To what extent did NATO play a part in escalating the Cold War?
NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, was founded in April 1949. Its initial members included USA, Canada, UK, France, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, Denmark, Eire, Italy and Norway. The purpose of NATO was a Western unified defensive front against foreign attacks on any of its member nations. If one member is attacked, this would be seen as an attack on the entire NATO, and all of the member nations would react with military actions. It is an unquestionable fact that the defensive pact was aimed specifically at the USSR.
The entry of USA into NATO was a turning point for American foreign polices. It was evident that Uncle Sam was abandoning its former Isolationist Policy in peacetime, into becoming a much more aggressive, expansive and influential player in the world. This showed the Washington’s determination to fight against Communism and to stand up against Moscow no matter what the costs. It was precisely President Truman’s thinking.
The formation of NATO was a response to the infamous Berlin Blockade event. America, France and England were stunned and taken by complete surprise when West Berlin was one morning in June 1948, surrounded by troops of the Russian Red Army, and all entries and exits into the city blocked. Although the blockade was resolved in a peaceful manner in May 1949 and Moscow called off the siege, the distrust and hostility between the West and East inevitably widened. Smaller nations in Western Europe were in fear of potential siege by the much larger and powerful Russian army, in April 1949, they got together and the NATO was created. Later joined and supported by USSR’s nemesis, the United States.
The emergence of NATO drew a very definite and clear-cut line between the Western sphere of influence and the Eastern sphere of Influence, using tanks, fighter planes, rifles and American made atomic bombs. In a sense NATO could be interpreted as a...