NATO has come under fire in recent days as Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has called the military alliance obsolete.
And while the alliance does have its flaws, with some European member states feeling secure under a US security umbrella, NATO still remains and global and critical organisation.
The following map, taken from NATO, shows the organisation’s incredible reach:
The blue on the map shows NATO’s core, which is structured around the organisation’s 28 member states. This number will soon expand to 29, as Montenegro is undergoing accessions talks. All member states are treaty bound to come to each other’s defensive in case they are attacked.
Member nations also contribute to a shared inter-operable military command, as well as sharing information and intelligence. NATO forces are active in a training role in Afghanistan, an anti-piracy role off the coast of Somalia, and as a counter-terrorism force in the Mediterranean.
In addition to NATO members, the organisation also has a range of partner countries spanning the globe. The flesh coloured nations are NATO partner nations. These nations share intelligence with NATO, and New Zealand goes as far as to also contribute forces to NATO operations.
And the lime green Partnership for Peace (PFP) partner nations span a wide range of former Soviet nations, the neutral Nordic states, and other non-NATO nations in Europe. PFP is intended to strengthen bilateral relations between NATO and other states in a range of fields from military cooperation to intelligence sharing. Every nation in PFP can choose to contribute as much or as literal to NATO as it chooses.
Some PFP nations, such as Macedonia and Austria, even contribute personnel to NATO operations.
Likewise, the Mediterranean Dialogue partners is a NATO partnership focused on providing security and sharing intelligence throughout the Mediterranean region. The Istanbul Cooperation Initiative similarly focuses on providing security and intelligence cooperation throughout the Middle East.
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