The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is an intergovernmental defence alliance between most of North American and European States. It originates in the aftermath of the Second World War, but its collective defence system turned it into a major player of the Cold War. Afterwards, without the common Soviet threat, the Alliance became involved in military operations in the former Yugoslavia and in the Middle East. Recent developments in international politics, like the rhetoric of the new American president and the perceived aggressiveness of Russia, have led to strains in intra-NATO relations, due to divergent policy views. Chairing NATO requires a sound knowledge of the geopolitical stakes around Europe and the Middle-East, and some understanding of international law and security studies is an asset.