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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

The Cold War was in full swing, as the Soviet Union was rising to power, capturing satellite countries. Using their strong dynamic forces, the Soviet Union captured surrounding countries first to help protect them from any invasion. This tactic was used to imprison civilians and force them to join the Soviet military. As their armed forces greatly increased in numbers, other countries and nations feared that the Soviet Union would expand their control and take over other countries.

In response to this, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed. NATO is a formal alliance between the territories of North American and Europe. From its inception, its main purpose was to defend each other from the possibility of communist Soviet Union taking control of their nation. Many powerful countries joined NATO by the signing of the official document in 1949: Belgium, Great Britain, Italy, Iceland, Luxembourg, United States, Canada, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Portugal. In 1950, General Dwight D. Eisenhower was nominated and appointed as the first supreme allied commander. Since Eisenhower was from the United States, this allowed the U.S. to be a strong force in the organization. West Germany, Turkey and Greece joined by 1955.

Today, NATO is ideally an outstanding way for the twenty-six different countries and nations to come together. As an organization, the leaders meet with one another to make decisions about security issues and defensive issues against allied attacks. Also, NATO has armed forces, made up of civilians of all twenty-six countries. They defend and aid countries in crisis, just like Darfur. The North Atlantic Council is made up on knowledgeable political and military leaders represented by each country. This council comes to a consensus on making important decisions on what political and military tactics to use, for daily activity.

Many people believe that NATO is pointless and a waste of government money. These people may not realize exactly what NATO does and all the hard work that goes into it. NATO has helped and currently is helping a lot of countries. This organization has helped end extremely bloody and deadly conflicts in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. NATO is still up and running in this century. Any threat brought to the table can be well thought through and these unified countries can try to resolve the conflict. NATO has been around for fifty-nine years and as long as there are problems in the world, NATO will be there to seek world peace.

Researched by Kacie Lake
Volunteer for the Cold War Museum
Cosby High School


“Cold War.” The Columbia Encyclopedia. 2006. Columbia University Press. 23 May 2008. .

Peters, Gerhard. “Cold War.” Issues: Understanding Controversies and Society. 2008. ABC-CLIO. 29 May 2008 .

Pierpaoli, Paul. “Cold War (Overview).” United States at War: Understanding Conflict and Society. 2008. ABC-CLIO. 29 May 2008 .

Veve, Thomas D. “The Space Race: Cold War.” United States at War: Understanding Conflict and Society. 2008. ABC-CLIO. 29 May 2008 .

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