One of Hungary's longstanding goals is to become fully integrated into international institutions. In July 1997, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) invited Hungary, along with Poland and the Czech Republic, to join the North Atlantic alliance, and all three nations became full members of NATO in March 1999.
Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Hungary took several measures to prevent such an attack from occurring in its country. It introduced stricter banking regulation to prevent money laundering; put in place new programs to prevent the movement of dangerous goods and weapons across its borders; offered to restructure its military contributions to peacekeeping missions in the Balkans so that U.S. and British units could be freed up for the campaign against terrorism; and increased its sharing of intelligence with the United States. Hungary also pledged $1 million in humanitarian relief to Afghanistan in the aftermath of the U.S.-led campaign to remove the Taliban and al-Qaeda forces there.
With regard to the 2003 U.S.-led war in Iraq, Hungary provided overflight rights to coalition aircraft and allowed the use of designated airfields for fighter and transport aircraft being used to disarm the regime of Saddam Hussein. Breaking with the anti-war diplomacy of France, Germany, and Russia, Hungary signed the "letter of eight" (together with Spain, Portugal, Italy, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Denmark), expressing political support for the U.S. position on disarming Iraq, and in solidifying American-European unity. After Baghdad fell to coalition forces on 9 April 2003, Medgyessy stated Hungary was committed to restoring peace in Iraq and to reconstructing a democratic Iraq.