senior military officer in each nation's armed forces. Until 2008 the Military Committee excluded France, due to that country's 1966 decision to remove itself from the NATO
NATO
Military Command Structure, which it rejoined in 1995. Until France
France
rejoined NATO, it was not represented on the Defence Planning Committee, and this led to conflicts between it and NATO
NATO
members.[172] Such was the case in the lead up to Operation Iraqi Freedom.[173] The operational work of the Committee is supported by the International Military Staff. The structure of NATO
NATO
evolved throughout the Cold War
Cold War
and its aftermath. An integrated military structure for NATO
NATO
was first established in 1950 as it became clear that NATO
NATO
would need to enhance its defences for the longer term against a potential Soviet
Soviet
attack. In April 1951, Allied Command Europe
Allied Command Europe
and its headquarters (SHAPE) were established; later, four subordinate headquarters were added in Northern and Central Europe, the Southern Region, and the Mediterranean.[174] From the 1950s to 2003, the Strategic Commanders were the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT). The current arrangement is to separate responsibility between Allied Command Transformation
Allied Command Transformation
(ACT), responsible for transformation and training of NATO
NATO
forces, and Allied Command Operations (ACO), responsible for NATO
NATO
operations worldwide.[175] Starting in late 2003 NATO
NATO
has restructured how it commands and deploys its troops by creating several NATO
NATO
Rapid Deployable Corps, including Eurocorps, I. German/Dutch Corps, Multinational Corps Northeast, and NATO
NATO
Rapid Deployable Italian Corps among others, as well as naval High Readiness Forces (HRFs), which all report to Allied Command Operations.[176] In early 2015, in the wake of the War in Donbass, meetings of NATO ministers decided that Multinational Corps Northeast
Multinational Corps Northeast
would be augmented so as to develop greater capabilities, to, if thought necessary, prepare to defend the Baltic States, and that a new Multinational Division Southeast would be established in Romania. Six NATO
NATO
Force Integration Units would also be established to coordinate preparations for defence of new Eastern members of NATO.[177] Multinational Division Southeast was activated on 1 December 2015.[178] Headquarters Multinational Division South – East (HQ MND-SE) is a North Atlantic Council
North Atlantic Council
(NAC) activated NATO
NATO
military body under operational command (OPCOM) of Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) which may be employed and deployed in peacetime, crisis and operations by NATO
NATO
on the authority of the appropriate NATO
NATO
Military Authorities by means of an exercise or operational tasking issued in accordance with the Command and Control Technical Arrangement (C2 TA) and standard NATO
NATO
procedures. During August 2016, it was announced that 650 soldiers of the British Army would be deployed on an enduring basis in Eastern Europe, mainly in Estonia
Estonia
with some also being deployed to Poland. This British deployment forms part of a four-battle group (four-battalion) deployment by various allies, NATO
NATO
Enhanced Forward Presence, one each spread from Poland
Poland
(the Poland-deployed battle group mostly led by the U.S.) to Estonia. See also

NATO
NATO
portal

Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition Ranks and insignia of NATO

References

^ "The Official motto of NATO". NATO. 20 January 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2013.  ^ "Animus in Consuledo Liber". NATO. Retrieved 10 March 2018.  ^ "English and French shall be the official languages for the entire North Atlantic Treaty
North Atlantic Treaty
Organization.", Final Communiqué following the meeting of the North Atlantic Council
North Atlantic Council
on 17 September 1949. "(..) the English and French texts [of the Treaty] are equally authentic (...)" The North Atlantic Treaty, Article 14 ^ https://www.nato.int/nato_static_fl2014/assets/pdf/pdf_2017_06/20170629_170629-pr2017-111-en.pdf ^ "What is NATO?". NATO
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Bibliography

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before the Korean War: April 1949 – June 1950. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press. Kaplan, Lawrence S. (2004). NATO
NATO
Divided, NATO
NATO
United: The Evolution of an Alliance. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-2759-8006-5.  National Defense University
National Defense University
(1997). Allied command structures in the new NATO. DIANE Publishing. ISBN 1-57906-033-1.  Njølstad, Olav (2004). The last decade of the Cold War: from conflict escalation to conflict transformation. 5. Psychology Press. ISBN 0-7146-8539-9.  Osgood, Robert E. (1962). NATO: The Entangling Alliance. University of Chicago Press.  Park, William (1986). Defending the West: a history of NATO. Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-0408-3.  Pedaliu, Effie G. H. (2003). Britain, Italy, and the Origins of the Cold War. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-97380-1.  Reynolds, David (1994). The Origins of the Cold War
Cold War
in Europe: International Perspectives. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-10562-2.  Schoenbaum, Thomas J. (1988). Waging Peace and War: Dean Rusk
Dean Rusk
in the Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson Years. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-60351-5.  van der Eyden, Ton (2003). Public management of society: rediscovering French institutional engineering in the European context. 1. IOS Press. ISBN 1-58603-291-7.  Wenger, Andreas; Nuenlist, Christian; Locher, Anna (2007). Transforming NATO
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Further reading

Asmus, Ronald (2010). A Little War That Shook the World: Georgia, Russia, and the Future of the West. NYU. ISBN 978-0-230-61773-5.

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History

"Timeline: Nato – A brief look at some of the key dates in the organisation's history" by The Guardian's Simon Jeffery on 11 February 2003

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1960s

Congo Crisis 1960 U-2 incident Bay of Pigs Invasion 1960 Turkish coup d'état Soviet–Albanian split Berlin Crisis of 1961 Berlin Wall Portuguese Colonial War

Angolan War of Independence Guinea-Bissau War of Independence Mozambican War of Independence

Cuban Missile Crisis Sino-Indian War Communist insurgency in Sarawak Iraqi Ramadan Revolution Eritrean War of Independence Sand War North Yemen Civil War Aden Emergency 1963 Syrian coup d'état Vietnam War Shifta War Guatemalan Civil War Colombian conflict Nicaraguan Revolution 1964 Brazilian coup d'état Dominican Civil War South African Border War Transition to the New Order Domino theory ASEAN Declaration Laotian Civil War 1966 Syrian coup d'état Argentine Revolution Korean DMZ conflict Greek military junta of 1967–74 Years of Lead (Italy) USS Pueblo incident Six-Day War War of Attrition Dhofar Rebellion Al-Wadiah War Protests of 1968 French May Tlatelolco massacre Cultural Revolution Prague Spring 1968 Polish political crisis Communist insurgency in Malaysia Invasion of Czechoslovakia Iraqi Ba'athist Revolution Goulash Communism Sino- Soviet
Soviet
border conflict CPP–NPA–NDF rebellion Corrective Move

1970s

Détente Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Black September
Black September
in Jordan Corrective Movement (Syria) Cambodian Civil War Koza riot Realpolitik Ping-pong diplomacy Ugandan-Tanzanian War 1971 Turkish military memorandum Corrective Revolution (Egypt) Four Power Agreement on Berlin Bangladesh Liberation War 1972 Nixon visit to China North Yemen-South Yemen Border conflict of 1972 Yemenite War of 1972 NDF Rebellion Eritrean Civil Wars 1973 Chilean coup d'état Yom Kippur War 1973 oil crisis Carnation Revolution Spanish transition Metapolitefsi Strategic Arms Limitation Talks Rhodesian Bush War Angolan Civil War Mozambican Civil War Oromo conflict Ogaden War Ethiopian Civil War Lebanese Civil War Sino-Albanian split Cambodian–Vietnamese War Sino-Vietnamese War Operation Condor Dirty War
Dirty War
(Argentina) 1976 Argentine coup d'état Korean Air Lines Flight 902 Yemenite War of 1979 Grand Mosque seizure Iranian Revolution Saur Revolution New Jewel Movement 1979 Herat
Herat
uprising Seven Days to the River Rhine Struggle against political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet
Soviet
Union

1980s

Soviet–Afghan War 1980 and 1984 Summer Olympics boycotts 1980 Turkish coup d'état Peruvian conflict Casamance conflict Ugandan Bush War Lord's Resistance Army insurgency Eritrean Civil Wars 1982 Ethiopian–Somali Border War Ndogboyosoi War United States
United States
invasion of Grenada Able Archer 83 Star Wars Iran– Iraq
Iraq
War Somali Rebellion 1986 Black Sea incident 1988 Black Sea bumping incident South Yemen Civil War Bougainville Civil War 8888 Uprising Solidarity

Soviet
Soviet
reaction

Contras Central American crisis RYAN Korean Air Lines Flight 007 People Power Revolution Glasnost Perestroika Nagorno-Karabakh War Afghan Civil War United States
United States
invasion of Panama 1988 Polish strikes Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 Revolutions of 1989 Fall of the Berlin Wall Velvet Revolution Romanian Revolution Peaceful Revolution Die Wende

1990s

Mongolian Revolution of 1990 German reunification Yemeni unification Fall of communism in Albania Breakup of Yugoslavia Dissolution of the Soviet
Soviet
Union Dissolution of Czechoslovakia

Frozen conflicts

Abkhazia China-Taiwan Korea Nagorno-Karabakh South Ossetia Transnistria Sino-Indian border dispute North Borneo dispute

Foreign policy

Truman Doctrine Containment Eisenhower Doctrine Domino theory Hallstein Doctrine Kennedy Doctrine Peaceful coexistence Ostpolitik Johnson Doctrine Brezhnev Doctrine Nixon Doctrine Ulbricht Doctrine Carter Doctrine Reagan Doctrine Rollback Sovereignty of Puerto Rico during the Cold War

Ideologies

Capitalism

Chicago school Keynesianism Monetarism Neoclassical economics Reaganomics Supply-side economics Thatcherism

Communism

Marxism–Leninism Castroism Eurocommunism Guevarism Hoxhaism Juche Maoism Trotskyism Naxalism Stalinism Titoism

Other

Fascism Islamism Liberal democracy Social democracy Third-Worldism White supremacy Apartheid

Organizations

ASEAN CIA Comecon EEC KGB MI6 Non-Aligned Movement SAARC Safari Club Stasi

Propaganda

Active measures Crusade for Freedom Izvestia Pravda Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Red Scare TASS Voice of America Voice of Russia

Races

Arms race Nuclear arms race Space Race

See also

Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War Soviet
Soviet
espionage in the United States Soviet
Soviet
Union– United States
United States
relations USSR–USA summits Russian espionage in the United States American espionage in the Soviet
Soviet
Union and Russian Federation Russia– NATO
NATO
relations Brinkmanship CIA and the Cultural Cold War Cold War
Cold War
II

Category Commons Portal Timeline List of conflicts

v t e

War on Terror

War in Afghanistan Iraq
Iraq
War War in North-West Pakistan Symbolism of terrorism

Participants

Operational

ISAF Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Enduring Freedom
participants Afghanistan Northern Alliance Iraq
Iraq
(Iraqi Armed Forces) NATO Pakistan United Kingdom United States European Union Philippines Ethiopia

Targets

al-Qaeda Osama bin Laden al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula Abu Sayyaf Anwar al-Awlaki Al-Shabaab Boko Haram Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami Hizbul Mujahideen Islamic Courts Union Islamic State of Iraq
Iraq
and the Levant Jaish-e-Mohammed Jemaah Islamiyah Lashkar-e-Taiba Taliban Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan

Conflicts

Operation Enduring Freedom

War in Afghanistan OEF – Philippines Georgia Train and Equip Program Georgia Sustainment and Stability OEF – Horn of Africa OEF – Trans Sahara Drone strikes in Pakistan

Other

Operation Active Endeavour Insurgency in the Maghreb (2002–present) Insurgency in the North Caucasus Moro conflict
Moro conflict
in the Philippines Iraq
Iraq
War Iraqi insurgency Operation Linda Nchi Terrorism in Saudi Arabia War in North-West Pakistan War in Somalia
Somalia
(2006–09) 2007 Lebanon conflict al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen Korean conflict

See also

Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse Axis of evil Black sites Bush Doctrine Clash of Civilizations Cold War Combatant Status Review Tribunal Criticism of the War on Terror Death of Osama bin Laden Enhanced interrogation techniques Torture Memos Extrajudicial prisoners Extraordinary rendition Guantanamo Bay detention camp Iranian Revolution Islamic terrorism Islamism Military Commissions Act of 2006 North Korea and weapons of mass destruction Terrorist Surveillance Program Operation Noble Eagle Operation Eagle Assist Pakistan's role Patriot Act President's Surveillance Program Protect America Act of 2007 September 11 attacks State Sponsors of Terrorism Targeted killing Targeted Killing in International Law Targeted Killings: Law and Morality in an Asymmetrical World Unitary executive theory Unlawful combatant Withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan CAGE

Terrorism portal War portal

v t e

Power in international relations

Types

Economic Energy Food Hard National Power politics Realpolitik Smart Soft Sharp

Status

Emerging Small Middle Regional Great Super Hyper

Geopolitics

American Asian British Chinese Indian Pacific

History

List of ancient great powers List of medieval great powers List of modern great powers International relations of the Great Powers (1814–1919)

Theory

Balance of power

European

Center of power Hegemonic stability theory Philosophy of power Polarity Power projection Power transition theory Second Superpower Sphere of influence Superpower
Superpower
collapse Superpower
Superpower
disengagement

Studies

Composite Index of National Capability Comprehensive National Power

Organizations and groups by region or regions affected

Africa

African Union Union for the Mediterranean

Africa–Asia

Arab League Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf
Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf
(GCC) Organization of Islamic Cooperation
Organization of Islamic Cooperation
(OIC)

Americas

Mercosur North Atlantic Treaty
North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO) Organization of American States
Organization of American States
(OAS) Union of South American Nations
Union of South American Nations
(Unasur)

Asia

Asia Cooperation Dialogue
Asia Cooperation Dialogue
(ACD) Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
(APEC) Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN) China–Japan– South Korea
South Korea
trilateral summits Economic Cooperation Organization
Economic Cooperation Organization
(ECO) South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
(SAARC) Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
(SCO)

Europe

Council of Europe
Council of Europe
(CE) European Union
European Union
(EU) Nordic Council Visegrád Group

Eurasia

Commonwealth of Independent States
Commonwealth of Independent States
(CIS) Collective Security Treaty Organization
Collective Security Treaty Organization
(CSTO) Economic Cooperation Organization
Economic Cooperation Organization
(ECO) Eurasian Economic Union
Eurasian Economic Union
(EaEU) Turkic Council

North America–Europe

North Atlantic Treaty
North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO) Arctic Council

Africa–Asia–Europe

Union for the Mediterranean

Africa–South America

South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone

Oceania-Pacific

Australia–New Zealand– United States
United States
Security Treaty (ANZUS) Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
(APEC) Melanesian Spearhead Group
Melanesian Spearhead Group
(MSG) Pacific Islands Forum
Pacific Islands Forum
(PIF) Polynesian Leaders Group
Polynesian Leaders Group
(PLG)

Non-regional

Brazil–Russia–India–China–South Africa (BRICS) Commonwealth of Nations Francophonie Colombia–Indonesia–Vietnam–Egypt–Turkey–South Africa (CIVETS) E7 E9 G4 G7 G8 G8+5 G20 G24 G77 India–Brazil–South Africa Dialogue Forum (IBSA) Mexico–Indonesia–Nigeria– Turkey
Turkey
(MINT) Next Eleven
Next Eleven
(N-11) Non-Aligned Movement
Non-Aligned Movement
(NAM) Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Uniting for Consensus

Global

United Nations
United Nations
(UN)

v t e

Regional organizations

Bodies

African Union Arab League Asia Cooperation Dialogue APEC OCS ASEAN BBIN BIMSTEC Caribbean Community Central American Integration System Commonwealth of Independent States Commonwealth of Nations Community of Latin American
Latin American
and Caribbean States Council of Europe East African Community ECOWAS Economic Cooperation Organization Eurasian Economic Union EU GUAM Gulf Cooperation Council IORA Latin American
Latin American
Parliament Melanesian Spearhead Group Mercosur NATO Nordic Council OAS PIF Polynesian Leaders Group RCEP SCO SAARC TAKM Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat Turkic Council Union of South American Nations V4 West Nordic Council

Topics

Regional integration Regional organizations by population Regionalism (international relations)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 148423701 LCCN: n79006743 ISNI: 0000 0001 1537 6279 GND: 377-3 SELIBR: 125434 SUDOC: 026438453 BNF: cb11868595r (data) BIBSYS: 90056314 ULAN: 500225812 NLA: 35390828 NDL: 00568052 NKC: kn20010711289 BNE: XX93263

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