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All about Nato

Preetha Kadhir
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The Hindu in School has always carried news items about Nato, especially in the context of Afghanistan. Last week, the ‘donkey bomber’ story hit the headlines.

A suicide bomber rode on a donkey into the Afghan and Nato military convoy claiming four lives in eastern Afghanistan. Three Nato soldiers and an Afghan interpreter breathed their last. Four Afghan soldiers were badly hurt.

Many believe that Nato was founded to confront Soviet Union. This is just one part of the story. The formation of the Nato in 1949 was basically to serve three purposes- to minimize the expansion of the Soviet, to stop the revival of the militarism in Europe and to encourage coming together of the European political segment.

Nato since then has been working for the freedom and security of its members through political and military means. Nato helps prevent conflict among nations. This is achieved by promoting dialogue and cooperation on defence and security issues which in turn builds trust.

Though the organisation is committed to peacefully resolving disputes, it also uses military capacity if the talks fail. Under the collective defence theory, an attack against one or several members of the Nato is considered as an attack against all. This principle is part of the Article 5 in the Washington Treaty. This was invoked after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

Nato helps in conducting multinational crisis-management operations. Every day, many experts gather at the Nato headquarters(Brussels, Belgium) to exchange information. The success of the Nato lies in it providing equal opportunity for member states to consult and take decisions on security issues. All the 28 members’ will is considered before taking any decision. Their consensus makes for a Nato decision.

A Nato emblem was adopted on 14 October 1953, after much discussion. A white and blue compass on a dark blue background was designed to be the flag of the Nato.

United Kingdom, United States, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Romania, Norway, Iceland, Greece are some of the Nato members.


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