- 3Military Operations:
- 3.1Early Operations:
- 3.2Bosnia and Herzegovina Intervention:
- 3.1Kosovo Intervention:
- 3.2War in Afghanistan:
- 3.1Iraq Training Mission:
- 3.2Gulf of Aden Anti-Piracy:
- 3.1Libya Intervention:
- 4Participating Countries:
- 7The Flag:
The member nations of NATO are:
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Czech Republic
The first 12 nations listed were original members, listed here in alphabetical order. Other nations follow in order of admission, again in alphabetical order where more than one nation joined in a year.
New membership in the alliance has been largely from Central and Eastern Europe, including former members of the Warsaw Pact. Accession to the alliance is governed with individual Membership Action Plans, and requires approval by each current member. NATO currently has two candidate countries that are in the process of joining the alliance: Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia. North Macedonia signed an accession protocol to become a NATO member state in February 2019, which is undergoing ratification by the member states. Its accession had been blocked by Greece for many years due to the Macedonia naming dispute, which was resolved in 2018 by the Prespa agreement. In order to support each other in the process, new and potential members in the region formed the Adriatic Charter in 2003. Georgia was also named as an aspiring member, and was promised “future membership” during the 2008 summit in Bucharest, though in 2014, US President Barack Obama said the country was not “currently on a path” to membership.
Russia continues to oppose further expansion, seeing it as inconsistent with informal understandings between Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and European and US negotiators that allowed for a peaceful German reunification. NATO’s expansion efforts are often seen by Moscow leaders as a continuation of a Cold War attempt to surround and isolate Russia, though they have also been criticized in the West. A June 2016 Levada poll found that 68% of Russians think that deploying NATO troops in the Baltic states and Poland – former Eastern bloc countries bordering Russia – is a threat to Russia. In contrast 65% of Poles surveyed in 2017 Pew Research Center report identified Russia as a “major threat”, with an average of 31% saying so across all NATO countries, and 67% of Poles surveyed in 2018 favor US forces being based in Poland. Of non-CIS Eastern European countries surveyed by Gallup in 2016, all but Serbia and Montenegro were more likely than not to view NATO as a protective alliance rather than a threat.
Ukraine’s relationship with NATO and Europe has been politically controversial, and improvement of these relations was one of the goals of the “Euromaidan” protests that saw the ousting of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014. In March 2014, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk reiterated the government’s stance that Ukraine is not seeking NATO membership. Ukraine’s president subsequently signed a bill dropping his nation’s nonaligned status in order to pursue NATO membership, but signaled that it would hold a referendum before seeking to join. Ukraine is one of eight countries in Eastern Europe with an Individual Partnership Action Plan. IPAPs began in 2002, and are open to countries that have the political will and ability to deepen their relationship with NATO.