At present, NATO has 30 members. In 1949, there were 12 founding members of the Alliance: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Australia, Japan and South Korea are all U.S. security allies. Australia and New Zealand are part of the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing alliance that also involves Britain, Canada and the United States, while Japan and Australia are members of the “Quad” group along with the United States and India.
The current member states of NATO are Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, ...
In April this year, the four countries participated in NATO's foreign ministerial meeting and they agreed to continue supporting Ukraine and to step up cooperation given the "global implications" of Russia's war on Ukraine. Australia, Japan and South Korea are all U.S. security allies.
In March 2015, Russia, citing NATO's de facto breach of the 1990 Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, said that the suspension of its participation in it, announced in 2007, was now "complete" through halting its participation in the consulting group on the Treaty.
The 12 founding member countries of NATO are Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
None are NATO members, but each is wary of China's growing influence and coercion. Since 2020, NATO has stepped up cooperation with the four Asian democracies, which it refers to as “Asia-Pacific partners."
Three of NATO's members are nuclear weapons states: France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. NATO has 12 original founding member states. Three more members joined between 1952 and 1955, and a fourth new member joined in 1982.
Plans for NATO membership were shelved by Ukraine following the 2010 presidential election in which Viktor Yanukovych, who preferred to keep the country non-aligned, was elected President. Amid the unrest, caused by the Euromaidan protests, Yanukovych fled Ukraine in February 2014.
Since 1949, NATO has increased its collective military power. Today it has the capability to count on nearly 3.5-million personnel, troops and civilian combined. Each member state agrees to contribute with different strategic weight and influence.
On 15 February 2019, the country which was previously known as the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was officially recognised as the Republic of North Macedonia. On 27 March 2020, it became NATO's 30th member.
NATO, which was formed in 1949, is the most powerful military alliance in the world.
On 10 March 1966, President Charles de Gaulle announced France was officially withdrawing from NATO. The country would no longer host any NATO bases. The SHAPE, or Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers of Europe, which is in charge of NATO military planning, was relocated from Paris to Brussels.
The United States has formal diplomatic relations with most nations. This includes all UN member and observer states other than Bhutan, Iran, North Korea and Syria, and the UN observer State of Palestine, the latter of which the U.S. does not recognize.
South Korea is not a member of NATO but was invited to the summit along with Japan, Australia and New Zealand as the organisation's Asia-Pacific partners.
A world map reveals that, first, Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere and, second, it lies not in the Atlantic Ocean but, rather, in the Indian and Pacific oceans. NATO is principally for the nations located in the region of the North Atlantic and also nations neighboring or near such nations.
The force has grown from 13,000 troops to 40,000 since 2014, with many of those based along the alliance's eastern flank, from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south.
Thirty nations are NATO members: the United States, United Kingdom, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Albania, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Croatia, Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, Romania, Germany, Slovakia, Greece, Slovenia, Hungary, Spain, Turkey, ...
Since 2005, NATO has been supporting the African Union (AU) – a regional organisation with 55 members established in 2002.
Israel has enjoyed a special relationship with NATO for over three decades and was the third country to gain non-NATO alliance status as early as 1989.
For more than 30 years, NATO tried to build a partnership with Russia, developing dialogue and practical cooperation in areas of common interest. Despite this, over the past decade, Russia has continuously violated the norms and principles that contributed to a stable and predictable European security order.
From 1992-1995, NATO conducted several military operations in Bosnia, including enforcing a no-fly-zone and providing air support for UN peacekeepers. These activities were mandated by the United Nations Security Council, of which Russia is a member.
NATO's essential and enduring purpose is to safeguard the freedom and security of all its members by political and military means. Collective defence is at the heart of the Alliance and creates a spirit of solidarity and cohesion among its members.