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75 Years of Establishment of NATO

  • Why is it in the news?

    In 2024, NATO celebrated its 75th anniversary since its establishment in

About NATO

  • NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, established in 1949 with the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty, aims to ensure the security and defense of its member countries through collective defense.
  • Founding Members: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty emphasizes collective defense, considering an armed attack against one or more members as an attack against all.
  • Decisions within NATO are based on consensus among member countries, with the North Atlantic Council as the principal political decision-making body.
  • Currently consisting of 32 member countries, including recent additions like Sweden and Finland. Sweden and Finland applied to join in response to Russia’s actions, with Finland joining in 2023 and Sweden in March 2024.
  • After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, many Eastern European countries joined.
  • Membership expansion is the largest since the 1990s, adding significant troop numbers to the alliance.
  • Countries like Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Georgia aspire to join NATO.

Concerns of NATO Expansion

  • Geopolitical Tensions: Expanding NATO’s borders may heighten tensions, particularly with neighbouring countries close to Russia.
  • Security Dilemma: Expansion could trigger a security dilemma, leading to increased military tensions or arms races.
  • Strategic Interests: Some question NATO’s strategic interests and its focus on expanding rather than consolidating existing members.
  • European Security Architecture: Expansion may hinder broader European security initiatives such as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
  • Potential for Conflict: Expansion raises the risk of conflict, especially in regions with existing disputes.

Way Forward

  • Diplomacy, dialogue, and understanding of each other’s security concerns are crucial for addressing challenges posed by NATO expansion.
  • Further, balancing security interests with stability and peace in the Euro-Atlantic region is essential.

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