Portal:NATO

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The NATO Portal

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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) French: Organisation du Traité de l'Atlantique Nord (OTAN), also called the (North) Atlantic Alliance, is a military alliance established by the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949. The NATO headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium, and the organization constitutes a system of collective defense whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party.

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Operation Deny Flight was a NATO operation, begun on April 12, 1993, to enforce the United Nations (UN) no-fly zone in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The operation later expanded to providing close air support for UN troops in Bosnia, and carrying out coercive air strikes against targets in Bosnia. Twelve NATO members contributed forces to the operation, and by its end on December 20, 1995, NATO pilots flew 100,420 sorties.

As a part of the operation, the 28 February 1994 air battle over Banja Luka represented the first combat engagement for the NATO forces in history, while during April 1994 NATO aircraft carried out their first ever bombing mission near Goražde in Bosnia. These incidents played an important role in the development of NATO in the post-Cold War era and set a precedent for future NATO operations. However, the Bosnian War continued for more than two years after Deny Flight was initiated and the operation led to several conflicts between the United Nations and NATO, particularly when UN peacekeeping soldiers were taken hostage by the Bosnian Serbs in response to NATO bombings. Despite these setbacks, Deny Flight worked an important role in the course of the Bosnian War, as its operations successfully prevented significant use of air power by either side in the conflict. While the air strikes executed under Deny Flight had only a small impact on the war, they set the precedent for Operation Deliberate Force, a massive NATO bombing campaign in Bosnia that played a key role in putting an end to the war.

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French Army Cougar helicopter- Afghanistan.jpg
A French helicopter lands during a NATO mission to train the Afghan National Army.

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Selected member military

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The military of Luxembourg consists of a solitary branch: the army (the Gendarmerie was merged into the Grand Ducal Police in 2000), which was formerly commanded by a colonel, but as of 2008 is commanded by a general; Luxembourg has no navy (it's a landlocked nation) or air force. The army has been an all-volunteer force since 1967. It has a current strength of approximately 450 professional soldiers, about 340 enlisted recruits and 100 civilians, and a total budget of $369 million, or 0.9% of GDP. The army is under civilian control. The Commander-in-Chief is the Grand Duke, but day-to-day responsibility for defence matters is vested in the Minister for Defence, currently Jean-Louis Schiltz (since February 23, 2006), under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration.

Luxembourg has participated in the Eurocorps since 1994, has contributed troops to the UNPROFOR and IFOR missions in former Yugoslavia, and participates with a small contingent in the current NATO SFOR mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Luxembourg army is integrated into the Multinational Beluga Force under Belgian command. Luxembourg troops have also deployed to Afghanistan to support ISAF. Luxembourg has financially supported international peacekeeping missions during the 1991 Gulf War, in Rwanda and, more recently, Albania. The army also has participated in humanitarian relief missions such as setting up refugee camps for Kurds and providing emergency supplies to Albania.

NATO news

  • June 22: The Turkish government has agreed to allow NATO AWACS aircraft to operate from bases in Western Turkey providing better air traffic control and radar control over Afghanistan. Read more...
  • June 18: During a farewell visit to Afghanistan, outgoing NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer announced that the alliance would send an extra 8,000 to 10,000 troops to the country to provide additional security during August elections. Read mores...
  • June 14: A warship from the NATO naval force off Somalia freed 14 Indian sailors held hostage by pirates. Read more...

Selected biography

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Jakob Gijsbert "Jaap" de Hoop Scheffer (born 3 April 1948) is a Dutch politician and the current NATO Secretary General. Hoop served as the Dutch foreign minister, and was an important figure in the Dutch decision to participate in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In 2004, Hoop was chosen as the 11th NATO Secretary General. Read more...

Quotes

  • The threats we face today are not unique to any of us – they are common across the globe, and none of our countries is immune to them. --Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
  • Our unique partnership was born in common philosophies of freedom and democracy. It was forged during half a century's fight against tyranny. Now it stands as a beacon of democracy, toleration, plurality, openness and candor in a world menaced by extremism and instability. --Lord Robertson

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