Nato: Purpose, History, Members and Alliances

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NATO: Purpose, History, Members and Alliances

NATO stands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's an alliance of 28 member countries roughly bordering the North Atlantic Ocean: Canada, U.S., Turkey and most members of the European Union. NATO's purpose is to protect the freedom of its members. As famously defined in Article 5, " armed attack upon one...shall be considered an attack upon them all."

In recent years, NATO's purpose has expanded to include defense against weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and cyber-attacks. Since its inception following World War II, NATO has had to continually redefine its focus as a military and political alliance to keep up with the changing face of war.

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