Terrorism and war, have been and still are prominent parts of life today all over the world. Ever wonder who is going to defend a country when they are being wrongfully attacked or have a feeling of insecurity? Well NATO, otherwise known as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is just the organization that takes care of that. Countries from around the world form an alliance to protect each other and maintain security and stability.
NATO was mainly formed in 1949 after the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty to deter an attack by the Soviet Union on non-communist nations of Western Europe during the Cold War. NATO was also established to keep the peace among former enemies in Western Europe. The purpose of this organization is to enhance the stability, well-being, and freedom of its members by means of a system of collective security (Encarta, 1). In its first decade NATO was mainly a military organization dependent on U.S. power for security and for the revival of Europe's economy (Encarta, 2). The United States military was and still is the alliance's most powerful member. NATO countries believed that the Soviet Union would not attack if it would trigger war with the U.S. NATO's policy is known as deterrence because it is designed to deter an attack. NATO's purpose has been less clear since the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union were no longer existent in 1991 (Ostrower, 1). NATO currently consists of the United States, Canada, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
The organization contains a military and civilian branch. The civilian branch consists of the NATO countries heads of government or a representative. A secretary-general heads the council and has always been a European. The outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 convinced the allies that the Soviets might act against Germany.