NATO’s purpose is to guarantee the freedom and security of its members through political and military means.
On a political level, NATO promotes democratic values and enables members to consult and cooperate on defence and security-related issues to solve problems, build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict.
On a military level, NATO is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. If diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military power to undertake crisis-management operations. These are carried out under the collective defence clause of NATO's founding treaty - Article 5 of the Washington Treaty - or under a United Nations mandate, alone or in cooperation with other countries and international organisations.