The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, was formed in 1949 as a military alliance for collective defense against the Soviet Union and its affiliated countries. But who exactly are the countries that signed the NATO agreement?
The original signatories of the NATO agreement were the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. These countries were the founding members of the alliance, which was initially created as a way of countering the Soviet Union`s expansionist policies in Europe.
Over the years, several other countries have joined NATO, either as full members or as partners with differing levels of participation. For example, Greece and Turkey became members in 1952, while West Germany joined in 1955. Spain became a member in 1982, followed by the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland in 1999. Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia joined in 2004, and Croatia and Albania became members in 2009.
The most recent member to join NATO was Montenegro, which became a member in 2017. Currently, there are 30 member countries in NATO, with the alliance`s headquarters situated in Brussels, Belgium.
The NATO agreement is a key component of the collective defense doctrine of its member countries. The treaty states that an attack on any member country is considered an attack on all member countries, and that the alliance will respond with all necessary means to defend its members. This mutual defense clause has only been invoked once, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States.
In conclusion, the original signatories of the NATO agreement were the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. Since then, several other countries have joined the alliance, with Montenegro being the most recent addition in 2017. The alliance`s mutual defense doctrine has been key to maintaining peace and security in Europe over the past decades.