Rivalry between NATO and Warsaw Pact:
NATO, the Western Military Alliance, celebrates its 60th anniversary:
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is the most powerful military organization in the world. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was established in 1949 to combat the communist menace in Eastern Europe. The Soviet Union intended to strengthen its influence in Europe after WWII. Originally, NATO consisted of the US, Canada, and ten western and southern European countries.
In 1952, Greece and Turkey were admitted, and West Germany joined in 1955. NATO now has a total membership of 28 countries. Brussels, Belgium, is home to NATO’s headquarters. Security in our daily lives is key to our well-being. NATO’s purpose is to guarantee the freedom and security of its members through political and military means. The Rivalry between NATO and Warsaw Pact lasted till 1991.
NATO promotes democratic values and enables members to consult and cooperate on defense and security-related issues to solve problems, build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict.
NATO is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. If diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military power to undertake crisis management operations. These are carried out under the collective defense clause of NATO’s founding treaty – Article 5 of the Washington treaty or under a United Nations mandate, alone or in cooperation with other countries and international organizations. Every day, member countries consult and take decisions on security issues at all levels and in a variety of fields.
A “NATO decision” is the expression of the collective will of all 30 member countries since all decisions are taken by consensus. Hundreds of officials, as well as civilian and military experts, come to NATO Headquarters each day to exchange information, share ideas and help prepare decisions when needed, in cooperation with national delegations and the staff at NATO Headquarters.
40 non-member countries work with NATO on a wide range of political and security-related issues. These countries pursue dialogue and practical cooperation with the Alliance and many contribute to NATO-led operations and missions. NATO is also cooperating with a wide network of International Organizations.
Read More: https://www.nato.int/
The Warsaw Pact, a military alliance led by the Soviet Union, was NATO’s major adversary during the Cold War. It was formed in 1955 and disbanded in the 1980s when communism fell apart. The Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland became the first former communist republics to join NATO in 1999, ten years after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, all former Soviet countries, joined in 2004.
The Warsaw Pact, so named because the treaty was signed in Warsaw, included the Soviet Union, Albania, Poland, Romania, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Bulgaria as members. The treaty called on the member states to come to the defense of any member attacked by an outside force and it set up a unified military command under Marshal Ivan S. Konev of the Soviet Union.
The introduction to the treaty establishing the Warsaw Pact indicated the reason for its existence. This revolved around “Western Germany, which is being remilitarized, and her inclusion in the North Atlantic bloc, which increases the danger of a new war and creates a threat to the national security of peace-loving states.”
The Warsaw Pact remained intact until 1991. Albania was expelled in 1962 because, believing that Russian leader Nikita Khrushchevwas deviating too much from strict Marxist orthodoxy, the country turned to communist China for aid and trade. In 1990, East Germany left the Pact and reunited with West Germany; the reunified Germany then became a member of NATO.
The rise of non-communist governments in other eastern bloc nations, such as Poland and Czechoslovakia, throughout 1990 and 1991 marked an effective end of the power of the Warsaw Pact. In March 1991, the military alliance component of the pact was dissolved and in July 1991, the last meeting of the political consultative body took place.
The Rivalry between NATO and Warsaw Pact ended after the breakup of Soviet Union.
Tensions between NATO member states have existed in the past. After leaving the organization in 1966, France rejoined in 2008. Greece and Turkey had disagreements in the 1970s and 1980s over Cyprus, a divided island with Greek and Turkish parts. NATO was left without a true adversary after the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991.
Since then, the alliance has focused its efforts on leveraging its military might to bring peace to Europe’s troubled zones. NATO established a peacekeeping mission in Bosnia towards the end of 1995. To push Serbian troops out of Kosovo, the coalition launched air operations against them in 1999. 16,000 NATO troops have remained in the new country since then.
An attack on one of NATO’s member nations is considered an attack on the entire organization, according to NATO doctrine. After the terrorist attacks on the United States in September 2001, NATO implemented this strategy for the first time.
Despite the fact that not all NATO countries wanted to assist the US in the battle against terrorism, the alliance backed the US in Afghanistan, a place where terrorists might hide. NATO assumed command of a multinational peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan in 2003. It was the first expedition that took place outside of Europe.
This Article is written by Mahnoor Baloch, who is currently studying International Relations at the National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad.