There are 31 members of NATO in 2023 and the list is provided below.
NATO is one term that is widely used when we talk about geopolitics around the world. It stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It is also known as North Atlantic Alliance. In simple words, we can say that it is an intergovernmental military alliance between 31 countries. In these 31 countries, 29 are European countries and 2 are North American countries.
If you are a student preparing for the civil services exam then you are expected to have good knowledge of this organization. It is so because questions like what is NATO, list of NATO countries, etc. are often asked in competitive exams. Go through this post to get the complete details about NATO forces and how do they work.
Formation of NATO
There were various reasons due to which North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was created in the year 1949. Some of these reasons are as follows.
- Its main purpose was to secure peace in Europe and promote mutual co-operation.
- Another motive was to counter the threat posed by the Soviet Union which had become a superpower after World War II.
- Initially, the treaty was signed by 12 European and 2 North American (Canada and USA) countries. The aim was to ensure the peaceful resolution of disputes.
- Most importantly, the treaty has a clause of collective defence, meaning that an attack against one Ally is considered as an attack against all Allies. This clause provides a great sense of security amongst the member nations.
List of NATO Members
The member countries of NATO play the most important role in the functioning of the organization. The list of NATO members as of 2023 is given below along with the year in which they joined NATO.
- Belgium – 1949
- Canada – 1949
- Denmark – 1949
- France – 1949
- Iceland – 1949
- Italy – 1949
- Luxembourg – 1949
- Netherlands – 1949
- Norway – 1949
- Portugal – 1949
- The United Kingdom – 1949
- The United States – 1949
- Greece – 1952
- Turkey – 1952
- Germany – 1955
- Spain – 1982
- Czech Republic – 1999
- Hungary – 1999
- Poland – 1999
- Bulgaria – 2004
- Estonia – 2004
- Latvia – 2004
- Lithuania – 2004
- Romania – 2004
- Slovakia – 2004
- Slovenia – 2004
- Albania – 2009
- Croatia – 2009
- Montenegro – 2017
- North Macedonia – 2020
- Finland- 2023
Note: As you can see in the above list 29 countries in NATO are European and only two countries are North American.
Objectives of NATO
The main objectives of NATO are discussed below.
- Political And Military Alliance – NATO always promotes democratic values. The member countries can consult and co-operate in their defence and security related issues. One of NATO’s main aims is to protect the freedom of each of its members through political and military measures.
- Collective Defence – This is the most important job of NATO. According to the principle of NATO, an attack on any member of NATO is considered as an attack against all. This principle is enshrined in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. Article 5 is invoked only once so far when the USA was attacked in September 2001 by terrorists.
- Boost Transatlantic Link – NATO also provides an amazing link between the continents of Europe and North America. This organization enable countries in Europe and North America to cooperate and consult in the field of defence and security.
- The 2010 Strategic Concept – This concept defines the core motives/ tasks as collective defence, crisis management and cooperative security.
List of Major Operations by NATO Forces so far
Here is the list of the major military operation conducted by NATO as of now.
|Name of the operation||Dates||Details|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||1992 to 2004||Bombing of Bosnian Serb military commands, Attacking the Army of the Republika Srpska, after the Srebrenica genocide.|
|Operation Allied Force||24 March 1999 to 10 June 1999||3 month long bombing campaign against Serbian forces in Kosovo|
|KFOR||12 June 1999 to Present||Peacekeeping force for the establishment of a peaceful environment in Kosovo to enforce UNSC resolution 1244.|
|Disarmament of the Macedonian UÇK fighters||27 August 2001 to 26 September 2001||To disarm the Macedonian UCK fighters.|
|Operation Eagle Assist||9 October 2001 to 16 May 2002||Aerial petrol over the USA to protect against an attack similar to that of 11 September 2001|
|International Security Assistance Force||20 December 2001 to 28 December 2014||Peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan|
|Pakistan earthquake relief||8 October 2005 to 9 February 2006||Providing Aid in the wake of the 2005 Kashmir Earthquake in Pakistan|
|Operation Ocean Shield||17 August 2009 to 15 December 2016||Counter the problem of piracy near the coasts of Africa|
|Operation Unified Protector||27 March 2011 to 31 October 2011||To enforce a no-fly zone in Libya to protect citizens from Muammar Gaddafi.|
|Operation Active Fence||December 2012 to present||Installing MIM-104 Patriot system air defence system in Turkey|
|Resolute Support Mission||1 January 2015 to 12 July 2021||Train and support Afghan Security Forces and Institutions|
Frequently Asked Questions
NATO was formed on 4th April 1949.
The headquarters of NATO is in Brussels, Belgium.
The official languages of NATO are English and French.
There are 31 members in NATO as of 2023.
NATO currently recognizes Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, and Ukraine as aspiring members.