The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an alliance of nations that is both transnational and intergovernmental. But there is really more to this story.
The group’s goal is to use political and military measures to guarantee the freedom and security of its members.
The allies of a NATO member states are there to support them if they are forced into a war with another nation.
NATO has 30 members. You might wonder if Mexico is a member since the group names itself the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Is Mexico a NATO Member?
Mexico is not a member of NATO. NATO is mostly made up of North American, Canadian, and European nations.
It is an alliance that was established following World War II with the goal of defending the Atlantic.
In an effort to stop another war like World War II from happening again, national leaders got together and established an organization.
Their objective was to advocate for diplomatic solutions to issues rather than armed action. The group has the authority to declare and conduct war if diplomacy fails.
Today, nations join North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO to provide themselves with additional support in the event of a future conflict with another nation.
Being a member of NATO would provide them access to additional resources to aid in defending their nation if they were to suspect that another nation was about to invade them.
Being a member of NATO alone acts as a war deterrent in various aspects. The nation conducting the conflict would also have to deal with the other NATO members.
There are a variety of different military organizations to compete with, and it now has 30 members.
Mexico is a member of the UN, an organization that resembles NATO but is not a member of NATO.
Which Nations are NATO Members?
NATO has 30 members. The nations that are now a part of the organization are:
- The Czech Republic
- The Netherlands
- North Macedonia
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Who Were the Original NATO Members?
Even though the organization now has 30 members, it originally only had a small number of nations. NATO was established with the help of 12 nations. They consist of:
- The Netherlands
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
In an effort to better defend the North Atlantic area, they all joined in 1949. Turkey and Greece would subsequently join in 1952.
In 1955, Germany became a member. Spain joined in 1982, many years later. In 1999, several nations ascended.
Poland, and the Czech Republic Hungary made up this group. Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania all joined in 2004.
2009 saw the entry of Albania and Croatia. 2017 saw Montenegro’s accession. North Macedonia became the newest member nation in 2020.
What Nations are Eligible to Join NATO?
Certain nations that meet NATO’s requirements are continuously extended an invitation. Any European nation capable of defending the North Atlantic region is invited to participate.
Since the emphasis is on Europe and the North Atlantic region, it does not extend the invitation to any South American, African, or Asian nations.
As a result, any European nation may join NATO as long as it satisfies the organization’s unique requirements.
How Can a Nation Join NATO?
The process of joining NATO involves several steps. It is not as easy as signing a document and joining. The procedures for joining NATO are listed below.
1. The Phase of Intensified Dialogue
An Intensified Dialogue phase is the first step toward NATO membership. The nation in question will talk to NATO officials in charge of the onboarding procedure during this time.
The nation will discuss with the officials its goals and motivations for wanting to join the organization during this conversation.
Additionally, they update the group on any current or past reforms that align with the values that NATO promotes.
The country advances to the next stage of initiation if the conversation goes well and they are successful in persuading the other side that they share NATO’s values.
2. The Membership Action Plan
They are invited to participate in the Membership Action Plan after the conversation is concluded and the NATO authorities determine that the country shares comparable values with what NATO stands for.
The country will not automatically be eligible to join NATO if it adheres to the strategy and participates in it. It’s more of an effort to prepare the nation for NATO membership.
In essence, the program enables the nation to comprehend the NATO obligations it must fulfill.
For instance, if its armed forces fall short of NATO standards, NATO will advise them on how to bring them up to speed or where they may make improvements.
The same holds true for any additional features of the nation that might not exactly fulfill NATO requirements.
The Plan is a tool NATO employs to inform the nation of the kinds of adjustments it must undertake in order to join.
The nation will make the required adjustments and go to the next stage if it decides to participate still.
The nation is always free to withdraw its NATO membership application if the obligations are too great.
3. Democratic Political System Requirements
The nation must fulfill or demonstrate that it meets a number of requirements before joining NATO.
Each criterion will be examined by NATO authorities to make sure it meets their requirements.
One of these requirements is that the nation must have a democratic political structure.
The democratic political system in particular needs to be operational and based on the market economy. NATO is not looking to add non-democratic nations to its membership.
They have no interest in nations with a political system that is clearly and severely corrupt. This criterion is satisfied if the nation has a functioning democratic political system.
4. Fair Treatment of Minorities Criteria
The fair treatment of minorities is a further requirement that nations must meet in order to join NATO.
NATO does not support discrimination against or mistreatment of minorities. Instead, they demand that all of their residents be treated equally by their members.
This standard was developed in significant part as a result of German persecution of Jews and other minorities. NATO is working to prevent another tragedy of this nature.
As a result, one factor that they significantly consider is how the nation handles its minorities. NATO should be satisfied if the minority enjoys the same fundamental rights as the majority.
They might not meet NATO’s requirements if there is evidence that minorities do not enjoy the same rights as the majority.
Countries can go to the next phase if they meet this condition. NATO may reject the application if not.
If the application is rejected, NATO can assist the nation in determining what areas of performance it has to improve on in order to be accepted the next time it applies.
5. Commitment to Resolve Conflicts Peacefully Criteria
An additional need for joining NATO is a nation’s commitment to peaceful conflict resolution. Due to World War II, these criteria also received a lot of support.
National leaders wished to avoid another conflict of this magnitude after the great loss of life. Instead, they placed an emphasis on calm and diplomatic negotiation.
When a dispute emerges, it anticipates that all of its members will do this. NATO expects its members to negotiate amicably wherever possible, unless the nation is unwillingly drawn into a war.
Prospective members must demonstrate that they are also willing to settle disputes through peaceful means wherever possible.
Never should starting a war be their first course of action. NATO will look at the conflicts the potential nation has been involved in in the past.
They might reject their application if they discover that the nation frequently engages in violent warfare rather than diplomatic dialogue.
NATO may be satisfied, though, provided the nation demonstrates that it makes an effort to engage in peaceful negotiations beforehand.
6. Military Contributions to NATO
While NATO always prefers to start with peace negotiations, occasionally war is unavoidable. NATO might not have a choice but to retaliate, for instance, if another nation starts a war.
Every member is expected to take part in or support the interaction when this occurs.
As a result, potential members must be ready to demonstrate their readiness to use military force or aid to support other NATO members in the event of a conflict.
After all, maintaining peace or defending the North Atlantic region is an important portion of NATO’s mission. All the members must pitch in to keep the region secure if it is up to them to do so.
NATO may reject an applicant’s request to join the group if that nation’s armed forces are insufficient. NATO does not want to include nations that it would financially burden.
For instance, if the nation is unable to contribute its fair share of providing military forces to NATO’s fight, it may decide to provide financial support instead.
However, this may wind up costing the nation a great deal of money to the point where it goes bankrupt.
NATO would have the responsibility of making an effort to assist them while at war. If it is up to them to do so, all the members must help maintain the safety of the area.
If a country’s armed forces are insufficient, NATO has the right to refuse its application for membership. Nations that would put a financial strain on NATO are not wanted to join.
If a country, for example, finds itself unable to contribute its fair share of armed forces to NATO’s struggle, it may opt to help the alliance financially instead.
But in the long run, this could cost the country so much money that it becomes bankrupt. It would be NATO’s job to try to support them while they are at war.
NATO desires that the potential member state begins with the appropriate level of military might and resources.
This makes sure that the nation is prepared to contribute to the defense of the North Atlantic region. Another important component is willingness. The advantages of joining NATO are numerous.
NATO does not want to rely on a nation that merely joins for the advantages and is unwilling to shoulder the costs of membership.
As a result, it is essential to be able to demonstrate that your nation possesses the necessary military might and is prepared to uphold NATO’s principles in order to be admitted to the alliance.
7. Unanimous Acceptance to Join
NATO officials present a country to the other members when it meets all the requirements. All of the other members must consent to the country’s entry before they may join.
The nation does not join NATO if there is no unanimity in favor of it. The nation officially joins NATO if all the members approve it.
After passing the audit and using consensus decision-making, the nation essentially joins NATO, but there may be additional onboarding procedures in the future.
What are the Advantages of Joining NATO?
You might be curious about the advantages of NATO membership given how challenging it is to become a member. Here are some advantages of joining NATO.
1. Voice Matters
Joint decisions are made by NATO. Each voice has a greater impact because it concentrates on a smaller membership.
NATO operates on a consensus-based system for decision-making. Every participant is now a part of the conversation and has the opportunity to share their thoughts.
Decisions are typically made quite rapidly because NATO officials are frequently debating with one another.
Every member has an opportunity to comment on a choice because each one goes via the numerous committees.
On a global scale, this provides even the smallest nations with a great deal of power. In a way that they might not be able to in a bigger body like the UN, they can contribute to decisions.
The nation might not be able to compete with others even on a global scale. However, the nation has a strong voice and decision-making authority as a member of NATO.
2. Countries With Similar Views
NATO brings together nations with similar goals and perspectives on issues like democracy, freedom, the rule of law, and human rights.
The ability to communicate with specialists and world leaders who share their perspectives is one of the benefits of a nation’s joining NATO.
The nation can go to persons with expertise in particular fields for help if it is a relatively new adopter of specific changes.
For instance, the nation could seek guidance from other members who have experienced same-sex marriage if it is unsure of how to proceed. All NATO members can celebrate each triumph for human rights or democracy.
3. Collective Defense
Participating in NATO offers collective defense, which is one of its most potent advantages.
NATO operates primarily under the tenet that any attack on one NATO member also targets the rest of the alliance.
The fact that all other NATO countries would be involved in an attack on one of the weaker NATO members, makes the weaker countries increasingly stronger.
This gives it some defense against weaker or smaller nations that might otherwise feel threatened by its larger neighbors.
This implies that in the event of an assault on one country, or another, your country will be expected to provide some sort of support.
You could have to send soldiers to the ground, for instance. You could need to provide money or weapon help.
Even though it may seem like a waste of time, the reward is that if you ever find yourself under assault, other nations will act similarly.
4. Standing Air Force
There are certain NATO nations without air forces. They are hence susceptible to air strikes. That NATO has a permanent military force is a benefit of joining.
It has troops on the ground, in the navy, and in the air who are prepared to enter a fight. In case a NATO country is attacked, the military is constantly engaged.
Even nations without an air force can have their airspace protected thanks to the air force. NATO nations without air forces include Slovenia, Albania, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
Pilots from NATO patrol these nations’ airspace 365 days a year, ensuring that it is secured. For nations wishing to join NATO but lacking an air force, this is extremely helpful.
In addition to protecting them from nations that could try to bomb or attack them from above, it saves them money by preventing them from having to build up an air force.
Due to NATO’s emphasis on the defense of the North Atlantic region, Mexico is not a member of the alliance. Despite being far from the North Atlantic region, Mexico is a member of the UN.
Although there are many advantages to joining NATO, the procedure isn’t always straightforward. Do well to like, comment and share.