Formation of Nato - Purpose, Dates and Cold War

Formation of Nato - Purpose, Dates and Cold War

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In 1949, the prospect of further Communist expansion prompted the United States and 11 other Western nations to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The Soviet Union and its affiliated Communist nations in Eastern Europe founded a rival alliance, the Warsaw Pact, in 1955. The alignment of nearly every European nation into one of the two opposing camps formalized the political division of the European continent that had taken place since World War II (1939-45). This alignment provided the framework for the military standoff that continued throughout the Cold War (1945-91).

A Divided Europe

Conflict between the Western nations (including the United States, Great Britain, France and other countries) and the Communist Eastern bloc (led by the Union of Soviet Socialists Republics or USSR) began almost as soon as the guns fell silent at the end of World War II (1939-45). The USSR oversaw the installation of pro-Soviet governments in many of the areas it had taken from the Nazis during the war. In response, the U.S. and its Western allies sought ways to prevent further expansion of Communist influence on the European continent. In 1947, U.S. leaders introduced the Marshall Plan, a diplomatic initiative that provided aid to friendly nations to help them rebuild their war-damaged infrastructures and economies.

Events of the following year prompted American leaders to adopt a more militaristic stance toward the Soviets. In February 1948, a coup sponsored by the Soviet Union overthrew the democratic government of Czechoslovakia and brought that nation firmly into the Communist camp. Within a few days, U.S. leaders agreed to join discussions aimed at forming a joint security agreement with their European allies. The process gained new urgency in June of that year, when the USSR cut off ground access to Berlin, forcing the U.S., Britain and France to airlift supplies to their sectors of the German city, which had been partitioned between the Western Allies and the Soviets following World War II.

NATO: The Western Nations Join Forces

The discussions between the Western nations concluded on April 4, 1949, when the foreign ministers of 12 countries in North America and Western Europe gathered in Washington, D.C., to sign the North Atlantic Treaty. It was primarily a security pact, with Article 5 stating that a military attack against any of the signatories would be considered an attack against them all. When U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson (1893-1971) put his signature on the document, it reflected an important change in American foreign policy. For the first time since the 1700s, the U.S. had formally tied its security to that of nations in Europe–the continent that had served as the flash point for both world wars.

The original membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) consisted of Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the United States. NATO formed the backbone of the West’s military bulwark against the USSR and its allies for the next 40 years, with its membership growing larger over the course of the Cold War era. Greece and Turkey were admitted in 1952, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) in 1955 and Spain in 1982. Unhappy with its role in the organization, France opted to withdraw from military participation in NATO in 1966 and did not return until 1995.

Warsaw Pact: The Communist Alliance

The formation of the Warsaw Pact was in some ways a response to the creation of NATO, although it did not occur until six years after the Western alliance came into being. It was more directly inspired by the rearming of West Germany and its admission into NATO in 1955. In the aftermath of World War I and World War II, Soviet leaders felt very apprehensive about Germany once again becoming a military power–a concern that was shared by many European nations on both sides of the Cold War divide.

In the mid-1950s, however, the U.S. and a number of other NATO members began to advocate making West Germany part of the alliance and allowing it to form an army under tight restrictions. The Soviets warned that such a provocative action would force them to make new security arrangements in their own sphere of influence, and they were true to their word. West Germany formally joined NATO on May 5, 1955, and the Warsaw Pact was signed less than two weeks later, on May 14. Joining the USSR in the alliance were Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Hungary, Poland and Romania. This lineup remained constant until the Cold War ended with the dismantling of all the Communist governments in Eastern Europe in 1989 and 1990.

Like NATO, the Warsaw Pact focused on the objective of creating a coordinated defense among its member nations in order to deter an enemy attack. There was also an internal security component to the agreement that proved useful to the USSR. The alliance provided a mechanism for the Soviets to exercise even tighter control over the other Communist states in Eastern Europe and deter pact members from seeking greater autonomy. When Soviet leaders found it necessary to use military force to put down revolts in Hungary in 1956 and in Czechoslovakia in 1968, for example, they presented the action as being carried out by the Warsaw Pact rather than by the USSR alone.

Formation of Nato - Purpose, Dates and Cold War - HISTORY

NATO maintains its own official page where you can find just about everything you would ever need to know about the organization, past and present. There is also a page with the latest information about the NATO. The actual treaty which defined the creation of NATO is available at that site, as well as divided and indexed at Yale University. The NATO Handbook describes how NATO is structured and controlled. Also take a look at the site for NATO's Supreme Commander in Europe. Finally, if you must, you can check wikipedia.

  • Bridget Kendall, NATO searches for defining role BBC, February 2005
  • Andrew J. Pierre, NATO at Fifty: New Challenges, Future Uncertainties
  • Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, One for all: The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

The memoirs of one of the principal architects of the alliance should be read: Dean Acheson, Present at the Creation (Norton, 1969)

See also A. Grosser, The Western Alliance: European-American Relations since 1945 (Macmillan, 1980) James Huston, One for All: NATO Strategy and Logistics through the Formative Period, (1949-1969) (University of Delaware Press, 1984), Douglas Stuart and William Tow, The Limits of Alliance: NATO Out-Of-Area Problems Since 1949 (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990) and John Baylis, The Diplomacy of Pragmatism: Britain and the Formation of NATO, 1942-1949(Kent State University Press, 1993)

NATO’s purpose

NATO’s essential and enduring purpose is to safeguard the freedom and security of all its members by political and military means. Collective defence is at the heart of the Alliance and creates a spirit of solidarity and cohesion among its members.

NATO strives to secure a lasting peace in Europe, based on common values of individual liberty, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Seeing the outbreak of crises and conflicts beyond Allied borders can jeopardise this objective, the Alliance also contributes to peace and stability through crisis management operations and partnerships. Essentially, NATO not only helps to defend the territory of its members, but also engages where possible and when necessary to project its values further afield, prevent and manage crises, stabilise post-conflict situations and support reconstruction.

NATO also embodies the transatlantic link by which the security of North America is tied to that of Europe’s. It is an intergovernmental organisation which provides a forum where members can consult on any issue they may choose to raise and take decisions on political and military matters affecting their security. No single member country is forced to rely solely on its national capabilities to meet its essential national security objectives. The resulting sense of shared security among members contributes to stability in the Euro-Atlantic area.

NATO’s fundamental security tasks are laid down in the Washington Treaty (also known as the North Atlantic Treaty). They are sufficiently general to withstand the test of time and are translated into more detail in the Organization’s strategic concepts. Strategic concepts are the authoritative statement of the Alliance’s objectives: they provide the highest level of guidance on the political and military means to be used to achieve these goals and remain the basis for the implementation of Alliance policy as a whole.

During the Cold War, NATO focused on collective defence and the protection of its members from potential threats emanating from the Soviet Union. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of non-state actors affecting international security, many new security threats emerged. NATO is countering these threats by utilising collective defence, managing crisis situations and encouraging cooperative security, as outlined in the 2010 Strategic Concept.

NATO: Formation, Principles, Objectives and Analysis of NATO

The Cold War widened the gap between America and Soviet Russia. One country tried to exert fear in the mind of other. In order to make Europe free from the clutches of Communism, the United States of America created an organisation.

This was known as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation or NATO.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was formed in 1949. At first 12 countries like the United States of America, Canada, England, France,

Image Source:*675/NATO-logo.jpg

Belgium, Netherland etc. participated in it. In 1952, Greece and Turkey joined NATO. In 1955 West Germany became its member. NATO was really meant to check the Russian influence over the European Countries.

Principles of the NATO:

This treaty includes one Preamble including 14 articles.

The principles of the NATO were:

1. The members of NATO will solve themselves the disputes which arise among them.

2. They will make their relations strong through friendly co-operation.

3. They will help each other for individual as well as Common Security.

4. As far as the Sovereignty was concerned, they will help each other.

5. Any attack on a country of Europe or North America will be treated as attack an whole of Europe and North America.

The objectives of NATO were:

(a) The NATO was meant to create fear psychosis for Soviet Russia.

(b) It warned Russia that if it attacks on any country of Europe or America, then the USA would help that affected country.

(c) This organisation also tried to unite all the countries of Europe and America under one umbrella. It also aimed at economic stability of these countries and advancement in military front.

(d) This organisation also mentally stabilised the European nations.

(e) The real objective of NATO was to save the country of Europe and America which was to be attacked by Russia.

Analysis of NATO:

NATO was internationally criticised. Various historians opine that NATO had encouraged the Cold War.

Secondly, as it did not obey the principles of the UNO, others pointed out fingers at it. Russia said that NATO was established only to terrorise Russia.

Thirdly, NATO was a barrier for world peace. It inspired the countries to bring progress in armaments. (However, the formation of NATO inspired the countries for a race in armament.

Really, NATO was a part of the Cold War. It not only accelerated the Cold War but also encouraged the enmity between America and Russia.)

Activity 2. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Finally, students will consider the North Atlantic Treaty. Have them read the following documents pertaining to the NATO alliance, available from the EDSITEment reviewed resources the Avalon Project at Yale Law School, the Truman Presidential Library, and Teaching American History. Excerpts are available on pages 7–10 of the Text Document.

To guide their reading, students will answer the following questions, available in worksheet form on page 11 of the Text Document.

  • According to the preamble, what did the signatories of the North Atlantic Treaty have in common, that might serve as a basis for their coming together?
  • What did this treaty obligate its signatories to do?
  • According to the terms of the treaty, how could additional nations be added to the alliance?
  • Why did President Truman believe that the United States should sign the North Atlantic Treaty?
  • What did Senator Taft fear would be the Soviet Union's response to the alliance?
  • On what other grounds did Senator Taft oppose U.S. involvement in the North Atlantic Treaty?

When they have finished, teachers should lead an in-class discussion in which students imagine that they are U.S. citizens in 1948. They should be asked to evaluate the arguments of both Truman and Taft.

After completing this lesson, students should be able to write brief (1–2 paragraph) essays answering the following questions:

  • What led the Soviet Union to blockade West Berlin? Was Stalin justified in taking this action?
  • What was Truman's response to the Berlin blockade and how effective was it?
  • What was the North Atlantic Treaty? Do you think that it was wise for the United States to join it? Why or why not?

If teachers have used this lesson plan as part of the curriculum unit on the Origins of the Cold War, it might be useful to have students complete the worksheet that is available on page 12 of the Text Document. In so doing they will show their understanding of how developments in Europe led to certain U.S. responses, and how those responses had the cumulative effect of drawing the United States into European affairs to an unprecedented extent.

Alternatively, more advanced students might be asked to write an essay in response to the following question: "Was deeper U.S. involvement in European affairs inevitable in the aftermath of World War II? Why or why not?"

The EDSITEment-reviewed site of the Truman Presidential Library contains an outstanding collection of oral histories related to the Berlin Airlift. Teachers who have additional time to devote to this incident might have students read one or more of these accounts of particular interest are the recollections of Konrad Adenauer, who would go on to be Chancellor of West Germany and Lucius Clay, who served as military governor of the U.S. zone of occupation in Germany during the critical period 1947–1949. These could be used as the basis for a discussion regarding the different ways in which each participant recalled the events of this critical period. The comparison between the recollections of Adenauer, postwar Germany's most important statesman, and Clay, an American general, should be particularly illustrative.

The Truman Presidential Library site also has a considerable number of photographs of the Berlin Airlift in action. These are particularly useful in illustrating the challenges that pilots faced, and the gratitude that West Berliners felt toward them.

Teachers who have used all three lessons in this unit might wish to have students construct a timeline of the events of the early Cold War. An online template for this is available at Read-Write-Think. An excellent source of information to help students fill in the gaps is "Cold War Policies, 1945–1991," which is accessible via the EDSITEment-reviewed resource History Matters.

Historical background

After World War II in 1945, western Europe was economically exhausted and militarily weak (the western Allies had rapidly and drastically reduced their armies at the end of the war), and newly powerful communist parties had arisen in France and Italy. By contrast, the Soviet Union had emerged from the war with its armies dominating all the states of central and eastern Europe, and by 1948 communists under Moscow’s sponsorship had consolidated their control of the governments of those countries and suppressed all noncommunist political activity. What became known as the Iron Curtain, a term popularized by Winston Churchill, had descended over central and eastern Europe. Further, wartime cooperation between the western Allies and the Soviets had completely broken down. Each side was organizing its own sector of occupied Germany, so that two German states would emerge, a democratic one in the west and a communist one in the east.

In 1948 the United States launched the Marshall Plan, which infused massive amounts of economic aid to the countries of western and southern Europe on the condition that they cooperate with each other and engage in joint planning to hasten their mutual recovery. As for military recovery, under the Brussels Treaty of 1948, the United Kingdom, France, and the Low Countries—Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg—concluded a collective-defense agreement called the Western European Union. It was soon recognized, however, that a more formidable alliance would be required to provide an adequate military counterweight to the Soviets.

By this time Britain, Canada, and the United States had already engaged in secret exploratory talks on security arrangements that would serve as an alternative to the United Nations (UN), which was becoming paralyzed by the rapidly emerging Cold War. In March 1948, following a virtual communist coup d’état in Czechoslovakia in February, the three governments began discussions on a multilateral collective-defense scheme that would enhance Western security and promote democratic values. These discussions were eventually joined by France, the Low Countries, and Norway and in April 1949 resulted in the North Atlantic Treaty.


West Germany Edit

  • 6 Tank Divisions (Panzerdivisionen) (Mostly had Leopard 2s, but in very little amount.)
  • 4 Armored Infantry Divisions (Panzergrenadierdivisionen) (Mainly had Leopard 1s, due the scarcity of Leopard 2s)
  • 1 Mountain Division (Gebirgsdivision)
  • 6 Home Defense Tank Brigades (Heimatschutz – Panzerbrigaden) (Armed with older M48A2C/ M48A2G2s.)
  • 6 Home Defense Armored Infantry Brigades (Heimatschutz – Panzergrenadierbrigaden (not complete)

(Total: 5000+ including Jagdpanzer)

United States Edit

  • 4 Armored Divisions (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th)(Most of them had M60A3s and each had about 150 M1 tanks)
  • 6 Mechanized Divisions (Had mainly M1 Abrams Tanks)
  • 4 Infantry Divisions (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th)
  • 1 Airborne Division (incl. 1 Tank Battalion) (Had 50 Sheridan tanks)
  • 1 independent Tank Brigade (194th Armored) (Had mostly M1s.)
  • 4 independent Infantry Brigades
  • 3 Cavalry Regiments (Reconnaissance) (Generally only had 10-12 tanks, mainly Sheridans/ but some had M1s)
  • 3 ACAV Regiments (2nd, 3rd and 11th ACAV)
  • 3 Tank Battalions (most had M60A1s/ had some M60A2s) Marines
  • ? Tank Battalions National Guard (Reserve)
  • 1,825 M48A5 MBT
  • 1,555 M60 MBT
  • 7,000 M60A1 MBT
  • 540 M60A2 MBT (But Reserve on 1976)
  • 4,000+M60A3 MBT
  • 3,000+ M1 Abrams MBT
  • 400 M551 Sheridan AR/AAV (330 extra for training purposes)
  • 575 M60A1 ERA MBT with the Marines

Total: 19,225+ tanks (min. 330 for training only) [3]

CENTAG mainly consisted of the US 5th and 7th corps along with more mech divisions. The US army had a fair amount of tanks, making up for the shortcomings of NATO tank numbers.

France Edit

  • 6 Tank divisions (divisions blindées – the 2nd, 7th, 10th in France, the 1st, 3rd and 5th in West Germany)
  • 4 Light Armoured Divisions – the 6th, 9th, 12th, 14th
  • 2 Mechanised Infantry Divisions – the 8th and 15th

United Kingdom Edit

Total: 1,901 tanks and armoured cars [7]

Before the 1980s, equipment included the Conqueror tank (1955–1966) and FV4101 Charioteer (TA 1950s). Initially containing three armoured divisions, BAOR was reformed by 1960 into three mixed divisions and additional brigade groups. Then in the 1970s, as four smaller armoured divisions before reorganization as 3 armoured divisions in 1981–83.

Turkey Edit

  • 1 Tank Division
  • 2 Mechanised Infantry Divisions
  • 14 Infantry Divisions (some with tank battalions attached)

Italy Edit

  • 5 Armored Brigades [10] (two tank battalion each, 49 tanks each battalion))
  • 9 Mechanized Brigades [11] (one 49 tanks battalion each)
  • 4 Motorized Brigades [12] (one armored battalion each, with 33 tanks)
  • 2 Armored Carabinieri (gendarmerie) battalions [13]
  • 2 Armored independent battalions [14]
  • 4 Recce independent battalions [15] (31 tanks each)
  • Armored Troops School with the 31st Tank battalion
  • Armored Training Camp with the 1st Armored Regiment
  • 900 MBT Leopard 1
  • 300 MBT M60A1
  • 550 MBT M47 Patton (remaining of original 1,500)

Netherlands Edit

  • 1 armoured division
  • 2 mechanised divisions (1 of which reserve)
  • 468 MBT Leopard 1
  • 330 MBT Centurion tank
  • 120 light tank AMX 13/105

Denmark Edit

  • 1 Mechanised Division (Jutland)The Jutland division/Jyske division.
  • 1 Light Battlegroup/Jyske kampgruppe. (Jutland) 3 Motorized battalions with 8 Centurion tanks with 105mm guns and a battalion of 24 105mm light howitzers.
  • 2 Independent Mechanised Brigades (Zealand)
  • 4 Light Battlegroups (Zealand)Each battlegroup with 8-10 Centurion with 84mm gun and a field artilley battalion. Plus motorized infantry battalions.
  • 1 Battlegroup (Bornholm) Motorized infantry and a battalion of 24 light artillery pieces.
  • 1 Battlegroup/Kampgruppe Funen/ 2 motorized infantry battalions. Light artillery battalion of 24 howitzers 105mm.

JutlandThe Jutland Division/Jyske division.

  • 120 MBT Leopard 1A3 (40 in each Brigade x3)
  • 18 light tank M41 Walker Bulldog (Recon Battalion)
  • 50 Centurion tank Mk.V with 84 mm gun in the tank destroyer battalion of the division. 10 Centurion with 105mm gun with the motorized infantry battalion of the Jutland division. 6x Anti-tank Squadrons in reserve in four regions and one Light-Battlegroupe with 10 centurion with 105mm gun.In each 3 regions of Jutland there was an infantry battalion. 1 of 3 also with a battalion of light howitzers. Jyske kampgruppe/Jutland battlegroup with its tanks and artillery was to assist each region if overwhelmed and the strongest force in Jutland. The Jutland division was in Sleswig/Holstein.
  • 90 MBT Centurion tank MK.V2 with 105 mm L7A1 gun (50 in one Brigade, 40 in the other. All with 105mm gun)
  • 36 Centurion tank MK.V with 84 mm gun (4 tank Squadrons in 4 Light-Battlegroups)
  • 18 light tank M41 Walker Bulldog (Recon Battalion)
  • Region IV Funen. Battlegroup 20 centurion with 84mm gun.
  • 16 light tank M41 Walker Bulldog (1 Light Tank Squadron and 1 Recon Squadron)
  • Possibly a number om M10 tank destroyers, when taking absolutely all reserves into account. I have not listed a number

Belgium Edit

  • 1 Armoured Brigade (17 Ps Bde – Spich-Altenrath)
  • 3 Mechanised Brigades (1 PsInf Bde – Leopoldsburg, 4 PsInf Bde – Soest, 7 PsInf Bde – Marche-En-Famenne)
  • 1 Reserve Mechanised Brigade
  • 334 MBT Leopard 1
  • 62 MBT M47 Patton (reserve)
  • 136 light tank FV101 Scorpion
  • 154 light tank FV107 Scimitar
  • 80 tankdestroyer Kanonenjagdpanzer

Canada Edit

  • 1 Mechanized Brigade (4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, based in Germany)
  • 2 Motorized Brigades (1 Canadian Brigade Group and 5e Groupe-brigade du Canada, both based in Canada with NATO taskings to Europe. 1CBG provided personnel for REFORGER and 5GBC as the CAST Canadian Air-Sea Transportable Brigade Group earmarked for service in Norway).
  • 114 MBT Leopard 1
  • 195 AVGP Cougar (amphibious, direct Fire Support Vehicle (Wheeled) FSV(W) variant of the Canadian built Armoured Vehicle General Purpose AVGP based on the Swiss MOWAG 6X6 Piranaha hull with 76 mm gun in British FV101 Scorpion Tank Turret).

The Leopards and Cougars came into service in the late 1970s and replaced 274 Centurion Tanks used by Royal Canadian Armoured Corps units (The Canadian Centurion tanks served in Germany for 25 years, from January 1952 to January 1977).

Total: 114 MBT (+195 FSV) = 309 tanks

Norway Edit

  • Independent Armoured Squadrons
  • 78 MBT Leopard 1
  • 38 MBT M48 Patton
  • 70 light tank NM-116 (upgraded M24 Chaffee)

Portugal Edit

  • 1 Tank Regiment
  • 2 Cavalry Regiments
  • 34 MBT M47 Patton
  • 30 MBT M48 Patton
  • Up to 16 light tank M24 Chaffee

Greece Edit

Spain Edit

  • 1 Armoured Division
  • 1 Mechanised Division
  • 3 Armoured Cavalry Brigades
  • 1 Light Cavalry Regiment
  • 340 MBT M47 Patton
  • 110 MBT M48 Patton
  • 200 MBT AMX-30
  • 180 light tank M41 Walker Bulldog


  • 36 Tank Divisions, including six Tank Armies with four tank divisions each.
  • 85 Mechanised Infantry Divisions
  • 6 Airborne Divisions
  • 2 Naval Infantry Divisions
  • 3 Naval Infantry Brigades
  • 20000+ Medium Tanks, T-54/55 and T-62, 1000+ T-10A/M Heavy tanks (reserve) T-10 / T-10M / T-54 / T-55 / T-62
  • 15,000 MBT T64A/B, T-72 Ural/T-72A, T-80/T-80B T-64 / T-72 / T-80
  • 870 amphibious Reconnaissance Tanks PT-76/85 PT-76 (Plavayushchiy Tank)
  • 1,800 med. tank T-34 (At the Chinese border – most used for driver training withdrawn in 1979)

East Germany Edit

  • 2 Tank Division
  • 4 Mechanised Infantry Divisions
  • 1,500 MBT T-54 / T-55 / T-72 (further 1600 tanks stored)
  • 120 Reconnaissance tanks PT-76

Poland Edit

  • 5 Tank Divisions
  • 8 Mechanised Infantry Divisions
  • 1 Amphibious Assault Division
  • 1 Airborne Division
  • 3,400 T-54 / T-55 MBT
  • 30 T-72 MBT
  • 130 PT-76 Armored Reconnaissance tanks

Czechoslovakia Edit

  • 7 Tank Divisions (2 on full numbers, 3 on reduced numbers, 2 created by mobilization)
  • 8 Motor-Rifle Divisions (3 on full numbers, 2 on reduced numbers, 3 created by mobilization)
  • 31 T-72
  • 1,960 T-55
  • 1,804 T-54
  • 428 T-34

Bulgaria Edit

  • 5 Tank Brigades (in Sofia, Kazanlak, Karlovo, Sliven and Aytos)
  • 8 Motor Rifle Divisions [22]
  • 1,800 MBT T-54 / T-55
  • 250 MBT T-62
  • 100 medium tank T-34
  • 250 light tank PT-76

Hungary Edit

  • 1 Tank Division (in Tata)
  • 5 Motor Rifle Divisions (in Gyöngyös, Kiskunfélegyháza, Zalaegerszeg, Kaposvár and Nyíregyháza)
  • 1,000 MBT T-54 / T-55
  • 100 light tanks PT-76

Romania Edit

  • 2 Tank Divisions (in Targu-Mures and Bucuresti)
  • 8 Mechanised Infantry Divisions (in Iasi, Braila, Constanta, Bucuresti, Craiova, Timișoara, Oradea and Dej)
  • 935 medium tanks T-34-85
  • 31 MBT T-72 Ural-1
  • 758 MBT T-55,
  • 121 MBT TR-77

Sweden Edit

  • 4 Armoured Brigades, type PB 63
  • 1 Armoured Brigade, type Gotland [23]
  • 1 Mechanized Brigade, type MekB 10 (under development)
  • 1 Independent Armoured Battalion, I 19/P 5 [24]
  • 240 MBT Stridsvagn 103 (72 per brigade, plus an independent battalion with 24)
  • 192 MBT Centurion tank (72 per brigade, plus a future mechanized brigade with 48) [25]

The Swedish army was in the process of forming a mechanized brigade, type MekB 10, which became active in 1983/84. [26] This brigade was only equipped with 48 MBT's (Centurions) compared to the 72 MBT's of the regular armoured brigades, but instead received 24 Infanterikanonvagn 91 infantry support vehicles. [27]

NATO in the post-Cold War era

After the Cold War, NATO was reconceived as a “cooperative-security” organization whose mandate was to include two main objectives: to foster dialogue and cooperation with former adversaries in the Warsaw Pact and to “manage” conflicts in areas on the European periphery, such as the Balkans. In keeping with the first objective, NATO established the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (1991 later replaced by the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council) to provide a forum for the exchange of views on political and security issues, as well as the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program (1994) to enhance European security and stability through joint military training exercises with NATO and non-NATO states, including the former Soviet republics and allies. Special cooperative links were also set up with two PfP countries: Russia and Ukraine.

The second objective entailed NATO’s first use of military force, when it entered the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995 by staging air strikes against Bosnian Serb positions around the capital city of Sarajevo. The subsequent Dayton Accords, which were initialed by representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, committed each state to respecting the others’ sovereignty and to settling disputes peacefully it also laid the groundwork for stationing NATO peacekeeping troops in the region. A 60,000-strong Implementation Force (IFOR) was initially deployed, though a smaller contingent remained in Bosnia under a different name, the Stabilization Force (SFOR). In March 1999 NATO launched massive air strikes against Serbia in an attempt to force the Yugoslav government of Slobodan Milošević to accede to diplomatic provisions designed to protect the predominantly Muslim Albanian population in the province of Kosovo. Under the terms of a negotiated settlement to the fighting, NATO deployed a peacekeeping force called the Kosovo Force (KFOR).

The crisis over Kosovo and the ensuing war gave renewed impetus to efforts by the European Union (EU) to construct a new crisis-intervention force, which would make the EU less dependent on NATO and U.S. military resources for conflict management. These efforts prompted significant debates about whether enhancing the EU’s defensive capabilities would strengthen or weaken NATO. Simultaneously there was much discussion of the future of NATO in the post-Cold War era. Some observers argued that the alliance should be dissolved, noting that it was created to confront an enemy that no longer existed others called for a broad expansion of NATO membership to include Russia. Most suggested alternative roles, including peacekeeping. By the start of the second decade of the 21st century, it appeared likely that the EU would not develop capabilities competitive with those of NATO or even seek to do so as a result, earlier worries associated with the spectre of rivalry between the two Brussels-based organizations dissipated.

During the presidency of Bill Clinton (1993–2001), the United States led an initiative to enlarge NATO membership gradually to include some of the former Soviet allies. In the concurrent debate over enlargement, supporters of the initiative argued that NATO membership was the best way to begin the long process of integrating these states into regional political and economic institutions such as the EU. Some also feared future Russian aggression and suggested that NATO membership would guarantee freedom and security for the newly democratic regimes. Opponents pointed to the enormous cost of modernizing the military forces of new members they also argued that enlargement, which Russia would regard as a provocation, would hinder democracy in that country and enhance the influence of hard-liners. Despite these disagreements, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland joined NATO in 1999 Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia were admitted in 2004 and Albania and Croatia acceded to the alliance in 2009.

Meanwhile, by the beginning of the 21st century, Russia and NATO had formed a strategic relationship. No longer considered NATO’s chief enemy, Russia cemented a new cooperative bond with NATO in 2001 to address such common concerns as international terrorism, nuclear nonproliferation, and arms control. This bond was subsequently subject to fraying, however, in large part because of reasons associated with Russian domestic politics.

Formation of Nato - Purpose, Dates and Cold War - HISTORY

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) was created in 1949. NATO was seen as being a viable military deterrent against the military might of the Soviet Union. In response to NATO admitting the membership of West Germany, the Soviet Union was to gather all its client states in Eastern Europe into the Warsaw Pact in May 1955. The heart of NATO beat around the military and financial muscle of the United States. However, because the post-war Soviet threat was perceived to be against Western Europe, the headquarters of NATO was based in Brussels, Belgium.

The original members of NATO were USA, UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, France, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. Greece and Turkey joined in 1952.

The principal part of NATO membership states:

“The parties of NATO agree that an armed attack against one of more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against all of them. Consequently, they agree that if such an armed attack occurs, each of them in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence will assist the party or parties being attacked, individually and in concert with other parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.”

This agreement did not tie a member state down to a military response but a response as “deemed necessary” was expected.

In 1952 at the Lisbon Conference, member states discussed expanding NATO to 96 divisions – this was in response to the perceived threat of communism after the North Korean invasion of South Korea and the subsequent Korean War. However, in 1953, it was agreed to limit NATO to 35 divisions but with a greater reliability on nuclear weapons.

For many years, only America provided the nuclear weaponry for NATO, though both the United Kingdom and France were eventually to produce their own nuclear capability.

France, angered by what they saw as the dominance of America in NATO, effectively withdrew in 1959 and developed her own independent nuclear force. Charles de Gaulle made it clear that only the French government would determine when and if such weaponry would be used. He ordered the withdrawal of the French Mediterranean Naval Fleet from NATO command and in the same year banned all foreign nuclear weapons from French soil. In 1966 all French military forces were withdrawn from NATO’s command. France remained a member of NATO but had its armed forces under the control of the French government. However, in secret talks, plans were made to put French forces back under NATO command in the event of an invasion of Western Europe by Warsaw Pact states.

In the immediate aftermath of World War Two, Western Europe relied on American support and power to defend itself against the Soviet threat. However, as Western Europe found its feet after World War Two, a more independent streak was identified that deemed America to be too dominant in NATO and West European affairs – hence the move by France to make herself an independent nuclear state. In the UK something similar occurred – though the UK was less openly critical of America’s dominance of NATO – and an independent nuclear capability was developed based around the V Force (Vulcan, Victor and Valiant bombers) and the Blue Streak missile development. Both France and the UK developed an independent nuclear submarine capability as well – though the UK purchased US missiles, thus empathising America’s importance to Western Europe and NATO.

To defend the heart of Europe, NATO based a huge land and air force in West Germany. This was a clear response to the Soviet Army that dominated the Warsaw Pact. In 1979, in response to a build-up of Warsaw Pact military strength, NATO agreed to deploy American Cruise and Pershing II missiles in Western Europe. In 1983-84, when the Warsaw Pact deployed SS-20 missiles in Eastern Europe, NATO responded by deploying more modern Pershing missiles. Combined with her nuclear capability, NATO could also call on a formidable conventional force.

Words nearby NATO

In his statement, Rigi named Naser Boledi as a main mediator between him and representatives of NATO .

This must be added to our national security priorities and those of NATO .

Turkey, a NATO member and European Union aspirant, has a long history of jailing journalists and dissenters.

It took more than a dozen years for the Afghan and NATO forces to really understand each other, but all that will soon be history.

Turkey has been a candidate to the European Union since 1999 and a staunch NATO partner since 1952.

E chi ne assicura, che il Boccaccio non fosse nato nella sua villa di Corbignano quivi poco distante?

NATO and the international peacekeeping force against an unholy – and, until recently, improbable – alliance.

NATO , struggling to redefine itself and perpetuate its totally superfluous existence.