What is NATO used for?

Based on the acronymmonster, NATO has been trying since the late 1960s to pave the way for disarmament negotiations with the Warsaw Pact. This initiative culminated in the MBFR negotiations, which began parallel to the CSCE in 1973, on a mutual reduction in conventional armed forces in Central Europe, which in 1989 resulted in the negotiations on conventional armed forces in Europe (VKSE) and led to the CFE Treaty in 1990. In view of the critical growing superiority of the Warsaw Pact in the field of medium-range nuclear weapons – caused primarily by the stationing of the SS-20 rockets from the mid-1970s – the alliance decided to maintain a credible deterrent and defense capability NATO double decision. In the second half of the 1980s, the climate between NATO and the Warsaw Pact improved fundamentally. Visible expressions for this were inter alia. the conclusion of the first phase of the Conference on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures and Disarmament in Europe (KVAE) in 1986 and the signing of the INF Treaty in 1987 (INF ).

Development since 1989

Due to the upheaval in the Soviet Union and the revolutionary changes in the states of Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, the military threat to NATO has decreased significantly. As a consequence of this development, the alliance reaffirmed its readiness for friendship and cooperation with the states of Eastern Europe at the London summit on July 6, 1990. On November 19, 1990, representatives of NATO and the Warsaw Pact signed the “Paris Declaration” on the sidelines of the CSCE special summit, in which they solemnly declared the end of the Cold War and committed themselves to liberal and democratic principles for the creation of a peace order in Europe known. Following on from this, the NATO Council decided on 7./8. 11. 1991 in Rome a new strategic concept, which primarily focused on dialogue, crisis management and conflict prevention, as well as a changed armed forces and command structure. At the same time, adequate collective defense capabilities were maintained to deter potential aggressors. The principle has been used since the early 1990s multinational armed forces and in June 1996 the concept of the Allied Armed Forces Commands (Combined Joint Task Forces, abbreviation CJTF) was approved. With the renaming and restructuring of the previous Allied Command Europe (ACE) to the operational command area Allied Command Operations (ACO) and the creation of the command area Allied Command Transformation (ACT) in 2003, the process of streamlining the command structure came to a preliminary conclusion. All of these measures were accompanied by a major force reduction by NATO.

NATO member states

NATO members (as of 2020)
Members Date of recording
Albania April 1, 2009
Belgium April 4, 1949
Bulgaria March 29, 2004
Denmark April 4, 1949
Germany May 6, 1955
Estonia March 29, 2004
France April 4, 1949
Greece February 18, 1952
Great Britain April 4, 1949
Iceland April 4, 1949
Italy April 4, 1949
Canada April 4, 1949
Croatia April 1, 2009
Latvia March 29, 2004
Lithuania March 29, 2004
Luxembourg April 4, 1949
Montenegro June 5, 2017
Netherlands April 4, 1949
North Macedonia March 27, 2020
Norway April 4, 1949
Poland March 12, 1999
Portugal April 4, 1949
Romania March 29, 2004
Slovakia March 29, 2004
Slovenia March 29, 2004
Spain May 30, 1982
Czech Republic March 12, 1999
Turkey February 18, 1952
Hungary March 12, 1999
USA April 4, 1949

Opening up and expanding NATO

In addition to the changes in strategy and the structure of the armed forces, the question of a so-called eastward expansion of NATO has been particularly controversial since 1990/91. In addition to the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC) founded in December 1991, the NATO Council adopted the Partnership for Peace (abbreviation PfP) concept in January 1994 as a further step in the direction of a security link, especially between the Central and Eastern European states. It opened cooperation with the Alliance on the basis of bilateral agreements to all other CSCE participating States, but did not include any duty of assistance. The work of the NACC and the PfP program has been continued since 1997 in the “Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council”.

From the preamble to the North Atlantic Treaty of April 4, 1949 Hide table

The parties to this treaty reaffirm their belief in the purposes and principles of the United Nations Constitution and their desire to live in peace with all peoples and governments.

They are determined to guarantee the freedom, common heritage and civilization of their peoples, based on the principles of democracy, freedom of person and the rule of law.

They strive to promote internal strength and well-being in the North Atlantic area.

They are determined to join their efforts for common defense and for the maintenance of peace and security.

What is NATO used for

North Atlantic Treaty of April 4, 1949, German version: Federal Law Gazette 1955 II page 289, in the version of the protocol of October 17, 1951, Federal Law Gazette 1955 II page 293.