The North Atlantic Alliance: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow



The end of the Second World War, fifty years ago, left both Western European nations and their North Atlantic allies facing the challenge of economic reconstruction while at the same time viewing with concern the expansionist policies and tendencies of their wartime ally, the Soviet Union. While the Western government fulfilled their commitment to undertake the demobilization of their forces and the reduction of their defence establishments, they noted with alarm that the Soviets continued to maintain their military forces at full strength. Appeals to respect the United Nations Charter and to implement the international settlements reached at the end of the war fell on deaf ears as the Communist Soviet Government pursued its declared ideological aims. In such a situation it was not possible to guarantee the national sovereignty or independence of democratic states facing the threat of outside aggression or internal subversion. Throughout Central and Eastern Europe, as well as elsewhere in the world, the result was the repression of basic human and civil rights and freedoms, the imposition of undemocratic forms of government and the elimination of effective opposition.


Collective Security Article Versus Defence Planning Strategic Concept United Nation Charter 
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© Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies 1996

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