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Military personnel on beach with vehicle in background. Courtesy of US Marine Corps/Jack Aistrup

Understanding NATO

John Andreas Olsen
RUSI Journal, 22 June 2020
NATO, Americas, Russia, Defence Policy, Global Security Issues, International Institutions, Europe
NATO must be nimble as it responds to new challenges, both inside and outside the Alliance.

NATO is the most successful political and military alliance in modern history. It remains an essential contributor to peace, security and stability in Europe and North America. With the recent accession of North Macedonia, membership in the Alliance has increased from the original 12 countries to the current 30, and more are eager to join. NATO is vital to the nearly 1 billion citizens of its member states who, every day, benefit from the transatlantic framework it provides, including over 100 million from the former Warsaw Pact who have lived in freedom since the fall of the Iron Curtain. It has established political partnerships, and military and non-military cooperation with 41 countries in Europe and around the world, as well as with other international organisations, notably the EU, the UN and the OSCE. These partnerships continue to expand.

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