What is NATO?
NATO (pronounced NAY'-TOE) is an acronym for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It is an alliance of countries that work together to implement the North Atlantic Treaty.

The original signers of the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949, and therefore the original members of NATO, were:

  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

The Warsaw Pact
The Warsaw Pact was a treaty, similar to NATO's, signed in 1955. The member nations were the Soviet Union, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Romania. The Warsaw Pact ended in 1991.

Greece and Turkey joined NATO in 1952. West Germany joined in 1955 (spawning the Warsaw Pact). Spain joined in 1982. In 1999, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary were invited into NATO as well. There are currently 19 member nations.