of these articles treats the North Atlantic Treaty NATO, for the Russian singer Nato, sees NATO, for the cultural facility in Leipzig sees NATO.
Flag of NATO

as NATO (North Atlantic Treaty organization, also: North Atlantic contract organization, on French l'Organisationyou Traité de l'Atlantique north and on Spanish Organización del Tratado del Atlántico Norte, shortened OTAN) the institution is designated, which converts the North Atlantic contract, a military alliance of European and North American states.

The seat of the North Atlantic advice, the principal organ thatNATO, is since 1967 in Brussels.

Table of contents


Mitgliedstaaten der NATO
member states of NATO
Mitgliedstaaten der NATO in Europa
member states of NATO in Europe

to the initial members, which belong to NATO thus since 1949, count Belgium, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Canada, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United States of America as well as Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

In the year 1952 the Turkey and Greece of the organization steppedat and since 1955 the Federal Republic of Germany is member of NATO. Spain joined the alliance 1982 and 1990 took place the expansion of the NATO contract on entire Germany.

In the course of the NATO extension to the East 1999 Tschechien , Poland , became Hungary as well as 2004 still Estonia, Lettland, Litauen, Bulgaria, Romania, the Slowakei and Slovenia of members of NATO.

Characteristics exist regarding France, which is 1966 no more into the military structures NATO integrated since. Likewise from theseStructures had at short notice separated Greece in the time of 1974 to 1981 and Spain from 1986 to 1999. A special case is Iceland, which has no own armed forces and itself instead to medical assistance obligated.

contents of the North Atlantic contract

the North Atlantic contract plans a defensive alliance without automatic military Beistandspflicht of the members. The first articles of theContract obligate the members to the peaceful conflict settlement and friendly arrangement of international relations. Also the keeping of the western liberals social order with political, economic, social and cultural co-operation and acknowledgment of democratic principles is a component. For the case of the armed attack on one thatThe contract obligates members the remaining member states to the so-called. collective self-defense. For the conversion of the mechanisms and obligations given by the contract the establishment of the North Atlantic contract organization is, consisting of North Atlantic advice and the stored places intended.

structure andOrgans

NATO summits 2002.

NATO is a multi-level and complex organization, which exhibits both military and civilian administrative structures. All decisions within the organization are made according to the consent principle.

Highest committee of NATO is the North Atlantic advice with seat in Brussels, the only institution of the NATO, which is called explicitly in the North Atlantic contract. It is concerned with all fields of the alliance politics - with exception of defense planning and the nuclear politics.

The North Atlantic advice meets at least once per week on level of the constant ones Representative (Ambassador) of all member countries, half-yearly on the level outside and of the Secretaries of Defense as well as about every three years on the level of the state and heads of the government. Authority and powers of decision are however independently of the level and the advice possessalways the same value and the same validity.

Leading executive body is the Secretary-General, who is appointed by the governments of the member states. It is responsible chairmen of the North Atlantic advice as well as all other high-ranking committees and for the promotion and steering element of the Consultation - and decision-making processes process in the alliance. Present Secretary-General is since January 2004 the Dutchman Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

US president Bush welcomes itself the representatives of the new NATO member states

the most important committees is the defense plan committee as well as the nuclear planning group,half-yearly on level of the Secretaries of Defense meet.

The military committee is the highest military committee of NATO. It is subordinate to the North Atlantic advice, the defense plan committee as well as the nuclear planning group and advises these in questions of the military politics and - strategy. It meets once per weekon level of the national military representatives as well as three times annually on level of the general staff bosses.

These highest committees work about 340 subordinate committees (committees, working groups etc.) as well as the international staff and the international military staff too. Among them are above all the committeesfor civilian defense, household, armament, environment, infrastructure and nuclear defense.


the goals formulated in the North Atlantic contract did not change in the process of its existence, because the contract is unchanged actually in its wording since 1949. Howeverthe tasks of NATO were adapted to changed safetypolitical conditions and are up-to-date differently interpreted.

During the time of the cold war the major task of NATO existed in it, the liberty and security of the members by deterrence, armament and constant defense readinessto guarantee.

The reunification of Germany, the decay Warsaw Pact and the USSR as well as the democratization the Eastern Bloc - countries were trips of a fundamental change of the safetypolitical surrounding field in Europe. The tasks of NATO were adapted to the new situation andin accordance with the North Atlantic contract deterrence and defense remained major tasks, stepped however something into the background. Increased on dialogue and co-operation with the “old opponents” one set and different partnership programs flowed finally in the NATO extension to the East.

On that Washington summits to24. April 1999 was approved of at present valid strategic concept. It describes goals and tasks, analyzes the safetypolitical situation and derives from it strategic perspectives and tasks. By existence and stabilization of the transatlantic connection is as close transatlantic a connection as possiblethe security of Europe and North America link. With the maintenance and advancement of effective military abilities the defense readiness of the members is guaranteed. Most important change however is the statement that to the conflict prevention and crisis management also military operations outside of NATO territory to the preventive danger warningto be possible are (so-called. „Out OF AREA employments “). The moreover one NATO reserves itself the right, without mandate of the UN in crisis areas to also intervene (so-called. „Out OF United nation employments “, see Kosovo 1998). NATO interferences into international conflicts, with those no member state directly as conflict partyis involved, go beyond the original order for defense and therefore often also as „Out OF defense employments “are designated.

history and development


after the end 2. World war became fast the contrasts between the former allied ones , the USSR on and the western allied powers the Great Britain and the USA, just like France on the other side, obviously. Already with Brussels contract of 17. The Western European countries France, Great Britain closed March 1948, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg to an alliance for economic, social and cultural co-operation as well as for collective self-defense together. While this alliance should reach still particularly into the case of the resumption of German aggression politics, then became with that Berlin blockade and the communist seizure of power in Czechoslovakia the view on the Soviet expansion guided.

In the further development it came instead of to a one-sided warranty of the USA for the European allied ones from the Second World War to a mutual agreement,the North Atlantic contract, to 4. April 1949 was signed by the initial members and to 24. August of the same yearly into force stepped.

development from 1949 to 1989

in the first years is the community at the impressionthe Berlin blockade and the Korea war; as principle the protection against an attack is considered by the Red Army as far as possible in the east in this time.

By the signing that Paris contracts 1954 was invited the Federal Republic of Germany to the entry and to 6. May 1955 member of NATO.

To 19. May 1955 was created because of the entry of the FRG to NATO the Warsaw Treaty.

With the elections in December 1965 in France president de Gaulle in its office was confirmed and beganwith a change of its defense policy. With the first French atomic detonation to 13. February 1960 had stepped the country into the circle of nuclear powers. Since that time the self-confident its had constantly grown the “Grande nation “, the partially humiliating treatment throughthe allied ones recalled during the Second World War again into the memory. So required de Gaulle, who rejected the continuing dominance of the USA in NATO, the assumption in France stationed allied troops (Americans and Canadians) under FrenchCommand. That rejected the US Government on the well-known principle. Therefore the French president demanded in February 1966 the departure of the allied troops and NATO headquarters with the reason, France strives now the full practice of its sovereignty, on throughthe stationing of strange armed forces on its soil is not ensured and explained at the same time the retreat of his troops from the military integration of NATO. 30.000 strange soldier had to leave France, SHAPE became after Casteau in Belgium, EUCOM to Stuttgart and AFCENT after Brunssum into the Netherlands shifts. To 16. Octobers 1966 discharged the members of the NATO advice on pressure of the USA unanimously also the transfer of their highest political organ to Brussels. This had not demanded de Gaulle.

Until 1966 those becomesStrategy of the substantial retaliation pursues; as reaction to the structure of the Soviet nuclear weapon potential the premise is considered: For each shot Soviet rocket NATO answers with multiple own atomic rockets, which are fired on the Soviet Union.

Due to 1967 Harmel published - report comesthe strategy of the gradated reaction (flexible Response) to application. Also to the decrease of nuclear risks any longer the slogan of the substantial retaliation does not apply, but NATO deliberates itself upon its conventional armed forces and the again developed tactical nuclear weapons. Inthe subsequent years develops NATO a new self understanding: , Warsaw Pact leads the triad of conventional, tactical nuclear and strategic nuclear potentials and the slogan security = defense and relaxation to new beginnings between NATO and.

At the 1. August 1975 became those KSZE - Final act signs, which represents a first genuine step to partnership and peaceful co-operation in Europe.

The NATO double resolution from the year 1979 is today disputed until, because the Nachrüstung of medium-range missiles in Europe and the simultaneous negotiation offer to the USSRled not immediately to the hoped for relaxation. The Doppelbeschluss was criticized sharply by peace activists in completely Europe during their Ostermär. Whether this renewed arms race along-caused the collapse of the Eastern Bloc or whether these countries stood anyway before the economic collapse, is until today disputed.

development from 1990 to 1999

with the peaceful „people revolutions “in the area Warsaw Treaty was void the main threat for the Nato states. In the transition period following on it new ideas and structures developed, like for examplethe partnership for the peace. With this in Brussels 1994 program have NATO interested central and Eastern European States of co-operation in military and safetypolitical questions and regarding an entry perspective agreed upon opened. From this followed with a summit 1997 in Madrid the invitation to NATO entry by Poland, Hungary and Tschechien.

Likewise 1997 were agreed upon into of Paris the land register record with Russia, which plans a completion of the opposition of NATO and Russia. , the NATO of a military is decided internallyto convert to a usually political organization.

Among „the new ideas “also the 1992 rank agreed upon readiness of NATO for „the Out OF AREA “- employments. After authorization by the UN security council now also employments are outside of the NATO territory possible, for example in Yugoslavia or Afghanistan.

Thereby the change of NATO becomes necessary - for a fast interference ability in crisis areas, larger flexibility and the break with the bipolar threat thinking also a correction is in the leadership levels and institutional superstructures necessary. As answer the establishment is considered to oneReaction troop, NATO Response Force (NRF) with land, air and naval forces for fast employments.

The result of this resolution are the active war employments of NATO with the air raids against Yugoslavia during the Kosovo war.

development since 1999

conferencethe Secretary of Defense in Nice, 2005

of the risen danger by the international terrorism since that 11. September 2001 has to oppose NATO still little. Traditionally the organization understands itself as an alliance about states against the attacks of other states. Thuswill it difficult to arrange this terrorist raid - of few extremistic persons, who become active without official declaration of war of an attacking country -. Although the members in the attack on the World trade center see still another armed attack, that thatCase of alliance releases, then it comes regarding the conclusions too partly completely different estimates which can be drawn.

While the USA and Great Britain of the United Nations demand the authorization for an attack on the Iraq, this becomes from the others, in the UN security councilrepresented NATO member states (and. A. France and Germany) rejected. In the context of the preparation of the plans of the USA to the invasion in the Iraq it comes then in NATO to a heavy crisis: With the question whether Turkey preventively defense systems (German Patriot Luftabwehrraketen)ready to be placed, so that it can defend itself, in the case of an attack on the Iraq, against possible counter attacks, inserted France and Belgium a veto should . Germany closed the veto later on (this however only after expiration, purely formallythe German veto is regarded therefore invalidly, politically was therefore however not less explosive it). This led to a reinforcement of the before already existing transatlantic detunings between these countries and Russia on the side and the USA and Great Britainon the other side. Is unclear, like this tear by the alliance on his long-term perspective, as military alliance relevant from view of the USA, affects themselves.

Via the extension to the East the invitation of the countries Estonia , Lettland , Litauen , that took place Slowakei, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania. To 02. These states of NATO joined April 2004.


during already further entry candidates with Albania, Croatia, Macedonia and Georgien are available, place themselves the fundamental questionafter the future of NATO. The United States see being able to be distributed in the organization primarily a military alliance with its assistance the financial and logistic requirements to a war on the members. A large part of the EuropeanAllied - all in front Germany and France - want NATO more to a civilian-political mechanism to re-design.

Germany in NATO

since the entry of the Federal Republic of Germany to NATO in the year 1955 have themselves task and participationsubstantially changed. In the years up to the reunification the German Federal Armed Forces were conceived as an alliance army. For case of application no national guidance structures, the German federations existed to the NATO commanders been subordinate in the case of alliance. Some federations, particularly from the range of the Air Force and that Bundesmarine, waren der NATO bereits im Frieden direkt unterstellt und wurden jederzeit von ihr operativ geführt. In the time until 1990 the task of the German Federal Armed Forces was set exclusively in the defense of the own national territory. This changed, as Germanyin the course of the reunification attained his full sovereignty. Since beginning of the 90's the participation took place from German soldiers at so-called. peace-keeping and peace-receiving missions, which were accomplished in co-operation with the other allied ones. Also German Federal Armed Forces missions outside of the alliance area (Out OF AREA employments)are now accomplished:

It was disputed relating to domestic affairs whether the agreement of the Federal Government to the strategic one Concept of 1999 of the agreement of the federal daily required. This would have been the case if it had concerned with the concept 1999 a change of the North Atlantic Treaty contract. This has the Federal Constitutional Court (judgement of 22. November 2001) in oneof the Party of Democratic Socialism - parliamentary group exerted organ contentious proceedings essentially with the reason answers in the negative that the contract wording remains untouched, exists in particular the order for defense further and holds themselves the Out OF AREA employments in the context of the task of the peacekeaping measures considering international law, described in the NATO contractare.

Since 1955 the among other things following Germans were appointed into central leading positions of NATO:

  • Manfred Wörner was 1988-1993 NATO Secretary-General
  • General Adolf Heusinger was 1961-1964 chairmen of the NATO military committee
  • general Johannes stone-hopes was 1971-1974 chairmen of the NATO military committee
  • general Wolfgang old person castle was 1985-1989Chairman of the NATO military committee
  • general Klaus Naumann, 1996-1999 chairmen of the NATO military committee
  • general Harald Kujat, 2002-2005 chairmen of the NATO military committee

with 122 millions € Germany contributes over 18% of the NATO defense budget and is thereby to the USA and still forwards France and Great Britain the second largest contribution payer. Office languages are nevertheless only English and French.

see also


  • Johannes Varwick/yielding pool of broadcasting corporations Woyke (Hg.): The future thatNATO. Transatlantic security in the change. Opladen: Leske and Budrich 2000.
  • Johannes Varwick (Hg.): The relations between NATO and European Union. Leverkusen: Budrich 2005.

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Wiktionary: NATO - Word origin, synonyms and translations

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