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NATO Celebrates 75 Years of Collective Defense

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is marking its 75th anniversary this year. The alliance, founded in 1949, will hold a special event in Brussels, Belgium to commemorate this milestone.

NATO’s Founding and Expansion

NATO was originally founded by 12 countries, including the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations. Over the past seven decades, NATO’s membership has almost tripled, with 30 countries now part of the alliance. Most recently, Finland became the 31st member in April 2023. Sweden has also been accepted as the 32nd member, and Hungary is in the process of ratifying its accession.

The Promise of Article 5

The centerpiece of NATO’s founding treaty is Article 5, which states that an attack on one member is an attack on all. This collective defense clause has only been invoked once – after the 9/11 attacks on the United States in 2001. The physical copy of the Washington Treaty containing Article 5 has been brought to Brussels for the anniversary ceremony.

Defending Territorial Integrity

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg emphasized that the alliance’s core purpose is to protect the territorial integrity of each member state. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken described NATO as a defensive alliance with no territorial ambitions, but a firm commitment to safeguard the sovereignty of its members.

Promoting Democratic Values

In addition to its military role, NATO also serves as a platform to promote democratic values and facilitate cooperation among its members on a range of security and defense-related issues. The alliance has played a crucial role in maintaining peace and stability in the North Atlantic region for the past 75 years.

Important takeaways for all Competitive Exams

  • NATO Secretary-General: Jens Stoltenberg;
  • NATO Founded: 4 April 1949, Washington, D.C., United States;
  • NATO Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium.

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