NATO: 75 years of partnership and collaboration

NATO: 75 years of partnership and collaboration

Heads of state and government officials of NATO countries will be in Washington, D.C., from 9 to 11 July for the annual summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which also happens to be the alliance's 75th anniversary.

The summit takes place in a global security environment nearly as turbulent as when NATO was created in 1949. On 4 April of that year, ten European nations signed the North Atlantic Treaty, fearing a Soviet Union ready to swallow up the war-weary countries of Europe following World War II.

Achievements and challenges

Since its founding, NATO has expanded its ranks. It now has 32 member states and cooperation models such as the Partnership for Peace Programme, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, the Mediterranean Dialogue, and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, engaging around 40 partner nations from all over the globe in dialogue and practical cooperation on a range of political and security-related issues.

On top of its conventional power, NATO is also a powerful nuclear alliance. The alliance's charter describes nuclear weapons as “the ultimate and supreme guarantee of the allies’ security”. But the alliance's journey hasn't always been smooth. It has struggled to maintain funding from member states to support its massive operational costs.

During his time as president, Donald Trump complained that European countries were not contributing their fair share to NATO's budget and suggested that the US could reconsider its membership in the alliance if they didn't. Since then, member states have promised to allocate at least 2% of their GDP on defence spending, and as of today, 23 member nations have fulfilled this commitment.

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