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6.1 North Atlantic Treaty Organization

The NATO came into existence in 1948 to counteract the Soviet threat. When founded the members of this pact were Great Britain, the United States, Canada, France, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Portugal and Turkey. Greece joined later. West Germany joined in 1955. The most important clause of NATO is that an armed aggression against another would be considered as an attack on all. SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters of Allied Powers in Europe) for Europe and SACLANT for Atlantic Ocean Area are the main commands of the NATO.

6.1a Features of the NATO

  • It united the whole of Western Europe within a single defense line.

  • U.S.A. pledged itself for the defense of the continent.

  • For Western European countries, safety against a sudden attack was ensured.

In 1994, a summit of NATO was held in Brussels. East European countries were keen on joining the NATO. An important treaty was concluded between the US and Ukraine. According to the terms of this treaty, Ukraine had to get rid of all nuclear weapons in seven years. For this purpose, America would provide her with the necessary economic and technical help. During the summit, Bill Clinton, the US President since 1994, promised that America would be committed to the safety of Europe as ever before. It also said that as many as 100,000 American troops would remain in Europe. The summit members expressed the desire that democratic countries of Eastern Europe should also be included as members of NATO. At present the membership to NATO is open to all the European States.


6.1b The Warsaw Pact

For about 50 years, the six countries of the Warsaw Pact had bound themselves to communism in 1955. This Pact was formed as the Soviet Union's response to West Germany's entry into the NATO. In 1991, these countries sealed the dissolution of the military alliance. With this, the Pact ended.

Index

6.0 - Introduction
6.1 North Atlantic Treaty Organization
6.2 The Collapse of Communism in Russia
6.3 Decolonization
6.4 European Monetary Union
6.5 The Re-Unification of Germany
6.6 Points to Remember

Chapter 1





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