Established in April of 1949 as a counter to the Soviet threat in Europe, NATO still maintains an active presence in affairs around the world today.
Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, NATO ('North Atlantic Treaty Organization') was founded in 1949 by a collection of twelve world powers that included the United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Canada. The group expanded in 1952 to include Greece and Turkey and then, again, in 1955 to formally introduce West Germany into the fold. 1982 saw Spain come aboard and the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland followed in a 1999 expansion effort. March 2004 introduced new members Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia until, finally, in 2009 Albania and Croatia were welcomed. Formed to counter the threat of Soviet expansion into Western Europe, NATO exists today as an impressive collective military power (at least on paper) with the capability to call on nearly 3.5 million personnel for combat and expenditures totaling over $900 million (USD) with the United States taking the lead both materially and financially.
For 2018 there are a total of 27countries included in this listing. While there are officially twenty-eight total NATO members, Iceland and Luxembourg are not included in this list due to unmet conditions and minimums. Iceland does not officially maintain a standing army.