What is the Purpose of NATO?
What Is the Purpose of NATO?
To appreciate what is the purpose of NATO requires viewing today's geopolitical forces in light of early Cold War realities 60 years ago. That's when 19 countries formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization for the mutual defense of Western Europe against possible attack by the Soviet Union and other Communist nations.
Much has changed since then. The Cold War is over, the Soviet Union is no more, and now the greatest threats to Western democracies are posed by rogue states and terrorist groups bent on acquiring weapons of mass destruction. NATO itself has expanded to 28 member nations, including some former Warsaw Pact nations like Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Knowing that NATO membership obligates partners to defend one another from aggression gave Europeans second thoughts about so directly antagonizing the Russians. Those candidacies are now on the back burner.
Discover more about NATO's purpose in the 21st century in the article, "NATO Backs Washington's Missile Defense Plans: A Victory for U.S. Diplomacy".