NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance. Members - including most of Western Europe, the United States, Canada and Turkey - agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party.
NATO is based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949, four years after the end of WW II. It has 28 members, West Germany joined in 1955.The organization was drawn into the breakup of Yugoslavia, and conducted its first military interventions in former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. DW's content tagged "NATO" appears on this page.
As the US sought to affirm its commitment to trans-Atlantic relations, Europeans felt it was time to back those words with action. The focus shifted from defense spending to the prospect of a "European way" of security.
The Russian world view, as advocated by its foreign minister, sees countries develop bilateral relations. His words were at odds with those of US Vice President Mike Pence - and others at the Munich Security Conference.
As uncertainty swirls around the future of the military alliance, DW spoke with NATO commander Petr Pavel at the Munich Security Conference about the defense bloc's primary challenges: Russia, terrorism and cyberwarfare.
Lithuania has launched a probe into who is responsible for falsely reporting a rape. The investigation comes amid fears of a Russian disinformation campaign following an increased NATO deployment to the Baltic countries.