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The "North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) "French: Organisation du Traité de l'Atlantique Nord (OTAN), also called the (North) Atlantic Alliance, is a "military alliance established by the signing of the "North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949. The NATO headquarters are in "Brussels, "Belgium, and the organization constitutes a system of "collective defense whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party.

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"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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""ISAF soldier looking for enemy positions in Kunar Province of Afghanistan.jpg
A member of "ISAF during NATO operations in "Afghanistan

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""Coat of arms of the Albanian JFC.svg
The "Albanian Armed Forces (AAF) "Albanian: Forcat e Armatosura të Shqipërisë (FASH) is the "armed forces of "Albania, 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, "Germany, the "Netherlands, "Italy, "United Kingdom, "Turkey, "Switzerland, "Denmark and "Belgium.

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.

NATO news

  • "June 22: The Turkish government has agreed to allow NATO "AWACS aircraft to operate from bases in Western Turkey providing better air traffic control and radar control over Afghanistan. Read more...
  • "June 18: During a farewell visit to Afghanistan, outgoing NATO Secretary-General "Jaap de Hoop Scheffer announced that the alliance would send an extra 8,000 to 10,000 troops to the country to provide additional security during August elections. Read mores...
  • "June 14: A warship from the NATO naval force off Somalia freed 14 Indian sailors held hostage by pirates. Read more...

Selected biography

""George Robertson.jpg

"George Islay MacNeill Robertson, Baron Robertson of Port Ellen "KT "GCMG "FRSA "FRSE "PC (born 12 April 1946) was the "Secretary-General of the "North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, between October 1999 and early January 2004; he succeeded "Javier Solana in that position.

He served as "Defence Secretary for the United Kingdom from 1997 to 1999, before taking up his "NATO position and becoming a "life peer as Baron Robertson of Port Ellen, of "Islay in "Argyll and Bute.


  • 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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