NATO 101

NATOAll eyes will be on Chicago this week as the NATO summit descends upon us. We thought we would give you a brief history lesson on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Formed in 1948, this alliance of 12 nations was created to stop the spread of Soviet expansion. Article V of the NATO constitution asserts that “an attack on one state is an attack on all”. Its goal is to “safeguard the freedom of common heritage and civilization” and promote stability.
The organization now consists of 28 countries, some of whom were originally a part of the Warsaw Pact, the counter-alliance set up by the Soviet Union. The largest NATO action took place in 1999, when the organization launched air strikes on Yugoslavia to force Serbian troops out of Kosovo. A peace-keeping force of approximately 6,000 still remains.

Although its missions have been centered in Europe, in 2003, NATO action expanded to Afghanistan to provide peace-keeping troops around Kabul, and this past year many actions undertaken by NATO in Libya have been quite controversial.

Phonetic Alphabet 101

Did you know there was a NATO phonetic alphabet? Designed to make communication clearer for international members communicating via radio and other mediums, it assigned specific English words to every letter. It has since been adopted by the FAA and multiple military institutions, and has found its way into pop culture, as well. Here is the Phonetic Alphabet, in order:

Alpha Bravo Charlie Delta Echo Foxtrot Golf Hotel India Juliet Kilo Lima Mike November Oscar Papa Quebec Romeo Sierra Tango Uniform Victor Whiskey X-Ray Yankee Zulu.


As is often the case when government leaders convene, there are many groups opposed to NATO’s mandate who will be planning on protesting the meetings this coming weekend. If you’re in the downtown Chicago area over the weekend, expect delays getting around, as many roads (for example Lake Shore Drive) will be closed for security purposes.
NATO 2012This week’s NATO Summit will bring international attention to the Chicago area, and while Marbles: The Brain Store will have no role in the summit, our Chicago locations will be open, and perhaps a delegate or two will come through our doors, looking for the brainiest consensus-building products we have!

–Jeff Broitman & Paulette Hicks

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