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Tags: GS Mains Paper 2 International Relation, International Organization.
Prelims GS Paper 1 International Organization  

•    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 28 European countries and 2 North American countries. 
•    The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949.
•    NATO constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. 
•    NATO's Headquarters is located in Haren, Brussels, Belgium.

Member Countries
•    Since its founding, the admission of new member states has increased the alliance from the original 12 countries to 30. 
•    The most recent member state to be added to NATO was North Macedonia on 27 March 2020. 
•    NATO's 30 members are Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, 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, United Kingdom, and the United States.

How Does NATO Work?
•    NATO's mission is to protect the freedom of its members and the stability of their regions. Its targets include weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and cyber-attacks.
•    A key aspect of the alliance is Article 5, which states that "an armed attack against one Ally is considered an attack against all Allies." In other words, if someone attacks one NATO nation, all NATO nations will retaliate.
♦    NATO has only once invoked Article 5, on September 12, 2001 following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in the US.
•    NATO's protection does not extend to members' civil wars or internal coups.