Skip to main content
CNN.com
Search
Home World U.S. Weather Business Sports Analysis Politics Law Tech Science Health Entertainment Offbeat Travel Education Specials Autos I-Reports
WORLD header

What is NATO?

By Jackie Dent for CNN
Adjust font size:
Decrease fontDecrease font
Enlarge fontEnlarge font

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is made up of 26 countries from Europe and North America.

Member states are committed to the North Atlantic Treaty, which was signed in 1949. The aim of the treaty is to safeguard the freedom and security of its member countries by political and military means.

Who is in charge of NATO?

The North Atlantic Council (NAC) is the most important decision-making body within NATO. It is made up of representatives of the Allies, including ambassadors, ministers, and heads of state and government. There is no voting or decision by majority.

Does NATO have its own army?

NATO is made up of troops and assets "donated" by member countries for various operations.

What is NATO doing at the moment?

NATO is currently involved in a range of missions throughout the world.

Their largest operation is in Afghanistan, where troops from 37 countries are involved, including 26 NATO allies and 11 partners.

Provincial reconstruction teams (PRTs) are undertaking various development projects.

NATO has military headquarters in Bosnia and Herzegovina and provides support to a European-led operation in the country. (Full story)

At the request of the African Union (AU), NATO provides support in the region of Darfur, Sudan. NATO forces train AU forces and providing airlift for AU peacekeepers.


story.nato.flags.jpg

National flags of NATO member countries at the 2006 summit in Riga, Latvia.

QUICK VOTE

Should individual countries lift their rules of engagement for the NATO mission in Afghanistan?
or View Results
Advertisement

Advertisement

Career Builder.com
Quick Job Search
  More Options
International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise with Us About Us Contact Us
Search
© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
SERVICES » E-mails RSSRSS Feed PodcastsRadio News Icon CNNtoGo CNN Pipeline
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by CNN.com
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more