NATO which stands for The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called The North Atlantic Alliance,
is an inter-governmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. Here are 6 interesting
facts about the organization and its purpose,

1- It was created on April 4, 1949 by the United States, Canada, Britain and several Western European nations
(12 member countries in total) and its main purpose was to provide collective security against the Soviet Union,
as a response to the Warsaw Pact signed between Russia and 7 other European nations. Today, that number has
grown to include 29 countries.

2- Article 5 of the Washington Treaty states that, in theory, “an attack on any one nation is an attack on all members”.
It has only been invoked once in the body’s entire history, the day after 9/11 terrorist attack.

3- Each member country has an equal say in discussions and decisions.

4- In theory, all military equipment and troops in each nation are available for NATO to use. This means
there are 3.6 million active personnel and another 3.7 million in reserve.

5- NATO’s military spending amounts to almost 1 trillion U.S dollars per annum. Even though this budget
is to be borne equally by all member states, the United States is responsible for over 70% of NATO’s annual budget.

6- U.S Army Gen. Dwight Eisenhower was appointed the first Supreme Allied Commander of NATO in 1951.
The Alliance is currently led by Jens Stoltenberg, a former prime minister of Norway.


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