NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION (NATO) / SUPREME HEADQUARTERS ALLIED POWERS EUROPE (NATO / SHAPE)
NATO also known as North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a political and military alliance
between North America and Europe that was born out of World War II and signed into effect
in 1949. Its main aim back then was to push against any future aggression from the Soviet
Union. This became particularly important in 1955 when the Soviet Union and seven other
European countries signed the Warsaw Pact. Communism was spreading across Eastern and
Central Europe and this pact promised military support for Soviet satellite States. There were
12 original NATO member countries. Today there are 28 and 7 of those are former Warsaw
Each member of NATO has an equal say in discussions and decisions. One of the most
important principles of the NATO treaty is Article 5 which states that an attack on one of the
NATO countries is -in theory - an attack against all members. In theory, all troops and
equipment in each nation are available for NATO to use. That means there are 3.6 million
active Personnel and another 3.7 million in reserve. So if it really came down to it 7.3 million
NATO forces could be mobilized but Article 5 has been invoked only once in its nearly 70-
year history, the day after 9-11 which led to NATO action in Afghanistan.
Allied Command Operations (ACO) is one of NATO’s two strategic military commands. The other command being Allied Command Transformation (ACT) in Norfolk, Virginia.
ACO is commanded by the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and is responsible for all Alliance military operations. The command headquarters, known as the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, or SHAPE, is located in Casteau near Mons, Belgium. The mission of ACO and the SACEUR is to contribute to preserving the peace, security and territorial integrity of NATO member nations in its area of responsibility.
Agenda Item: Open Agenda
Under Secretary General: Hüseyin Hikmet Fındık
Under Secretary General: Merve Fındık