Skip to main content

A military alliance is defined as a formal agreement between two nations who agree to work together for mutual concerns regarding national security. As a result of this military alliance, the nations involved are obligated to protect and aid the nation attacked. In recent years, military alliances have been a deterrent as opposed to an aggressive act.

Notable Military Alliances

Some of the most notable military alliances include:

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is the most recognizable military alliance in the world. It was formed post-Second World War to bring the European nations together along with the United States of America. They work together to rebuild the local industry and to place safeguards against Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. It was aimed to protect western nations from the communist incursion.

Warsaw Pact

The Warsaw Pact was formed in contrast to NATO and was comprised of eastern European countries like the Soviet Union, East Germany, Poland, and more. The Warsaw Pact, also called the Warsaw Treaty Organization, lasted between 1955 to 1991. It was fortified by Russia in 1985 to form a single military command and allowed Soviet Union soldiers to maintain a presence in member states.

Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO)

The Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) was formed in 1955 in the region of Southeast Asia. It was formed under the Southeast Asia Collective Defence Treaty. The member nations in SEATO included Australia, New Zealand, France, the Philippines, Thailand, Pakistan, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom. Thirteen years after its inception, Pakistan decided to withdraw. Then, seven years later, financial support from France was cut off. A year later, the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) held its final military exercise before it was dissolved the following year.

Central Treaty Organization (CENTO)

The Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) was a military alliance between Iran, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Pakistan. It was initially called the Middle East Treaty Organization, which was when Baghdad was considered the headquarters, and Iraq was also a member. It was created by the United States and the United Kingdom to prevent communism from seeping into the Middle East. Four years after it was created, Iraq withdrew, and the United States stepped in, which is when it transformed into the CENTO. The headquarters for this military alliance was moved to Ankara. After the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the CENTO was dissolved.

Stages and Criteria of a Military Alliance Formation

Alliance treaty or agreement

The military alliance treaty or military agreement is when two or more nations decide to work together to protect their mutual national interests. In the event of an invasion, the member nations are required to defend the nation under attack. There are different forms of agreements, including non-aggression pacts. Military alliance treaties or agreements are a common practice dating as far back as 1970. Sometimes, military alliance treaties are covert, too. Based on research data, there were 538 military alliance treaties between 1815 and 2003.

Military technical cooperation

Another form of military alliance formation includes military-technical cooperation. This is when two or more nations decide to collaborate with each other by sharing military technology. Numerous states have been known to engage in military-technical cooperation. In the past, the United States of America and the Russian Federation have worked together to share technology with each other.

Military drills

When there is no military alliance or military-technical cooperation, you might find two or more nations engaged in a military drill. This is a common practice to train a nation’s military. The concept of military drills is known by many names, including military exercise, military maneuver (maneuver), and famously called war games.

During these drills, militaries come together to test war-based scenarios that check armed forces’ readiness in the event of a war. Furthermore, military tactics and strategies are shared with the involved parties without any combat.

The real-based war games and scenarios enact a simulation of a military operation to test decision-making, the functionality of military equipment, and critical war decisions. The artificial scenario may rely on mathematical models and scientific research.

Military exercises are often limited in scope and are usually predictive. Keeping this in mind, recent war games are used to test multiple outcomes and eventualities where military forces use unknown factors during military simulations.

The military exercises usually depend on the relationship between the two countries. You wouldn’t find opposing sides involved in a military exercise. The military exercises held between the two sides also serve as a testimony to their strong relationship with each other and are a show of strength to their enemies.

Military exercises are aimed to minimize human loss in the event of an actual state of war. In the present day, military exercises have been designated with a code name called Cobra Gold. You will also find combat operations such as Operation Phantom Fury, where military operations are coordinated with other countries.

In the past, military exercises have also been used as a method to train for real-life invasions. The Warsaw Pact conducted military exercises preceding the invasion of Czechoslovakia. In recent years, the 2022 Russian military exercise was building up to the invasion of Ukraine.


To conclude, you now have a proper understanding of what military alliances are and how they work. As we reflect on the important lessons of this article, we encourage you to look into past military alliances to learn more about NATO, the Warsaw Pact, SEATO, and CENTO.

As we look back at the stages and criteria of military alliance formation, the three most important aspects to consider are:

  • Alliance treaty or agreement
  • Military technical cooperation
  • Military drills

If you find this interesting, grab J.A. Carlton’s latest release, Wednesday’s Child. The story follows Jade Mckay, the leader of the Delta Squad, who is on the run from a sinister government branch. Why? Because they are after the information buried deep within her mind. Now, it’s up to her squad to protect her and stop evil from taking root.

Grab your copy today.

Leave a Reply