World Analysis

The Formation Of NATO

Why did the United States and other European countries initially form NATO

After World War II, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. occupied much of Europe. Most of the continent’s governments had fallen to the Nazis during the war, so the two superpowers were left with the responsibility of setting up new governments. Each promised to allow free elections, but in the end, did not. This left eastern and western Europe divided by style of government (eastern was communist, western was not) and left Germany divided between the two superpowers.

Eventually, as tensions rose between the superpowers, the Soviets cut off their area of Germany, and closed access to West Berlin, which was located deep within the Soviet zone of occupation. The allies aided the citizens of Berlin with supplies during the Berlin Airlift of 1948. This was a combined effort between the USA, Britain and France to keep the city alive. In the end over two million tons of food and supplies were dropped.

Soon after, when the Soviets began withdrawing from other countries around the world, it became evident that they were not going to go quietly. The USSR demanded oil concessions from Iran in exchange for withdrawal, but did not get them. In a similar manner, the Soviet leaders demanded that Turkey allow them to utilize its resources to spy on the western world. The Soviets also supported a communist revolution in Greece that led to a bloody civil war. Soon after that, there was a communist coup in Czechoslovakia, which was not a Soviet initiated venture, but quickly received full Soviet support. Western European nations countered this chain of events and the apparent growing Soviet threat with the Brussels Treaty, which defensively linked Britain, France, and Benelux.

The expansion of Soviet influence in Eastern Europe and the threats against Greece and Turkey aroused growing alarm throughout Western Europe. As a consequence, in April 1949, in accordance with the United Nations Charter, 12 nations established the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to coordinate the military defenses of member nations against possible Soviet aggression. Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the United States (with Greece, Turkey and the Federal Republic of Germany joining afterward in 1952) agreed to consider an armed attack against any one of them as an attack against all. The territory covered included French Algeria, and there were also provisions in the treaty to protect the “occupation forces in any party of Europe.”

NATO membership is open to “any other European state in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area.”

There are currently 28 members

  1. Albania (2009)
  2. Belgium (1949)
  3. Bulgaria (2004)
  4. Canada (1949)
  5. Croatia (2009)
  6. Czech Republic (1999)
  7. Denmark (1949)
  8. Estonia (2004)
  9. France (1949)
  10. Germany (1955)
  11. Greece (1952)
  12. Hungary (1999)
  13. Iceland (1949)
  14. Italy (1949)
  15. Latvia (2004)
  16. Lithuania (2004)
  17. Luxembourg (1949)
  18. Netherlands (1949)
  19. Norway (1949)
  20. Poland (1999)
  21. Portugal (1949)
  22. Romania (2004)
  23. Slovakia (2004)
  24. Slovenia (2004)
  25. Spain (1982)
  26. Turkey (1952)
  27. The United Kingdom (1949)
  28. The United States (1949)





By Ritu Gaur

Founder of Reignite Twenties
Resides at The Hague

An educator & writer who preferably scroll on societal issues. An acute life observer, passionate about learning and sharing knowledge; A friend of environment. Believes in the liberating law of the spirit of life

2 replies on “The Formation Of NATO”

[…] The US-NATO military alliance directed the war from 2003 to 2014 when it was announced that its combat operations would cease and the US would leave a residual force until the end of 2016 (now extended). Some thousands of US soldiers, under the ‘Freedom’s Sentinel’ Mission, continue combat operations but other foreign contingents are confined to training and advising the Afghan army. […]



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