Member states of NATO

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Current NATO members highlighted in blue
Timeline of countries becoming NATO members. Dark blue marks countries that were already NATO members at the given time. Light blue marks new members.

NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is an international alliance that consists of 28 member states from North America and Europe. It was established at the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949. Article Five of the treaty states that if an armed attack occurs against one of the member states, it should be considered an attack against all members, and other members shall assist the attacked member, with armed forces if necessary.[1]

Of the 28 member countries, two are located in North America (Canada and the United States) and 25 are European countries while Turkey is in Eurasia. All members have militaries, except for Iceland which does not have a typical army (but does, however, have a coast guard and a small unit of civilian specialists for NATO operations). Three of NATO's members are nuclear weapons states: France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. NATO has 12 original founding member nation states, and from February 18 1952 to May 6,1955, it added 3 more member nations, and a fourth on May 30,1982. After the end of the Cold War, NATO added 12 more member nations (10 former Warsaw Pact members and two former Yugoslav republics) from March 12, 1999 to April 1, 2009.

Founding and changes in membership[edit]

NATO has added new members six times since its founding in 1949, and since 2009 NATO has had 28 members. Twelve countries were part of the founding of NATO: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1952, Greece and Turkey became members of the Alliance, joined later by West Germany (in 1955) and Spain (in 1982). In 1990, with the reunification of Germany, NATO grew to include the former country of East Germany. Between 1994 and 1997, wider forums for regional cooperation between NATO and its neighbors were set up, including the Partnership for Peace, the Mediterranean Dialogue initiative and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. In 1997, three former Warsaw Pact countries, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Poland, were invited to join NATO. After this fourth enlargement in 1999, the Vilnius group of The Baltics and seven East European countries formed in May 2000 to cooperate and lobby for further NATO membership. Seven of these countries joined in the fifth enlargement in 2004. Albania and Croatia joined in the sixth enlargement in 2009. Due to the 2016–17 Turkish purges and Turkey's turn to authoritarianism some have speculated that Turkey could be expelled from NATO.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]

Member states by date of accession[edit]

Date[10] Country Enlargement Notes
4 April 1949  Belgium Founders
 Canada
 Denmark Denmark's NATO membership includes the Faroe Islands and Greenland.
 France France withdrew from the integrated military command in 1966 to pursue an independent defense system but returned to full participation on 3 April 2009.
 Iceland Iceland, the sole member that does not have its own standing army, joined on the condition that it would not be expected to establish one. However, its strategic geographic position in the Atlantic made it an invaluable member. It has a Coast Guard and has recently contributed a voluntary peacekeeping force, trained in Norway for NATO.
 Italy
 Luxembourg
 Netherlands
 Norway
 Portugal
 United Kingdom
 United States
18 February 1952  Greece First Greece withdrew its forces from NATO's military command structure from 1974 to 1980 as a result of Greco-Turkish tensions following the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
 Turkey
6 May 1955  Germany Second Commonly known as West Germany when it joined; it later reunited with Saarland in 1957 and with the Berlin territories and East Germany on 3 October 1990. East Germany was a member of the rival Warsaw Pact 1956–1990.
30 May 1982  Spain Third
12 March 1999  Czech Republic Fourth Member of the rival Warsaw Pact 1955–1991 as part of Czechoslovakia.
 Hungary Member of the rival Warsaw Pact 1955–1991.
 Poland Member of the rival Warsaw Pact 1955–1990.
29 March 2004  Bulgaria Fifth Member of the rival Warsaw Pact 1955–1991.
 Estonia Member of the rival Warsaw Pact 1955–1991 as part of the Soviet Union.
 Latvia Member of the rival Warsaw Pact 1955–1991 as part of the Soviet Union.
 Lithuania Member of the rival Warsaw Pact 1955–1990 as part of the Soviet Union.
 Romania Member of the rival Warsaw Pact 1955–1991.
 Slovakia Member of the rival Warsaw Pact 1955–1991 as part of Czechoslovakia.
 Slovenia Previously part of Yugoslavia 1945–1991 (Non-aligned)
1 April 2009  Albania Sixth Member of the rival Warsaw Pact 1955–1968.
 Croatia Previously part of Yugoslavia 1945–1991 (Non-aligned)

Military personnel[edit]

Country Active personnel Reserve personnel Total
 Albania 8,500 5,000 13,500
 Belgium 24,500 100,500 125,000
 Bulgaria 35,000 302,500 337,500
 Canada 68,000 27,000 95,000
 Croatia 18,000 180,000 198,000
 Czech Republic 21,057 2,359 23,416
 Denmark 20,003 63,000 78,000
 Estonia 6,425 60,000 63,209
 France 222,215 100,000 322,215
 Germany 180,676 145,000 325,676
 Greece 180,000 280,000 460,000
 Hungary 29,700 8400 38,100
 Iceland 210 170 380
 Italy 180,000 41,867 220,867
 Latvia 6,000 11,000 17,000
 Lithuania 15,839 4,550 20,389
 Luxembourg 1,057 278 1,335
 Netherlands 47,660 57,200 104,860
 Norway 26,200 56,200 82,400
 Poland 120,000 515,000 635,000
 Portugal 44,900 210,930 255,830
 Romania 73,350 79,900 153,250
 Slovakia 16,000 16,000
 Slovenia 7,300 1,500 8,801
 Spain 123,000 16,200 139,200
 Turkey 620,473 429,000 1,041,900
 United Kingdom 205,851 181,720 387,571
 United States 1,369,532 850,880 2,220,412
 NATO 3,585,000 3,745,000 7,330,000

Military expenditures[edit]

Country Population
(2016 est.)
GDP (nominal)
(2015, US$ millions)
Military expenditures
(2015, US$ millions)
Military expenditures
(2016, % of GDP)[11]
Defence expenditures,
(2014, US$ per capita)
Deployable military
(2016)[11]
 Albania 3,038,594 11,543 155 1.21 42.2 7,000
 Belgium 11,409,077 454,687 4,953 0.85 468 29,000
 Bulgaria 7,144,653 48,957 797 1.35 116 31,000
 Canada 35,362,905 1,552,386 17,210 0.99 492 65,000
 Croatia 4,313,707 48,850 904 1.23 204 15,000
 Czech Republic 10,644,842 181,858 2,099 1.04 189 22,000
 Denmark 5,593,785 294,951 4,130 1.14 796 16,000
 Estonia 1,258,545 22,704 546 2.16 392 6,000
 France 66,836,154 2,421,560 49,747 1.78 964 207,000b
 Germany 80,722,792 3,413,483 47,046 1.19 562 180,000
 Greece 10,773,253 195,320 6,104 2.38 479 106,000
 Hungary 9,874,784 120,636 1,225 1.01 118 18,000
 Iceland 335,878 16,718 4.5 a 14.2 0a
 Italy 62,007,540 1,815,757 28,460 1.11 506 182,000
 Latvia 1,965,686 27,048 341 1.45 150 5,000
 Lithuania 2,854,235 41,267 566 1.49 126 13,000
 Luxembourg 582,291 57,423 362 0.44 594 900
 Netherlands 17,016,967 738,419 10,476 1.17 600 41,000
 Norway 5,265,158 389,482 7,377 1.54 1,328 20,000
 Poland 38,523,261 474,893 12,603 2 275 103,000
 Portugal 10,833,816 199,077 4,380 1.38 396 31,000
 Romania 21,599,736 177,315 2,980 1.48 118 70,000
 Slovakia 5,445,802 86,629 1,164 1.16 180 13,000
 Slovenia 1,978,029 42,768 489 0.94 233 7,000
 Spain 48,563,476 1,199,715 16,929 0.91 270 121,000
 Turkey 80,274,604 733,642 17,669 1.56 298 411,000
 United Kingdom 64,430,428 2,849,345 59,730 2.21 952 161,000
 United States 323,995,528 16,348,875 595,472 3.61 1,891 1,305,000
 NATO 932,645,526 36,211,501 904,913 2.9 934 3,515,000
Population data from CIA World Factbook
GDP data from IMF[12]
Expenditure data (except Iceland) from SIPRI Military Expenditure Database,[13] Icelandic data (2013) from Statistics Iceland[14]
Military personnel data from NATO[15]
a Iceland has no armed forces.
b 2015 data.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The North Atlantic Treaty". North Atlantic Treaty Organization. 1949-04-04. Retrieved 2008-06-16. 
  2. ^ "Erdogan's purge may give Nato no choice but to expel Turkey from the alliance". The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  3. ^ Wintour, Patrick (28 July 2016). "Turkey officials to demand extradition of Fethullah Gülen from US". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  4. ^ "Will Turkey be expelled from NATO?". Al-Monitor. 26 July 2016. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  5. ^ "NATO and Turkey: Allies, not friends". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  6. ^ "Turkey's NATO membership and move to cement ties with Russia". DailySabah. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  7. ^ "In Opinion: Turkey should be thrown out of NATO". Newsweek. 13 August 2016. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  8. ^ "NATO members are supposed to be democratic. What happens when Turkey isn't?". Washington Post. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  9. ^ Weiss, Stanley (23 February 2016). "It's Time to Kick Erdogan's Turkey Out of NATO". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  10. ^ "North Atlantic Treaty" (PDF). United States Department of State. 2009-04-01. Retrieved 2015-09-02. 
  11. ^ a b "Table 3 : Defence expenditures as a percentage of gross domestic product and annual real change (based on 2010 prices)" (PDF). Retrieved 20 January 2017. 
  12. ^ "World Economic Outlook Database April 2016". International Monetary Fund. International Monetary Fund. April 2015. Retrieved 2016-10-23. 
  13. ^ "SIPRI Military Expenditure Database 2015" (XLS). Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-23. 
  14. ^ "Central government total expenditure by function 1998-2013". Statistics Iceland. Statistics Iceland. 2014-09-23. Retrieved 2015-06-08. 
  15. ^ "Financial and Economic Data Relating to NATO Defence" (PDF). NATO. NATO. 24 February 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2015.