Edited by Gerald Boerner
Following the end of World War II two rival ideologies entered the conflict the we know as the “Cold War”. The Soviet Union took on their real persona, that of a world leader set on extending its influence over the emerging countries of Eastern Europe. As Winston Churchill observed in his famous "Sinews of Peace" speech at Westminster College: “…From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an ‘iron curtain’ has descended across the Continent.”
The lines of the Cold War were quickly drawn. Those countries in the Soviet block were united in a mutual defense pack, known as the Warsaw Pact. Those countries in Western Europe joined together in a mutual defense pack as well. This pack became known as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO. When the Soviets tested their own atomic bomb in the latter 1940s, These weapons were deployed by both sides, assuring mutual destruction if either side used them. This created an uneasy standoff that spawned many “proxy wars” over the next forty years.
An interesting perspective was presented by the first NATO Secretary General, Lord Ismay, famously stated the organization’s goal was "to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down". With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 the focus of this agreement had to adapt to a different world order, but NATO continues to have a function, as can be seen in Libya today!
So, let’s get on with our exploration… GLB
These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved
[ 3000 Words ]
Quotations Related to NATO:
“We welcome, we welcome this good cooperation between Russia and NATO.”
— Aleksander Kwasniewski
“For years, we have heard warnings that Europe needs to contribute more to NATO’s capability.”
— Lord Robertson
“The NATO forces will, to the extent that they have capacity, assist the war crimes tribunal.”
— Warren Christopher