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Keep the Russians out,
Keep the Americans in, and
Keep the Germans down.
Lord Ismay, 1957
First Secretary General of NATO - 1952-1957

"Out of area or out of business"
US Senator Richard G. Lugar, ~1990?

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

SHAPESupreme Headquarters Allied Power Europe
Joint Force Command HQ Brunssum
Joint Force Command HQ Naples
Joint Headquarters Lisbon
ARRCAllied Rapid Reaction Corps
Spearhead Force
Very High Readiness JTF
NATO Response Force
Multinational Corps Northeast
Rapid Deployable Italian Corps
Rapid Deployable Turkish Corps
Rapid Deployable German-Netherlands Corps
Rapid Deployable Spanish Corps
NATO Deployable Corps - Greece
RF(A)SReaction Forces (Air) Staff -
NAEWFNATO Airborne Early Warning Force
Immediate Reaction Forces (Maritime)
ACE Mobile Force - AMF
STRIKFORNATONaval Striking and Support Forces
STANAVFORLANTStanding Naval Force Atlantic
STANAVFORMEDStanding Naval Forces Mediterranean
STANAVFORCHANStanding Naval Forces Channel

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO; French: Organisation du Traité de l'Atlantique Nord ("OTAN"); also called the North Atlantic Alliance, the Atlantic Alliance, or the Western Alliance) is a military alliance, was established by the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty on April 4, 1949. In accordance with that Treaty, the fundamental role of NATO is to safeguard the freedom and security of its member countries by political and military means. NATO is playing an increasingly important role in crisis management and peacekeeping.

By the late 1990s not all North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members participated in all aspects of the commonly funded budgets. Although all 16 members participate fully in the civil budget, Spain and France did not participate in all aspects of the military budget or the NATO Security Investment Program (NSIP). Further, the NATO Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) program, funded through the military budget but with its own negotiated cost shares, did not include France, Spain, and Iceland, and the United Kingdom only partially participates in it. Finally, although Iceland iscounted as a participant in the NSIP, its cost share is zero.

Since the end of the Cold War, the NATO alliance has been evolving to meet the new security needs of the 21stCentury. In this era, the threats to Europe and America originate primarily from outside Europe, particularly from the Greater Middle East. There was initially strong support among members for NATO's operations in Afghanistan.

The July 2016 summit in Warsaw saw NATO agreeing to deploy multinational military forces to the Baltic states and eastern Poland, NATO moved from the reassurance of its allies to the deterrence of its adversaries. The agreement NATO signed in Warsaw with the European Union was a significant step in addressing the nonkinetic aspects of Moscow's hybrid war on the West. NATO is ill-equipped to counter threats stemming from the Kremlin's "ybrid warfare" - weaponization of globalization: its use of things like corruption, transnational organized crime, international finance, and disinformation to undermine the foundations of Western societies. Countering these hybrid tactics -- which form a significant part of Russia's threat to the West and are integrated with the Kremlin's military strategy -- required a coordinated effort not only by NATO, but from the nondefense arms of Western governments as well.

Moscow appeared to benefit from many of Trump's proposals. Germany on 22 July 2016 stressed its promise to protect its NATO allies after White House hopeful Donald Trump called the commitment into question. “The German government is fundamentally committed to Article Five of the NATO treaty. That is the central promise of solidarity within the alliance,” Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters. “Collective defense according to Article Five is and remains the main duty of NATO,” Seibert added, noting that the pledge had once again been renewed at the July 2016 NATO summit in Warsaw. In an interview published on 21 July 2016 in the New York Times, Trump raised questions about this vow. He warned that if elected he would only come to the aid of the Baltic states in the event they were invaded by Russia if he judged they had “fulfilled their obligations to us.”

With his comments about NATO, Trump seemed to have signalled his intent to abandon the traditional US role in Europe. Article 5 of NATO’s treaty sets out mutual assistance if a member country is attacked. However, Trump suggested in the New York Times interview that the US would not guarantee mutual defence of other NATO members, such as the Baltic states. Trump commonly cited the amount of money the US put into military spending within NATO and says that he will ask allies to contribute more.

Speaking wtih The Times of London and Germany's Bild newspaper, Trump had said on 15 January 2017 that NATO is obsolete "because it was designed many, many years ago." He also repeated his complaint, frequently voiced during the election campaign, that NATO "countries aren't paying what they're supposed to pay." German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Trump's comments prompted "surprise and anxiety" among NATO member countries.

Moscow welcomed U.S. President-elect Donald Trump calling NATO "obsolete," as key NATO ally Germany reacted with concern to his remarks. Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said on January 16 that "NATO is indeed a vestige [of the past] and we agree with that." Peskov also said that "considering that [NATO] is focused on confrontation and its entire structure is devoted to the ideals of confrontation, then, of course, this can hardly be called a modern structure meeting the ideas of stability, sustainable development, and security."

Trump's nominee to lead the Pentagon, James Mattis, said during his Senate confirmation hearing on January 12 that NATO was "the most successful military alliance probably in modern history, maybe ever" and said Russia posed a threat to it.

On 08 June 2018 NATO ministers unveiled a number of key new plans, including the establishment of two new commands based in Norfolk, Virginia and Ulm, Germany. The ministers made staffing levels of more than 1,200 personnel for new commands in Norfolk and Ulm covering the Atlantic Ocean, handling logistics during any conflict in mainland Europe. The ministers also unveiled a new plan to reinforce the alliance's presence in any European crisis with the deployment of 30 troop battalions, 30 aircraft squadrons and 30 warships within 30 days — the so-called "Four 30s."

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