NATO stands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.  NATO is a security alliance.  When a group of countries face the same threat, they may join together to defend themselves.  NATO today performs many functions around the world, for example peacekeeping missions and anti-terrorism initiatives.  Its main function, however, is to keep as much of Europe and its neighbors together as part of one security alliance against possible larger threats, like for example from Russia.  Most NATO members are also European Union members.  Canada and the United States are also NATO members. See NATO’S Binding Defense Article, and Episode 7: IS NATO READY? for more.

NATO 2016

Countries of NATO’s Security Alliance.


CONFLICT-WORLD thanks the following reference for the original image, who is totally independent from and does not endorse CONFLICT-WORLD: (2016) Europe. Available at:

(Accessed October 5th 2016). Graphics added to the original by Kerim Pirefendi.