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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NATO aircraft in flight
A NATO E-3 AWACS aircraft flying with three US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons during a NATO exercise.

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Selected member military

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The armed forces of Portugal, commonly known as the Portuguese Armed Forces (Forças Armadas Portuguesas) encompasses a Navy (Marinha), an Army (Exército) and an Air Force (Força Aérea). The President of Portugal is the formal Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces but in practice they answer to the Portuguese Government via the National Defense Minister.

The Portuguese Armed Forces are charged with protecting Portugal and its overseas territories and supporting international peacekeeping efforts. They have a somewhat minor role in NATO assignments.

Recent operations have included wars in Afghanistan (2005), intervention in East-Timor (1999) and in Guinea-Bissau (1998) and ongoing peacekeeping responsibilities in the Balkans and Lebanon. Overseas garrisons and facilities are maintained at the island of Madeira and the archipelago of Azores.

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

General Wesley Clark official photograph.jpg

Wesley Kanne Clark, Sr., KBE (born December 23, 1944) is a retired general of the United States Army. Clark was valedictorian of his class at West Point, was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford where he obtained a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and later graduated from the Command and General Staff College with a master's degree in military science. He spent 34 years in the Army and the Department of Defense, receiving many military decorations, several honorary knighthoods, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Clark commanded Operation Allied Force in the Kosovo War during his term as the Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO from 1997 to 2000.

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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