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North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was established April 4, 1949, in Washington, D.C., with the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty by Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The original stated purpose of NATO as put forth in the treaty's preamble was to "safeguard the freedom, common heritage, and civilization of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy … promote stability and well-being in the North Atlantic area," and "unite their efforts for collective defense and for the preservation of peace and security." In fact NATO was created as a defensive political and military association.

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Copyright © 2011 Advameg, Inc.