NATO stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. With its inception in 1949 after the Second World War, the alliance originally constituted 12 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Norway, Netherlands, Canada, and France.

NATO has Norwegian politician Jens Stoltenberg as the 13th secretary-general of NATO since 2014. The organisation has several subordinate committees including the Nuclear Planning Group and the North Atlantic Council.

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What is NATO’s key purpose? 

NATO’s key objective is to maintain global peace by encouraging members of the organisation to provide aid to one another during an armed attack or a state of anarchy in any other member state. Its key purpose is “to guarantee the freedom and security of its members through a political and military means.”

Post-war, its most crucial aim was to impede the threat of Russian expansion in Europe. 

After NATO’s inception, Soviet Russia created its own military alliance of Eastern European communist countries in 1955. The alliance was known as the Warsaw Pact. It dissolved in 1991. 

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Who is in NATO?

After the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, several countries joined hands with NATO. 

At present, NATO consists of 30 members, including several eastern European countries like Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland. 

Its newest member state is North Macedonia. The country joined the organisation in 2020.

According to Al Jazeera, Ukraine, Herzegovina and Georgia have expressed their hopes to join the alliance.