A NATO Primer: 10 Facts That You Should Know From School But Forgot

I'm sure you knew that the N.A.T.O Summit will be on our doorstep May 19th through the 21st.

Much talk has already begun about how challenging the average Chicagoan's life and commute will be for that weekend; but how much do you really know about N.A.T.O.?


1. What does N.A.T.O. stand for?

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

2.  When was it formed?


3.  What was the number of original member countries?


4.  Who were the original member countries?

Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom and the United States.

5.  How many current member countries are in N.A.T.O.?

28.  The remaining 16 are:

Greece, Turkey, Germany, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia,  Albania and Croatia

6.  Where is N.A.T.O. Headquartered?

Brussels, Belgium

7.  Who is the Secretary General of N.A.T.O.?

Anders Fogh Rasmussen

8.  What is a Secretary General and what does that mean?

The Secretary General is responsible for coordinating the workings of the alliance, serving as the head of the North Atlantic Council, is the primary spokesperson of the alliance, and leads NATO's staff. (Wikipedia)

9.  Why a summit?

The summits are regarded as a periodic opportunity for Heads of State and Heads of Government of NATO member countries to evaluate and provide strategic direction for Alliance activities.

NATO summits are not regular meetings like the more frequent NATO ministerial meetings, but rather are important junctures in the alliance’s decision-making process on the highest level. Summits are often used to introduce new policy, invite new members into the alliance, launch major new initiatives, and build partnerships with non-NATO countries. (Wikipedia)

10.  What does N.A.T.O. do?

N.A.T.O.'s fundamental purpose is to safeguard the freedom and security of it's members through political and military means. (What is N.A.T.O.)


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  • fb_avatar

    When did we leave NATO? I'm surprised they are still having the summit at our house after the break up.

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