The end of WW II was responsible for the growth of several global political alliances in an attempt to avert the possibility of a similar debacle in the future. The formation of the European Union was one such event and another was the creation of NATO.
On 4 April 1949 the North Atlantic Treaty was signed by North American and European countries in which the signatories agreed to the collective defence of each other from military attack from an external source. NATO was born bandits headquarters located in Brussels, Belgium
The Twelve original members of NATO were Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States. This number has now risen to 29 with the inclusion of Greece and Turkey (1952), Germany (1955), Spain (1982), the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland (1999), Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia (2004), Albania and Croatia (2009), and finally Montenegro (2017).
Each member contribute financially by a percentage of their GDP which by 2024 will reach two percent.
The United States, France and the United Kingdom are the only members of NATO to possess nuclear weapons and as such are also the only permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and have the power to veto any collective decisions.
It was the Korean War in 1950, that galvanised the members of NATO to broaden and structure the association into a military, as well as political, outfit although it was not until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, that it was decided to conduct its first military intervention.
It was the break-up of Yugoslavia that drew NATO into this initial operation with forces deployed in Bosnia from 1992-1995 and later in Yugoslavia in 1999.
Article 5 of the treaty in which member states pledge to come to the assistance of a member under armed attack has only been invoked once after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York, resulting in NATO troop deployment in Afghanistan from 2003 - 2014.
The lesser Article 4, which seeks consultation between the members as a result of an insurgence, has subsequently been invoked on five occasions, four of which were by Turkey over the Iraq War in 2003, the Syrian Civil War in 2012 and over ISIS in 2015 and once by Poland in 2014 over Russia’s actions in Crimea.