Is Mexico Part Of NATO? – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO for short is an intergovernmental military alliance between different countries. It is a collective security system that focuses on the defense of its member states through military and political means.
The security and freedom of its members is a priority and the independent member states have an agreement to come to the defense of any member who is under attack or at war with a third party.
NATO is made up of 30 member states – two North American and 28 European.
Many people are curious as to whether or not Mexico is a member of NATO. We will be answering that question in the course of this article.
Is Mexico Part of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)?
No, Mexico is not a part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Like we said earlier, the member states of NATO are two North American and 28 European countries and Mexico is not one of them. We will give a complete list of the countries that are a part of NATO later in this write up.
You should know that NATO was formed after the World War II to protect the Atlantic and to prevent another war like World War 11 from breaking out again. The organization executed the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed in Washington D.C on the 4th of April, 1949.
The organization hoped to solve problems through diplomacy but if that should fail to yield results, they would resort to military excursions to make sure their member states are protected and defended.
Countries try to join NATO so that they can get needed help should there be war between them and another country.
Mere being a part of NATO will greatly discourage any country trying to invade a member state, because they know they would have to contend with the military might of the other 30 countries that are a part of the organization.
Like we mentioned earlier, Mexico is not a part of NATO.
Case Against Mexico Joining NATO
Mexico does not have much to gain by being a part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Already, they have to deal with the pressure in the implementation of their foreign policy due to their relations with the United States. To say that they should be a part of NATO, an organization that the U.S is at the forefront of, will further constrain them as they have to comply with them when it comes to international security issues.
Mexico has been known to deviate from the U.S. foreign policy. They take actions in a semi-neutral basis with regards to other countries. In the light of the invasions from France and the United States during the 19th Century, Mexico implemented the constitutional principles stipulated in article 89, fraction X. They include; peaceful conflict resolution, self-determination, follow international law, as well as the proscription to threat to use force against other State.
One of the well known experts on Mexico’s foreign policy, Mario Ojeda, tried to explain the country’s relation with the US. He explained that the country has its independence in foreign policy but it is in exchange for cooperation in day to day matters. Mexico does not meddle with the U.S’ international security affairs but get’s much needed cooperation in other matters such as migration issues, having a Free Trade Agreement, border protection, etc.
List of NATO Member Countries
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is currently made up of 30 countries. They are as follows;
- The Czech Republic
- The Netherlands
- North Macedonia
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
When Was NATO Created and Who Were The Founding Members?
NATO which was created in 1949 has not always been comprised of 3O countries. It began with a group of 12 countries. The founding members of NATO are as follows;
- The Netherlands
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
These countries joined in 1949 in a bid to further protect the North Atlantic region. Other countries started joining later on.
Greece and Turkey joined in 1952, Germany joined in 1955, Spain joined in 1982; Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland joined in 1999; Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia joined in 2004; Albania and Croatia joined in 2009; Montenegro joined in 2017, and North Macedonia, joined in 2020.
What Countries Can Join NATO?
Not just any country can be a part of NATO. Before a country can be a member of the organization, certain criteria have to be met.
The organization extends invitation to any European country that can offer protection for the North Atlantic region. This excludes African, Asian and South American countries.
So if any country to which the invitation has been extended to meets all of the criteria stipulated by the organization, then it can be a part of it.
What are the requirements to join NATO?
The process of becoming a member of NATO is so much more than just putting signatures on a piece of paper.
There are steps that have to be taken for the process to be a success and we will discuss those steps right away.
1. Intensified Dialogue Period
First and foremost, there is an Intensified Dialogue Period. This is the period where the country seeking to join the organization will have discussions with NATO officials in charge of the process.
The country will let the NATO officials know their aim and reasons for deciding to join the organization. They will also table before the officials any reforms or policies that they have implemented which are in line with what NATO supports.
The success of this stage means that the country can now proceed to the other stages.
2. The Membership Action Plan
If after the discussions the NATO officials are satisfied that the country in question is aligned with the ideals and beliefs of NATO, the country will then be asked to partake of the Membership Action Plan.
Being in the Membership Action Plan does not mean that access has already being granted to join NATO. Its aim is to adequately prepare the country to join the organization.
The Membership Action Plan will allow the country to fully understand the commitments they have to make and what would be required of them upon joining NATO.
Different aspects of the country will be evaluated and if it’s not up to NATO’s standard they will be shown how to beef it up. For instance, if the country’s military is not up to the organization’s standards, they will be shown where they need to improve and how they can improve.
This way the country will see the type and level of changes it would need to effect in order to be a part of NATO. If the country feels that they can’t carry on with the changes or that the commitments required are too demanding, then they can withdraw their application to join the organization.
However, if they feel like they can make the required commitments, then they can proceed to the next stage.
3. Democratic Political System Criteria
The country seeking to join NATO also has to meet the democratic political system criteria. It should have a clearly functioning democratic political system otherwise it won’t be given membership.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is not looking to have non-democratic countries or countries with glaring corruption in their democratic system as its members.
So if the organization is satisfied with the democratic political system of the country, that means they have satisfied this criteria.
4. Fair Treatment Of Minorities Criteria
The country also has to exhibit fair treatment of minorities. All the citizens of the country has to be treated as equals without any form of ill-treatment towards the minorities.
The fair treatment of minorities became a criterion after the world witnessed the persecution of Jews and other minorities by the German. To make sure that there is no repeat of such horrific act by any of their members, this criterion came to be.
If there is fair treatment of minorities in the country and if the minorities have the same rights as the majority, this criterion has been satisfied.
But if there is anything to show that minorities in the country do not have the same rights as the majority, then the country has failed to meet this very important criterion. This will adversely affect their quest for NATO membership as the organization can decline their application.
5. Commitment To Resolve Conflicts Peacefully Criteria
Another criteria that a country hoping to become a part of NATO should satisfy, is the commitment to resolve conflicts peacefully criteria.
The World War II had devastating effects. There was so much loss of life, properties and resources that world leaders did not want such to occur again.
This is why diplomatic and peaceful negotiations are very much promoted by NATO and all the member states of the organization are expected to comply with this strategy in times of conflict.
As such, countries seeking to join NATO must show a willingness to negotiate peacefully when required. Their first cause of action when there is a conflict should not be to wage a war.
To know if the country hoping to get into NATO satisfies this criterion, the organization will take a look at the past conflicts that the country has been in. If it is seen that the country tends to tow the path of war instead of peaceful negotiations during conflict, that means that this criteria has not been met and the application can be declined.
But if it is seen that the prospective country tries to have peaceful negotiations first, then this criteria has been met.
6. Military Contributions To NATO
Although NATO would always want to have peaceful negotiations first during a conflict, there will be times when they will be left with no other choice than to go to war. For instance, if another country starts a war, NATO will not just fold its arms rather it will fight back.
If that is the case, then all member states are expected to fully participate and show support.
This is why prospective countries have to show that they are able, willing and ready to offer military assistance or other forms of aid to other member states, should there be war.
Recall that some major reasons why NATO was founded was to maintain peace and protect the North Atlantic region. When push comes to shove, NATO would want to count on its members to protect and defend the region.
And so, if a prospective country does not have a military that is strong enough to substantially contribute when needed, their application will very likely not be accepted.
Also, NATO would not want to bring in countries that they consider to not be financially capable. If there is a war and a country is not able to support with their military, they might opt to provide financial assistance instead. If said country is not really capable to carry this out, it might end up being bankrupt and NATO does not want that to be the case.
Without doubt, there are a lot of benefits attached to being a part of NATO, but the relationship is not meant to be a one sided one. In as much as member states get to enjoy the benefits of being a part of the organization, they also have to be willing and able to do their part when called upon.
As such, NATO would rather prospective countries have the appropriate military strength and sufficient resources from the get go. Not just that, the countries also have to show willingness to defend NATO’s ideals when needed.
7. Unanimous Approval To Join
If a country meets all the requirements then the NATO officials in charge of the process will bring it before other members.
Before a country can become a part of NATO, all the other members must agree to let the prospective country join. This decision must be unanimous otherwise, the country will not become a member.
Once this audit and consensus-decision-making process is concluded and there is a unanimous approval to allow the country become a member, then basically, that country is now a member of NATO. Even though there may be more onboarding processes after that, they have already scaled through.
What Are The Benefits Of NATO Membership
As you now know, becoming a member of NATO is no easy feat but the benefits are very much worth it.
Below are some of the benefits of being a part of NATO.
1. Collective Defense
The collective defense that NATO provides is one of the biggest benefits that its members get to enjoy.
Being a member of NATO is a war deterrent on its own as any country that invades a NATO country should get ready to face the wrath of the other member states.
Even smaller or weaker countries that are a part of NATO are given the same support and protection so any country planning to attack them would have to think long and hard and be ready to face the consequences.
Each of the member states are willing and able to lend much needed support to any other member state that is facing attacks. This support could be in the form of military troops, financial assistance or weapon assistance.
2. Similar Ideals Countries
Countries that are a part of NATO are countries with the similar ideals and views. They all acknowledge the same principles such as the rule of law, democracy, human rights and freedom.
So when a country is successful in joining NATO, they are able to learn more and converse with national leaders and experts who share the same views with them.
If there are reforms that a country is working on, which are of course in line with the ideals of NATO, they can make so much progress by taking notes from the experiences of others and observing how they were able to implement similar reforms in their own countries.
3. No Member is Ignored
The voice of every member state of NATO is heard and decisions are taken together. An example is what we have already discussed, where before a prospective country can be given membership there has to be a unanimous approval of all the members. No member is ignored or relegated to the background.
Decisions made in NATO are reached through a consensus. Every member is a part of the process and every opinion is considered. So, even small countries are able to contribute when decisions are being made.
4. Standby Air Force
Some of the countries in NATO do not have air force and so may not be able to defend themselves in the event of an air attack. But since they are members of NATO, there are air force troops that protect their air space and ready to save the day when needed.
A military force is also on standby to help member states when needed. The military is always active and ready to jump into action at a moment’s notice.
Some of NATO member states that do not have an air force are Estonia, Albania, Latvia, Slovenia and Lithuania.
Countries that do not have an air force but wish to join NATO can greatly benefit from the organizations standing air force.
Mexico is not part of NATO. It is not a member because NATO focuses on the protection of the North Atlantic region and Mexico is not close to the North Atlantic area. However, Mexico is part of the United Nations.
There are a lot of benefits associated with being a part of NATO but that will only be possible if the prospective country satisfies all the stipulated criteria.