The NATO Portal
"Gladio ("Italian: "sword) is a code name denoting the clandestine "NATO ""stay-behind" operation in "Italy after "World War II, intended to counter an eventual "Warsaw Pact invasion of Western Europe. Although Gladio specifically refers to the Italian branch of the NATO stay-behind organisations, "Operation Gladio" is used as an informal name for all stay-behind organisations, sometimes called "Super NATO".
Operating in many NATO and even some neutral countries, Gladio was first coordinated by the Clandestine Committee of the Western Union (CCWU), founded in 1948. After the creation of NATO in 1949, the CCWU was integrated into the Clandestine Planning Committee (CPC), founded in 1951 and overseen by the "SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe), transferred to Belgium after France’s official withdrawal from NATO's Military Committee in 1966 — which was not followed by the dissolution of the French stay-behind paramilitary movements.
The role of the "CIA in sponsoring Gladio and the extent of its activities during the "Cold War era, and its relationship to "terrorist attacks perpetrated in Italy during the "Years of Lead and other similar clandestine operations is the subject of ongoing debate and investigation. Italy, Switzerland and Belgium have had parliamentary inquiries into the matter.
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Selected member military
The "Albanian Armed Forces
: Forcat e Armatosura të Shqipërisë
(FASH) is the "armed forces
, first formed after independence in 1912. Today it is made up of the "General Staff
Headquarters, the "Albanian Joint Forces Command
, the "Albanian Support Command
and the "Albanian Training and Doctrine Command
. The Albanian Joint Forces Command Headquarter is situated in "Durrës
. This Command includes all the Operational Forces of the "Albanian Navy Brigade
, the "Albanian Air Brigade
, an "Infantry
"Rapid Reaction Brigade
plus a "Commando Regiment
, and the Area Support Brigade
. The Albanian Army is mostly supported by the "United States
, the "Netherlands
, "United Kingdom
Since February 2008, Albania participates officially in NATO's "Operation Active Endeavor in the Mediterranean and received a NATO membership invitation on 3 April 2008. Albania became a full member of NATO on April 1, 2009.
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- The threats we face today are not unique to any of us – they are common across the globe, and none of our countries is immune to them. --"Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
- Our unique partnership was born in common philosophies of freedom and democracy. It was forged during half a century's fight against tyranny. Now it stands as a beacon of democracy, toleration, plurality, openness and candor in a world menaced by extremism and instability. --"Lord Robertson
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