Carl Cavanagh Hodge

in International Relations

ISBN: 9780199743292
Published online March 2011 | | DOI:


The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a military alliance of North American and European democratic states founded by the North Atlantic Treaty, signed on 4 April 1949 in Washington, DC. It is a product of both the Anglo-American alliance during World War II and the conflict that emerged after 1945 between the United States and the Soviet Union over the postwar future of Europe. It was preceded by the Treaty of Brussels, signed 17 March 1948 by Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, and the United Kingdom, which was as much a hedge against the reemergence of an aggressive Germany as an anti-Soviet coalition. As the Soviet military threat to Western Europe made the Brussels states anxious to secure an American security guarantee, talks were convened that ultimately led to the creation of NATO, incorporating the five Brussels states plus the United States, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland. In 1952 Greece and Turkey were added, and in 1955 the inclusion of the Federal Republic of Germany further strengthened NATO and made West Germany the front-line state of NATO’s confrontation with the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Treaty Organization until 1989. Since the end of the Cold War in 1991, NATO has added to its number former member states of the Warsaw Pact and former Soviet republics, so that as of 2010 its membership totals twenty-eight countries. The literature on NATO falls into four categories: journal articles dealing with NATO in all periods since its founding, literature on the Cold War Era, studies of post–Cold War change generally, and growing literature on NATO in the expeditionary era specifically.

Article.  5989 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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