- Slides: 25
Formation of NATO • In 1945 the UN was formed to attempt to avoid another world war • But the UN did not have enough power; couldn’t force a nation to do something • UN did not have its own free-standing army
Creation of NATO • NATO was created on April 4, 1949. • Defensive military organization - flexible, able to respond with whatever weapons are needed. • Also a moral and political agreement. • “Strengthening of … free institutions”, i. e. . , supported democracy and opposed communism.
• Also to end US isolationism. Forced the US to be more proactive in Europe. • NATO would “keep the Americans in, the Soviets out, and the Germans down. ” • USSR saw NATO as a threat. Said they weren’t an aggressor. • When West Germany joined NATO in 1955 the Soviets saw it as a threat to Eastern Europe and they created the Warsaw pact to counterbalance NATO.
What is the reason for this Projection of the Earth?
Original Members: • Belgium Canada Denmark France Germany Greece Iceland Italy Luxembourg Netherlands Norway Portugal Spain Turkey United Kingdom United States
Why tension between USSR and USA and Europe? • USSR was communist and totalitarian and the West was capitalist and democratic. • USSR was afraid of Western invasion and the West was afraid communism would spread throughout Europe. • The two sides could not agree on terms of peace at end of WWII.
• After WWII the Cold War between the US and the USSR began. • Period of heightened tensions - suspicion, arguing, spying, competition. • Struggle for world dominance through economic and psychological means (as opposed to military). • Both playing the Geo-Political game. Communism vs. Capitalism – the playing field was the countries of the world.
• USSR wanted to keep forces in Eastern Europe to protect its frontier. • Also they wanted to keep Germany weak. • The West disagreed. They wanted Germany to have some military strength to serve as a buffer between West and East European countries. • Remember the Heartland Theory
Tensions Escalate • Two US policies right after WWII placed the US in direct conflict with the USSR. • Truman Doctrine dedicated the US to stopping the spread of communism in the world. • The Marshall Plan (UN) directed large financial aid at European recovery. • Why?
• So people would reject communism because standard of living was better under capitalism. • The Soviets responded with a similar plan to their allies – Comecon. • The West was then convinced that USSR was bent on spreading communism when it did two things:
• In 1948 it blockaded Berlin, creating a divided Germany. The Iron Curtain was created. • Supported a communist takeover in Czechoslovakia.
• Within ten years of the ending of WWII Europe was divided into two adversarial alliances. • The Cold War and the Arms race were on.
International Security • “collective security” is the basic concept behind NATO • Military, financial and economic aid. • Forces have “flexible response”, i. e. , conventional and nuclear weapons. • Strong deterrent.
• NATO is viewed as a policy success. • USSR prevented from expanding (collapsed in 1991). • Germany did not re-emerge as a threat. • In fact, it has been a force for democracy, a united Europe. • But instead of disbanding, NATO is expanding, both its members and its role. • Also entered into a variety of partnerships with non-NATO countries, including Russia.
A New Role • Washington Summit April 1999 (50 th anniversary of NATO) there emerged a new direction: • “conflict prevention” “crisis management” • “promote peace, stability, and freedom” • “stand firm against those who violate human rights, wage war, and conquer territory”
• NATO was put to the test during the Balkan problem (former Yugoslavia) • Yugoslavia was created after WW 1. Contained different religion and ethnic groups – Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian and Bosnian, Albanians, Macedonians…. • After WW 2 Yugoslavia was kept together by a communist dictator named Tito. Once he died, the country started to break up.
• In 1991 Slovenia separates from Yugoslavia. Croatia follows as does Bosnia. Maps are redrawn. • Serbia was the dominate state in former Yugoslavia, they wanted to continue their control. • Serbs attacked Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia.
• NATO steps in – no ground troops – too costly – Use Air Strikes against Bosnian Serbs. In 1995 the greatest bombing campaign the world has seen. Bombed everything not only Serbs. • Peace is attained but not for long. In 1999 war breaks out in Kosovo (Muslims) – Ethnic Cleansing by Serbs (Christian). Yugoslavian President Milosevic failed to comply with UN Resolution 1199. NATO bombs again, without UN approval this time. China and Russia used their Veto to stop the UN. But NATO goes in anyway.
• No member nation was threatened directly, nor was their security in danger. NATO accused of an illegal action. • The question now is, how far will NATO’s reach go beyond the geographical borders of Europe?
Problems with Involvement in the Balkans. • Legal ground is shaky. • Fast high flying jets for bombing protected pilots but killed civilians. • In summary: “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”
Expansion of Nato: • Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic joined in 1999, but at least 9 other states also want in, including Slovenia and Estonia • On March 29 th, 2004 Nato welcomed seven new members – Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia. All are former Soviet republics. • Russia today needs the US/West to solve economic problems so likely won’t do much to damage trade and diplomatic relationships.