The NATO: A Timeline

The world acknowledges the fearsome power of the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). Shubhagata Choudhury, reporting from the Council to Halt the Annihilation Of States (CHAOS), tries to imprint a timeline to showcase the forces that buoyed the NATO to become the power that it is today.


Alliances are forged on trust and convenience. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation – commonly knows as the NATO – is the evidence of such an alliance. The member states not only have each other’s back but they also engage in mutual consultation (under the Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty). The NATO’s rise is not just because of its efficiency as an international coalition which has stood the test of diplomacy and time; it is also because of its powerful members.

Here is a timeline of a few key events that shaped and changed the NATO. It should be noted that this timeline serves only as a guide and not as an exhaustive and detailed representation.

17 March 1948: The Treaty of Brussels, signed by the Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the French Republic, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and the United Kingdom (UK) of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, is frequently considered as the predecessor of the NATO.

September 1948: The Soviet blockade of Berlin leads to the formation of the Western European Union’s Defense Organisation.

4 April 1949: Ten countries come together to form a coalition. This included the United States of America (USA), Canada, Belgium, France, the UK, Luxembourg and seven western European states. This is after a string of political shortcomings and factional allegiances.

6 May 1955: West Germany joins NATO. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union gathers eight European nations into the Warsaw Pact coalition. Some say this is a panic move from the Bear.

10 March 1966: The NATO headquarters is moved from Paris to Brussels. This is after French President Charles de Gaulle pulled France out of the NATO’s integrated military structure. De Gaulle was frustrated by the dominance of American commanders.

10 December 1976: The Warsaw Pact’s proposals to restrict membership and to give up first use of nuclear arms is rejected by the NATO.

November 1990: The NATO and the signatories of the Warsaw Pact issue a joint non-aggression declaration in the last days of the Cold War.

July 1991: The Warsaw Treaty Organisation is officially disbanded.

December 1995: The NATO launches airstrikes on Bosnian Serbs to force a peace settlement.

March 1999: The NATO starts an 11-week-long airstrike campaign against Yugoslavia over the issue of Kosovo without any prior approval from the United Nations (UN).

12 September 2001: After the September 11 Attacks, the NATO invokes Article 5, which states that an attack on one NATO member is an attack on all members.

2 April 2004: The NATO expands to 26 members, including the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Latvia, and Romania.

April 2004: The NATO hands over peacekeeping duties in Bosnia to European Union Force Althea (EUFOR).

2017: The NATO expands its operations in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan while having enlarged to 28 members. Although it remains one of the strongest international coalitions, it has its fair share of political strains and troubles.


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