intergovernmental military alliance between 32 member states
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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance among 28 European countries and 2 North American countries. Its current Secretary-General is Jens Stoltenberg. Established in the aftermath of World War II, the organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty (1949), established in response to the threat posed by the Soviet Union. The alliance has remained in place since the end of the Cold War, and has been involved in military operations in the Balkans, the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. The combined military spending of all NATO members in 2020 constituted over 57 per cent of the global nominal total. Members agreed that their aim is to reach or maintain the target defence spending of at least 2 per cent of their GDP by 2024.

NATO promotes democratic values and enables members to consult and cooperate on defence and security-related issues to solve problems, build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict. ~NATO

Quotes edit

Excerpt from NATO's home page edit

  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is one of the world’s major international institutions. It is a political and military alliance that brings together 29 member countries from Europe and North America. These countries meet to cooperate in the field of security and defence. In this respect, NATO provides a unique link between these two continents for political and security cooperation.
    As the nature of threats changes, so must the methods of preserving peace. NATO is reorienting its defence capabilities towards today’s threats. It is adapting forces and developing multinational approaches to deal with terrorism, failed states and other security threats such as weapons of mass destruction.
  • Each member country has a permanent delegation at NATO’s political headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. It is headed by an ambassador, who represents his/her government in the Alliance’s consultation and decision-making process. The North Atlantic Council is the most important political decision-making body within the Organization. It meets at different levels and is chaired by the Secretary General of NATO, who helps members reach agreement on key issues.
  • All decisions within each of NATO’s committees are reached by consensus. A “NATO decision” is therefore the expression of the collective will of all member countries. NATO has very few permanent forces of its own. When an operation is agreed by the North Atlantic Council, members contribute forces on a voluntary basis. These forces return to their countries once the mission is completed.
    It is the role of the military command structure to coordinate and conduct these operations. This structure consists of headquarters and bases located in different member countries. NATO’s day-to-day activities, civil and military structures and security investment programmes are funded through common budgets to which member governments contribute in accordance with an agreed cost-sharing formula.

Statement by NATO Heads of State and Government (24 March 2022) edit

We, the Heads of State and Government of the 30 NATO Allies, have met today to address Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the gravest threat to Euro-Atlantic security in decades.
Statement by NATO Heads of State and Government (24 March 2022)
Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine represents a fundamental challenge to the values and norms that have brought security and prosperity to all on the European continent. President Putin’s choice to attack Ukraine is a strategic mistake, with grave consequences also for Russia and the Russian people. We remain united and resolute in our determination to oppose Russia’s aggression, aid the government and the people of Ukraine, and defend the security of all Allies
  • We, the Heads of State and Government of the 30 NATO Allies, have met today to address Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the gravest threat to Euro-Atlantic security in decades. Russia’s war against Ukraine has shattered peace in Europe and is causing enormous human suffering and destruction.
  • We condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the strongest possible terms. We call on President Putin to immediately stop this war and withdraw military forces from Ukraine, and call on Belarus to end its complicity, in line with the Aggression Against Ukraine Resolution adopted at the UN General Assembly of 2 March 2022. Russia should comply with the 16 March ruling by the UN International Court of Justice and immediately suspend military operations. Russia’s attack on Ukraine threatens global security. Its assault on international norms makes the world less safe. President Putin’s escalatory rhetoric is irresponsible and destabilizing.
  • Ukrainians have inspired the world with heroic resistance to Russia’s brutal war of conquest. We strongly condemn Russia’s devastating attacks on civilians, including women, children, and persons in vulnerable situations. We will work with the rest of the international community to hold accountable those responsible for violations of humanitarian and international law, including war crimes. We are deeply concerned about the increased risk of sexual violence and human trafficking. We urge Russia to allow rapid, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access and safe passage for civilians, and to allow for humanitarian aid to be delivered to Mariupol and other besieged cities. We also condemn attacks against civilian infrastructure, including those endangering nuclear power plants. We will continue to counter Russia’s lies about its attack on Ukraine and expose fabricated narratives or manufactured “false flag” operations to prepare the ground for further escalation, including against the civilian population of Ukraine. Any use by Russia of a chemical or biological weapon would be unacceptable and result in severe consequences.
  • Russia needs to show it is serious about negotiations by immediately implementing a ceasefire. We call on Russia to engage constructively in credible negotiations with Ukraine to achieve concrete results, starting with a sustainable ceasefire and moving towards a complete withdrawal of its troops from Ukrainian territory. Russia’s continuing aggression while discussions are taking place is deplorable. We support Ukraine’s efforts to achieve peace, and those undertaken diplomatically by Allies to weigh in on Russia to end the war and relieve human suffering.
  • We stand in full solidarity with President Zelenskyy, the government of Ukraine, and with the brave Ukrainian citizens who are defending their homeland. We honour all those killed, injured, and displaced by Russia’s aggression, as well as their families. We reaffirm our unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders extending to its territorial waters.
  • Ukraine has a fundamental right to self-defence under the United Nations Charter. Since 2014, we have provided extensive support to Ukraine’s ability to exercise that right.
  • We are united in our resolve to counter Russia’s attempts to destroy the foundations of international security and stability. We are holding Russia and Belarus to account. Massive sanctions and heavy political costs have been imposed on Russia in order to bring an end to this war. We remain determined to maintain coordinated international pressure on Russia. We will continue to coordinate closely with relevant stakeholders and other international organizations, including the European Union. Transatlantic coordination remains crucial for an effective response to the current crisis.
  • We remain committed to the foundational principles underpinning European and global security, including that each nation has the right to choose its own security arrangements free from outside interference. We reaffirm our commitment to NATO’s Open Door Policy under Article 10 of the Washington Treaty.
  • We will continue to take all necessary steps to protect and defend the security of our Allied populations and every inch of Allied territory. Our commitment to Article 5 of the Washington Treaty is iron-clad.
    In response to Russia’s actions, we have activated NATO’s defence plans, deployed elements of the NATO Response Force, and placed 40,000 troops on our eastern flank, along with significant air and naval assets, under direct NATO command supported by Allies’ national deployments.
  • We are increasing the resilience of our societies and our infrastructure to counter Russia’s malign influence. We are enhancing our cyber capabilities and defences, providing support to each other in the event of cyber-attacks. We are ready to impose costs on those who harm us in cyberspace, and are increasing information exchange and situational awareness, enhancing civil preparedness, and strengthening our ability to respond to disinformation. We will also enhance our preparedness and readiness for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.
  • Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine represents a fundamental challenge to the values and norms that have brought security and prosperity to all on the European continent. President Putin’s choice to attack Ukraine is a strategic mistake, with grave consequences also for Russia and the Russian people. We remain united and resolute in our determination to oppose Russia’s aggression, aid the government and the people of Ukraine, and defend the security of all Allies.

Madrid Summit Declaration (29 June 2022) edit

We, the Heads of State and Government of the North Atlantic Alliance, have gathered in Madrid as war has returned to the European continent. We face a critical time for our security and international peace and stability.
Madrid Summit Declaration issued by NATO Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Madrid (29 June 2022)
Today, we have decided to invite Finland and Sweden to become members of NATO, and agreed to sign the Accession Protocols. … The accession of Finland and Sweden will make them safer, NATO stronger, and the Euro-Atlantic area more secure.
  • We, the Heads of State and Government of the North Atlantic Alliance, have gathered in Madrid as war has returned to the European continent. We face a critical time for our security and international peace and stability. We stand together in unity and solidarity and reaffirm the enduring transatlantic bond between our nations. NATO is a defensive Alliance and poses no threat to any country. NATO remains the foundation of our collective defence and the essential forum for security consultations and decisions among Allies. Our commitment to the Washington Treaty, including Article 5, is iron-clad. In this radically changed security environment, this Summit marks a milestone in strengthening our Alliance and accelerating its adaptation.
  • We are united in our commitment to democracy, individual liberty, human rights, and the rule of law. We adhere to international law and to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. We are committed to upholding the rules-based international order.
  • We condemn Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine in the strongest possible terms. It gravely undermines international security and stability. It is a blatant violation of international law. Russia’s appalling cruelty has caused immense human suffering and massive displacements, disproportionately affecting women and children. Russia bears full responsibility for this humanitarian catastrophe. Russia must enable safe, unhindered, and sustained humanitarian access. Allies are working with relevant stakeholders in the international community to hold accountable all those responsible for war crimes, including conflict-related sexual violence. Russia has also intentionally exacerbated a food and energy crisis, affecting billions of people around the world, including through its military actions. Allies are working closely to support international efforts to enable exports of Ukrainian grain and to alleviate the global food crisis. We will continue to counter Russia’s lies and reject its irresponsible rhetoric. Russia must immediately stop this war and withdraw from Ukraine. Belarus must end its complicity in this war.
  • We warmly welcome President Zelenskyy’s participation in this Summit. We stand in full solidarity with the government and the people of Ukraine in the heroic defence of their country. We reiterate our unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders extending to its territorial waters. We fully support Ukraine’s inherent right to self-defence and to choose its own security arrangements. We welcome efforts of all Allies engaged in providing support to Ukraine. We will assist them adequately, recognising their specific situation.
  • We will continue and further step up political and practical support to our close partner Ukraine as it continues to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity against Russian aggression. Jointly with Ukraine, we have decided on a strengthened package of support. This will accelerate the delivery of non-lethal defence equipment, improve Ukraine’s cyber defences and resilience, and support modernising its defence sector in its transition to strengthen long-term interoperability. In the longer term, we will assist Ukraine, and support efforts on its path of post-war reconstruction and reforms.
  • Resilience is a national responsibility and a collective commitment. We are enhancing our resilience, including through nationally-developed goals and implementation plans, guided by objectives developed by Allies together. We are also strengthening our energy security. We will ensure reliable energy supplies to our military forces. We will accelerate our adaptation in all domains, boosting our resilience to cyber and hybrid threats, and strengthening our interoperability. We will employ our political and military instruments in an integrated manner. We have endorsed a new chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence policy. We will significantly strengthen our cyber defences through enhanced civil-military cooperation.
  • Climate change is a defining challenge of our time with a profound impact on Allied security. It is a threat multiplier. We have decided on a goal to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions by the NATO political and military structures and facilities, while maintaining operational, military and cost effectiveness. We will integrate climate change considerations across all of NATO’s core tasks.
  • Taking into account our unprecedented level of cooperation with the European Union, we will continue to further strengthen our strategic partnership in a spirit of full mutual openness, transparency, complementarity, and respect for the organisations’ different mandates, decision-making autonomy and institutional integrity, and as agreed by the two organisations. Our common resolve in responding to Russia’s war against Ukraine highlights the strength of this unique and essential partnership. The participation of our partners from the Asia-Pacific region, alongside other partners, demonstrated the value of our cooperation in tackling shared security challenges.
  • We will further enhance our partnerships so that they continue to meet the interests of both Allies and partners. We will discuss common approaches to global security challenges where NATO’s interests are affected, share perspectives through deeper political engagement, and seek concrete areas for cooperation to address shared security concerns. We will now move ahead with strengthening our engagement with existing and potential new interlocutors beyond the Euro-Atlantic area.
  • Today, we have decided to invite Finland and Sweden to become members of NATO, and agreed to sign the Accession Protocols. In any accession to the Alliance, it is of vital importance that the legitimate security concerns of all Allies are properly addressed. We welcome the conclusion of the trilateral memorandum between Türkiye, Finland, and Sweden to that effect. The accession of Finland and Sweden will make them safer, NATO stronger, and the Euro-Atlantic area more secure. The security of Finland and Sweden is of direct importance to the Alliance, including during the accession process.
  • With our decisions today, we have firmly set the direction for the Alliance’s continued adaptation. NATO remains the strongest Alliance in history. Through our bond and our mutual commitment, we will continue to safeguard the freedom and security of all Allies, as well as our shared democratic values, now and for future generations.

Quotes about NATO edit

1949 edit

  • [I]f the Kaiser in World War I and the Fuehrer in World War II had been on notice that an armed attack against any of the friendly nations with whom we associate ourselves would be considered a cause even for us to consider and study and determine whether or not we would enter into the common defense, it would have stopped both those wars before they occurred, and in my opinion that one single designation of a commanlty of interest in the North Atlantic the best assurance against world war III.
    • Arthur Vandenberg, speech in the United States Senate (14 February 1949), quoted in Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the 81st Congress. First Session. Volume 95—Part 1. January 3, 1949, to February 17, 1949 (1949), p. 1164
  • [T]his Pact is a purely defensive arrangement for the common security of the countries who join it, and it is not directed against anyone. If we are accused of ganging up against any country or group of countries I should say simply: "Examine the text. There is no secrecy about it, and there are no secret clauses. You will not find in the text any provision which threatens the security or the well-being of any nation." No nation innocent of aggressive intentions need have the slightest fear or apprehension about it.
  • [T]he Pact must be regarded as a concrete expression of the identity of view long held among the Western nations. It recognises the common heritage and civilisation of their peoples, founded on principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law between nations. It is not elaborate; its simplicity is apparent, but I can assure the House that it is based on an understanding and determination to preserve our way of life.
  • The paramount purposes of the pact are peace and security... It is clear that the North Atlantic Pact is not an improvisation. It is the statement of the facts and lessons from two world wars in less than half a century. That experience has taught us that the control of Europe by a single aggressive, unfriendly Power would constitute an intolerable threat to the national security of the United States... We must make it clear that armed attack will be met by collective defence, prompt and effective. That is the meaning of the North Atlantic Pact.
    • Dean Acheson, radio broadcast (18 March 1949), quoted in The Times (19 March 1949), p. 4
  • [The North Atlantic Pact is] an instrument of tremendous moral power. It lays before the world the desires of great nations to live in peace and to be free from molestation and hostile pressures by aggressive States. It mobilizes the forces of peace against the forces of exploitation and war. It is a shining monument to the highest and finest international ethics. It is a symbol of national integrity and good faith between nations.
    • Tom Connally, statement quoted in The Times (19 March 1949), p. 4
  • The Atlantic Treaty is not aggressive. It is purely defensive. Those who attack it as offensive do so from a bad conscience. They take just the same line as the Nazis did when every attempt by the nations to get together was denounced as the encirclement of Germany. We seek by the pact to gain for the nations a sense of security which they so ardently desire. We seek by the organization of security to make the world safe against aggression and by pooling of strength to reduce the burden of armaments.
    • Clement Attlee, speech in Glasgow (10 April 1949), quoted in The Times (11 April 1949), p. 4

1953 edit

  • I am speaking tonight, not as an Englishman, but as an international servant of the fourteen countries which are linked together by the North Atlantic Treaty. I hope that I am being heard by many men and women in those countries, because I am convinced that, if the Alliance is to prosper, it must have the personal understanding and support of the citizens of the North Atlantic Community. When I am asked: "What is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization?", I am tempted to answer: "It is a great adventure. It is perhaps the most challenging and most constructive experiment in international relations that has ever been attempted. It is undoubtedly our best chance of preventing the measureless catastrophe of a third world war." But obviously I must be more specific than that. The best definition of NATO that I can give you in a few wordsis that it is the organisation that has been set up to ensure that the fourteen partners to the Treaty think together and act together in political, military, economic, social, cultural and other matters: in fact, to ensure that it is a true and thorough partnership. The fourteen partners are (I give them in alphabetical order): Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • Now let me explain why these countries have bound themselves together by a treaty. At the end of the Second World War the democracies, hoping and believing that the United Nations would prove an effective instrument for peace, disarmed as fast as they could. Soviet Russia did nothing of the sort. They maintained their armed strength at wartime level. They launched a world-wide campaign of lies and hatred against the free world. They turned the proceedings of the United Nations into a farce by the use of the veto. They brought under their control, one by one, the countries of Eastern Europe. The democracies realised that unless something were done, it was only a matter of time before the countries of Western Europe alse were overrun. What was to be done? How was the balance of power to be restored? No single nation could do this alone. It could be done only by combining. That is why the North Atlantic Treaty was conceived. It was signed about 4½ years ago.

1956 edit

  • Yes, today we have genuine Russian weather. Yesterday we had Swedish weather. I can't understand why your weather is so terrible. Maybe it is because you are immediate neighbours of NATO.
    • Nikita Khrushchev, at a Swedish-Soviet summit which began on March 30, 1956, in Moscow. The stenographed discussion was later published by the Swedish Government, as quoted in Raoul Wallenberg (1985) by Eric Sjöquist, p. 119.

1961 edit

  • With the creation of a separate West German state, with the conclusion of the Paris Agreements and with the inclusion of West Germany in NATO, the Western powers finally unilaterally broke the Potsdam Agreement, this sole valid document in international law for Germany in the postwar period. It is not coincidental that in connection with this a special occupation status of the three powers was established in West Berlin. By this three-sided occupation status, the Western powers themselves confirmed that they violated the international-legal basis of their occupation regime in West Berlin and that this regime was based only on undisguised military force.

1972 edit

  • Needless to say, in the 1950s when most Africans were still colonial subjects, they had absolutely no control over the utilization of their soil for militaristic ends. Virtually the whole of North Africa was turned into a sphere of operations for NATO, with bases aimed at the Soviet Union. There could easily have developed a nuclear war without African peoples having any knowledge of the matter. The colonial powers actually held military conferences in African cities like Dakar and Nairobi in the early 1950s, inviting the whites of South Africa and Rhodesia and the government of the U.S.A. Time and time again, the evidence points to this cynical use of Africa to buttress capitalism economically and militarily, and therefore in effect forcing Africa to contribute to its own exploitation.

1981 edit

1982 edit

  • The decay of the Soviet experiment should come as no surprise to us. Wherever the comparisons have been made between free and closed societies -- West Germany and East Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia, Malaysia and Vietnam -- it is the democratic countries what are prosperous and responsive to the needs of their people. And one of the simple but overwhelming facts of our time is this: Of all the millions of refugees we've seen in the modern world, their flight is always away from, not toward the Communist world. Today on the NATO line, our military forces face east to prevent a possible invasion. On the other side of the line, the Soviet forces also face east to prevent their people from leaving.

1989 edit

  • We are convinced that it is high time talks on tactical nuclear systems were initiated among all interested countries. The ultimate objective is to completely eliminate those weapons. Only Europeans who have no intention of waging war against one another are threatened by those weapons. What are they for then and who needs them? Are nuclear arsenals to be eliminated or retained at all costs? Does the strategy of nuclear deterrence enhance or undermine stability? On all these questions the positions of NATO and the Warsaw Pact appear to be diametrically opposed. We, however, are not dramatising our differences. We are looking for solutions and invite our partners to join us in this quest.

1990 edit

1997 edit

  • [P]erhaps it is not too late to advance a view that, I believe, is not only mine alone but is shared by a number of others with extensive and in most instances more recent experience in Russian matters. The view, bluntly stated, is that expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold-war era. Such a decision may be expected to inflame the nationalistic, anti-Western and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion; to have an adverse effect on the development of Russian democracy; to restore the atmosphere of the cold war to East-West relations, and to impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking.
  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization and its member States, on the one hand, and the Russian Federation, on the other hand, hereinafter referred to as NATO and Russia, based on an enduring political commitment undertaken at the highest political level, will build together a lasting and inclusive peace in the Euro-Atlantic area on the principles of democracy and cooperative security.
  • NATO and Russia do not consider each other as adversaries. They share the goal of overcoming the vestiges of earlier confrontation and competition and of strengthening mutual trust and cooperation. The present Act reaffirms the determination of NATO and Russia to give concrete substance to their shared commitment to build a stable, peaceful and undivided Europe, whole and free, to the benefit of all its peoples. Making this commitment at the highest political level marks the beginning of a fundamentally new relationship between NATO and Russia. They intend to develop, on the basis of common interest, reciprocity and transparency a strong, stable and enduring partnership.

2001 edit

The transatlantic alliance deserves a resounding “happy birthday”. It kept the peace for 40 years of cold war, protected western Europe from communism, helped stabilise central Europe after the Soviet Union’s collapse and enabled unprecedented prosperity... The allies are getting on with a long to-do list drawn up at last year’s summit, from ambitious readiness plans to new command centres. ~The Economist
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has praised the United Kingdom for maintaining a continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent for 50 years in a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May. At least one Royal Navy submarine carrying nuclear missiles has been on undersea patrol at all times since April 1969. ~NATO News
The world is arming itself to the teeth... Global military spending last year rose to $1.8trn, says SIPRI—the highest level in real terms since reliable records began... ~ Military spending around the world is booming, The Economist, (28 April 2019)
In July 2016... [John R.] Bolton denounced then-nominee Trump’s suggestion that the U.S. not defend fellow NATO countries. (NATO is one international accord Bolton considers worthwhile.) He called Trump’s statement “very disturbing” and “a dagger at the heart of the most successful political-military alliance in human history.” ~The Atlantic
  • Meanwhile, in the U.S.—the country most responsible by far for DU contamination—newspapers have relegated most of their coverage to news briefs and short wire stories. The only U.S. newspaper in the Nexis media database to have run an editorial on the current controversy is the Seattle Times (1/6/01). Big picture questions about the extensive use of DU since the Gulf War, its lasting impact on civilian populations and the record of official deception around DU have been largely ignored in both print and broadcast reports... According to a search of the Nexis database, no major U.S. newspaper, magazine, television show or wire service has reported on the COE’s suggestion that NATO countries deliberately violated international law. Despite questions raised by veterans, health researchers and international organizations like the UN, NATO’s use of DU in Kosovo has received almost no sustained media attention, either during or after the war. One war time report on ABC‘s Nightline (4/1/99) criticized Serbian state media’s coverage of the conflict, highlighting what it described as “this astonishing claim” from a Belgrade news report: “They [NATO forces] even use radioactive weapons… which are forbidden by the Geneva Convention.” Astonishing, perhaps, but true; at the time, the Pentagon had already admitted using DU in Kosovo. As for the possibility that NATO violated the Geneva Conventions, ABC has never returned to it.

2007 edit

  • I think it is obvious that NATO expansion does not have any relation with the modernization of the alliance itself or with ensuring security in Europe. On the contrary, it represents a serious provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust. And we have the right to ask: against whom is this expansion intended? And what happened to the assurances our western partners made after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact? Where are those declarations today? No one even remembers them. But I will allow myself to remind this audience what was said. I would like to quote the speech of NATO General Secretary Mr. Woerner in Brussels on 17 May 1990. He said at the time that: “the fact that we are ready not to place a NATO army outside of German territory gives the Soviet Union a firm security guarantee.” Where are these guarantees?

2011 edit

  • NATO this morning detained a tanker in Malta that was due to ship fuel from Italy to a port in western Libya, a senior Libyan source told Petroleum Economist. The Jupiter was destined for a port within the Qadhafi-held east and the well-placed sourced said it was carrying 12,750 tonnes of gasoline for use by the regime's military forces. A Nato official told Petroleum Economist that the ship was boarded "and told it cannot deliver its gasoline because fuel is being diverted to regime forces". He added that the ship was now at anchor off Tripoli awaiting instruction from its owner. Nato added: "It is the Qadhafi regime which is depriving its own citizens of vehicle fuel by diverting reserves for military use. Nato naval forces can deny access to vessels entering or leaving Libyan ports if there is reliable intelligence to suggest that the vessel or its cargo will be used to support attacks or threats on civilians, either directly or indirectly."
    Stopping a ship in international waters or within Libyan maritime territory “could be considered an act of war”, according to Martijn Feldbrugge, a sanctions expert at Business Sanctions and Consulting Nieuwediep...Preventing fuel supplies to the regime rests on assumptions that gasoline shortages could hamper Qadhafi’s military, or trigger an uprising in Tripoli by locals. Such a strategy could yet backfire, Shashank Joshi, a military expert and associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London, said. “Fuel shortages will hurt the civilians in Tripoli first, not the military. The anger that causes may not be directed at the regime but at NATO.”

2014 edit

  • Western policy stands out as a phenomenal success, particularly when measured against the low expectations with which it began: the integration of Central Europe and the Baltic States into the European Union and NATO. Thanks to this double project, more than 90 million people have enjoyed relative safety and relative prosperity for more than two decades in a region whose historic instability helped launch two world wars.
  • For the record: No treaties prohibiting NATO expansion were ever signed with Russia. No promises were broken. Nor did the impetus for NATO expansion come from a “triumphalist” Washington. On the contrary, Poland’s first efforts to apply in 1992 were rebuffed...But Poland and others persisted, precisely because they were already seeing signs of the Russian revanchism to come.
  • ... constant efforts were made to reassure Russia. No NATO bases were placed in the new member states, and until 2013 no exercises were conducted there. A Russia-NATO agreement in 1997 promised no movement of nuclear installations. A NATO-Russia Council was set up in 2002. In response to Russian objections, Ukraine and Georgia were, in fact, denied NATO membership plans in 2008.
  • The [2014] crisis in Ukraine, and the prospect of a further crisis in NATO itself, is not the result of our triumphalism but of our failure to react to Russia’s aggressive rhetoric and its military spending. Why didn’t we move NATO bases eastward a decade ago? Our failure to do so has now led to a terrifying plunge of confidence in Central Europe...Our mistake was not to humiliate Russia but to underrate Russia’s revanchist, revisionist, disruptive potential.

2016 edit

  • Our first action that really set us off in a bad direction was when Nato started to expand, bringing in eastern European nations, some of them bordering Russia. At that time we were working closely with Russia and they were beginning to get used to the idea that Nato could be a friend rather than an enemy ... but they were very uncomfortable about having Nato right up on their border and they made a strong appeal for us not to go ahead with that.
  • There is a crisis brewing at the NATO-Russian border. It is no small matter. In his illuminating and judicious scholarly study of the region, Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands, Richard Sakwa writes — all too plausibly — that the “Russo-Georgian war of August 2008 was in effect the first of the ‘wars to stop NATO enlargement;’ the Ukraine crisis of 2014 is the second. It is not clear whether humanity would survive a third.” The West sees NATO enlargement as benign. Not surprisingly, Russia, along with much of the Global South, has a different opinion, as do some prominent Western voices. George Kennan warned early on that NATO enlargement is a “tragic mistake,” and he was joined by senior American statesmen in an open letter to the White House describing it as a “policy error of historic proportions.”
NATO should have disbanded after the Cold War, just as the Warsaw Pact did... NATO is not a friend of peace. We don't need it. ~ Ron Paul
  • NATO should have disbanded after the Cold War, just as the Warsaw Pact did. Instead of disbanding, NATO proceeded to gobble up Eastern European countries that were formerly a part of the Warsaw Pact. The "regime change" and absorption of Ukraine into NATO would put them right on Russia's border. NATO is not a friend of peace. We don't need it.
  • Many of us have spent decades studying Moscow’s foreign policy. We shake our heads in disbelief when we see Western leaders seemingly oblivious to what it means to the Russians to witness exercises on a scale not seen since Hitler’s armies launched “Unternehmen Barbarossa” 75 years ago, leaving 25 million Soviet citizens dead. In our view, it is irresponsibly foolish to believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not take countermeasures... Putin does not have the option of trying to reassure his generals that what they hear and see from NATO is mere rhetoric and posturing... In sum, Russia is bound to react strongly to what it regards as the unwarranted provocation of large military exercises along its western borders, including in Ukraine.

2017 edit

  • But by 1949 fear seemed to rule out all other considerations. Truman managed to get a coalition together in Congress for a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), an integrated alliance that included a mutual defense obligation. Though much time was spent in Washington on discussing who in Europe could join, what was most remarkable was how European governments lined up to get inside quick. In Italy and France, their Christian Democrat and liberal governments delivered their countries for NATO. In Britain and the Low Countries both labor parties and conservatives were in favor. Even in Scandinavia, with its long tradition of neutrality, Danish and Norwegian Social Democrats steamrolled applications for membership through their parliaments. The Norwegian ambassador to the United States explained that “Norway learned her lesson in 1940.… Today [it] does not believe that neutrality has any relation to the facts of life.” The most curious addition was Portugal, which was neither a democracy nor a World War II ally. But both Britain and the United States viewed the Portuguese Atlantic islands as essential bases in case of a war against the Soviets. In April 1949 the treaty was signed in Washington.
    • Odd Arne Westad, The Cold War: A World History (2017)
  • The initial effects of NATO in Europe were neither military nor political. They were substantially psychological. Non-Communist western Europeans started to believe that the United States would not withdraw from the continent anytime soon. This meant that Europe would remain divided. But it also meant security against a Soviet attack. The setting up of NATO was not about a civilizational definition of a European core (“from Plato to NATO,” as some put it—even though Greece would not join until 1952). It was about stability on a continent that had been going through hell for more than a generation. If the purpose of NATO—as its first general secretary, Lord Ismay, is said to have quipped—was to “keep the Americans in, the Soviets out, and the Germans down,” then this was a purpose with which the majority of western Europeans agreed around 1950. The exception, of course, were the Communists, who protested everywhere.
    • Odd Arne Westad, The Cold War: A World History (2017)

2018 edit

Defense Expenditures of NATO Countries (2010-2017)
  • The crucial question...what is NATO for? ...From the beginning.. we had drilled into our heads that the purpose of NATO was to defend us from the Russian hordes... OK, 1991, no more Russian hordes...So, what’s NATO doing altogether? Well, actually, its mission was changed. The official mission of NATO was changed to become to be—to control and safeguard the global energy system, sea lanes, pipelines and so on. And, of course, on the side, it’s acting as a intervention force for the United States. Is that a legitimate reason for us to maintain NATO, to be an instrument for U.S. global domination? I think that’s a rather serious question. That’s not the question that’s asked.
  • President Trump says he knows more about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization than Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. "Frankly, I like Gen. Mattis. I think I know more about it than he does," Trump said during an interview with CBS News' "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday. "And I know more about it from the standpoint of fairness, that I can tell you." Trump made the comments when asked whether Mattis, a former four-star Marine general, explained to the commander in chief that NATO was crucial to preventing World War III. "The answer is this," Trump said. "I will always be there with NATO, but they have to pay their way. I'm fully in favor of NATO, but I don't wanna be taken advantage of." Trump has repeatedly bashed the country's NATO partners for their slow progress in achieving the alliance's defense spending target of 2 percent of GDP by 2024.
  • For six decades, the real power of NATO was not its tanks, planes, or even its nuclear weapons, but rather, the American government’s implicit promise to use them. Article 5 of the NATO Treaty implies that the U.S., with its overwhelmingly large army, would come to the aid of any member under attack. But let’s be honest: in 2018, nobody really knows if this would happen.

2019 edit

Non-US members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will invest a further $100bn according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. ~Army Technology
By 2020 I think we’ll have at least another hundred billion dollars spent by the Allies, the other countries...
~ President Donald Trump

January/June edit

  • President Trump’s nationalistic foreign policy has rattled U.S. allies and NATO members — and as he has pushed them to pay more for having U.S. troops stationed on their territory and framed the alliance in transactional terms.
    • Washington Post As Europe worries about Trump, congressional leaders invite NATO head for joint address, Seung Min Kim, Rachael Bade and Robert Costa (11 March 2019)
  • The transatlantic alliance deserves a resounding “happy birthday”. It kept the peace for 40 years of cold war, protected western Europe from communism, helped stabilise central Europe after the Soviet Union’s collapse and enabled unprecedented prosperity. “We’re incredibly complacent about the continuous delivery of peace and stability in our lives, and a hell of a lot of that depends on NATO,” says Sir Adam Thomson, a former British ambassador to nato, now with the European Leadership Network, a London-based think-tank. “We tend to take it for granted.”
  • Since Russia’s annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014, Poland, the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia as well as other Eastern European states have expressed concerns about their security. The United States has deployed and rotated troops in the region since the Ukraine crisis began in an effort to deter Russia. NATO has also increased its presence near Russia’s borders.
  • When NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg gives his speech to the assembled members of Congress next Wednesday, you can count on the House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader to be right behind him. The bipartisan enthusiasm will be obvious -- in tribute to a militarized political culture that is vastly profitable for a few, while vastly destructive in countless ways. Only public education, activism, protests and a wide range of political organizing have the potential to disrupt and end the reflexive support for NATO in Washington.
  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has praised the United Kingdom for maintaining a continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent for 50 years in a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May. At least one Royal Navy submarine carrying nuclear missiles has been on undersea patrol at all times since April 1969. This mission, called Operation Relentless, is the longest sustained military operation ever undertaken by the UK. Mr. Stoltenberg stressed that NATO Allies face a highly complex international security environment. “Our goal is to maintain peace and security for all our nations and people”, he wrote. “The commitment the UK has made, and continues to make, is a vital contribution to NATO's overall deterrence effort, including against the most extreme potential threats. This helps protect all NATO Allies.”
  • Former vice president Joe Biden... warned during a private Coral Gables fundraiser that the greatest threat to the future of America — world peace, even — is currently occupying the White House....“Eight years of this and I think we’ll have a phenomenal dislocation occur around the world. I think you’ll see the end of NATO and a whole range of other things that really are the things that maintain peace.”
  • A relative latecomer to the cyber game, NATO is beginning to “operationalize” cyber capabilities into its overall structure by integrating those tools of member nations, said the alliance’s secretary general. “We are tackling increasingly complex cyberthreats faster and more efficiently. And we are more aware of the threats, more resilient to incidents,” Jens Stoltenberg said May 23 at the Cyber Defense Pledge Conference in London. “We also need to consider how we can deter attacks in cyberspace.”
    • Mark Pomerleau NATO to integrate offensive cyber capabilities of individual members, Fifth Domain (28 May 2019)
  • NATO was created in 1949 to prevent possible Soviet attacks on the United States, Canada and a number of Western European nations. In case of an attack on one member, all NATO countries are required to rush to its defense. Even though the Soviet threat is long gone and the United States spends more on defense than any other NATO member, the military alliance’s supporters argue that the benefits outweigh the costs.
    In a letter, former NATO secretaries... wrote, “We believe that the transatlantic alliance is the cornerstone of a stable, peaceful and free world. Few things symbolise this alliance, and the enduring benefits of American global leadership, more vividly than the life and work of John McCain... We urge NATO to repay this lifetime of service to its mission by naming its new Brussels headquarters after Senator McCain."
  • "What Nord Stream 2 does is salami slice NATO by cutting some of the Eastern European countries away from the Western ones and particularly Germany...” The company behind Nord Stream 2 argues the pipeline adds much needed supply capacity at a time when European gas reserves are diminishing... They reject the suggestion the pipeline furthers the Kremlin's geopolitical interests in Europe.

July/December edit

  • Who is our common enemy? This question deserves to be clarified. Is our enemy today, as I hear sometimes, Russia? Is it China? Is it the Atlantic alliance’s purpose to designate them as enemies? I don’t think so... Our common enemy at the alliance is, it seems, terrorism, which has hit all of our countries.

2020 edit

  • In the years gone by, NATO summits were important events in the life of the alliance. Over the past two decades, however, the gatherings became almost annual, and therefore less than exciting. Until the 2017 NATO summit in Brussels, that is. Trump livened things up by not referring to the North Atlantic Treaty's iconic article 5, which stated that "an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all." This provision is actually less binding than its reputation, since each alliance member will merely take "such action as it deems necessary." It had been invoked only once, after the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. Nonetheless, NATO had been a successful deterrence structure, for decades blocking the Red Army from knifing through Germany's Fulda Gap and deep into the heart of Western Europe. Of course, the United States was always the overwhelmingly greatest force contributing to our alliance, and it was primarily for our benefit, not because we were renting ourselves out to defend Europe, but because defending "the West" was in America's strategic interest. As a Cold War bulwark against Soviet expansionism, NATO represented history's most successful politico-military coalition.
    • John Bolton, The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir (2020), p. 133
  • Did NATO have problems? Of course. Not for nothing was Henry Kissinger's famous 1965 work entitled The Troubled Partnership: A Reappraisal of the Atlantic Alliance. The list of NATO's deficiencies was long, including, after the Soviet Union's 1991 collapse, the feckless abandonment by several European members of their responsibility to provide for their own self-defense. Under President Clinton, America suffered its own military declines, as he and others saw the collapse of Communism as "the end of history," slashing defense budgets to spend on politically beneficial domestic welfare programs. This "peace dividend" illusion never ended in much of Europe, but it ended in America with the September 11 mass murders in New York and Washington by Islamicist terrorists. NATO's future has been intensely debated among national-security experts for decades, with many urging a broader post-Cold War agenda. Barack Obama criticized NATO members for being "free riders," not spending adequately on their own defense budgets, but, typically, he had simply graced the world with his views, doing nothing to see them carried out.
    • John Bolton, The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir (2020), p. 133-134
  • Trump, at his first NATO summit in 2017, complained that too many allies were not meeting their 2014 commitment, collectively made at Cardiff, Wales, to spend 2 percent of their GDP for defense in the European theater. Germany was one of the worst offenders, spending about 1.2 percent of GDP on defense, and always under pressure from Social Democrats and other leftists to spend less. Trump, despite, or perhaps because, of his father's German ancestry, was relentlessly critical. During consultations on the strike against Syria in April, Trump asked Macron why Germany would not join in the military retaliation against the Assad regime. It was a good question, without an answer other than domestic German politics, but Trump rolled on, criticizing Germany as a terrible NATO partner and again attacking the Nord Stream II pipeline, which would see Germany paying Russia, NATO's adversary, substantial revenues. Trump called NATO "obsolete" during the 2016 campaign but argued in April 2017 that the problem had been "fixed" in his presidency. His noteworthy failure in 2017 to mention article 5 allegedly surprised even his top advisors because he personally deleted any reference to it from a draft speech. True or not, the 2017 summit set the stage for the potential crisis we faced in 2018.
    • John Bolton, The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir (2020), p. 134
  • The storm had been brewing well before I arrived in the West Wing, but now it was directly ahead. Trump was correct on the burden-sharing point, as Obama had been, a convergence of views that might have shaken Trump's confidence in his own had he paid attention to it. The problem, from the perspective of US credibility, steadfastness, and alliance management, was the vitriol with which Trump so often expressed his displeasure with allies' not achieving the objective, or in some cases not even seeming to be interested in trying. In fact, earlier Presidents had not succeeded in keeping the alliance up to the mark in burden-sharing in the post-Cold War era. I certainly believed that, under Clinton and Obama in particular, the US had not spent enough on its own behalf for defense, regardless of what any of the allies were doing or not doing. If any of this were merely a critique of Trump's style, which it seemed to be for many critics, it would be a triviality. Personally, I've never shied away from being direct, even with our closest friends internationally, and I can tell you they are never shy about telling us what they think, especially about America's deficiencies. In fact, it was not Trump's directness but the veiled hostility to the alliance itself that unnerved other NATO members and his own advisors.
    • John Bolton, The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir (2020), p. 134-135
  • When reports come out that certain countries don’t really like me too much, that’s not because of my personality, although it could be that also, frankly. It’s because of the fact that I’ve been very tough on countries that have been ripping us off for so many years. If you look at NATO, with the exception of eight countries—we’re one of them—every country is way behind. They’re delinquent, especially Germany, in paying their NATO bills. That means we end up paying it, and we’re not doing it. I told them; we’re not doing it. And they’ve increased their spending now $130 billion, going up to $400 billion a year. It’s all because of me. Then you hear the country doesn’t like me. I mean, I can understand that, because President Obama and other presidents, in all fairness, would go in there and they’d make a speech and they’d leave. I went in there, I looked, and I said, “This is unfair. We’re paying for NATO.” We’re paying for NATO. Almost all of it. So they rip us off on the military and then they rip us off, with the European Union, on trade. And Biden doesn’t have a clue. You know he doesn’t have a clue. Everybody knows he doesn’t have a clue. In primetime, he wasn’t good. And now it’s not primetime.
  • The mutual trust that emerged with the end of the Cold War was severely shaken a few years later by NATO's decision to expand to the east. Russia had no option but to draw its own conclusions from that.

2021 edit

  • In a more dangerous and competitive world, NATO continues to do whatever is necessary to keep our people, nations and values safe. Over the past year, Russia's aggressive rhetoric and actions have continued apace, culminating in the brutal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in late February 2022. President Putin has been clear that his objectives are not limited to Ukraine. He has demanded legally binding agreements to end further NATO enlargement, and to remove troops and infrastructure from NATO Allies that joined after 1997 — almost half of the Alliance.
  • What I think is happening as a result of NATO expansion, of Biden being a tremendously hawkish figure on Ukraine and basically daring Vladimir Putin to stand up to NATO expansion, is that you run the risk of what is ultimately the elite business class of the world having their battles spilling over into overt military conflict. I think China in particular is very concerned about the aggressive U.S. stance because I think China would be very happy to find a way to just sort of divvy up the world for domination in various regions. The United States is not going to accept that. The U.S. posture is pushing China and Russia into an even closer alliance akin to the relationship during the Cold War.
  • Listen, there's been a campaign, a war against Russia going on for a long time. It started again in the United States around 2006, '07, when he made that speech in Munich, but I think there's no evidence really of the aggressiveness of Russia. The aggressiveness is truly coming from the NATO forces that have encircled Russia and that are also, by the way, encircling China.

2022 edit

Finns were reminded of the events of 1939, when the Soviet Union denied their country’s right to exist and attacked it in the Winter War. More than eighty years later, Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine did far more to sway opinion in Finland and Sweden than its questioning of their right to join NATO. ~ René Nyberg
  • I have pursued a lone heresy of wondering why NATO even survived the end of its enemies, the USSR and the Warsaw Pact. Do we still maintain alliances against Austria-Hungary or the Ottomans? I can find no trace of them. Perhaps, overlooked in some elegant Paris street and living off ancient funds, elderly, learned men still occupy these joyous sinecures, hoping that they will not be found out.

  • Bush promised no expansion of NATO. Clinton & Bush II decided expanding NATO was a good idea.

2023 edit

See also edit

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