North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), military alliance established by the North Atlantic Treaty (also called the Washington Treaty) of April 4, 1949, which sought to create a counterweight to Soviet armies stationed in central and eastern Europe after World War II.
Its original members
were Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Joining the original signatories were Greece and Turkey (1952); West Germany (1955; from 1990 as Germany); Spain (1982); the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland (1999); Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia (2004); and Albania and Croatia (2009). France withdrew from the integrated military command of NATO in 1966 but remained a member of the organization; it resumed its position in NATO’s military command in 2009.
Significance of NATO:
NATO craeyed the first multilateral military alliance to span the North Atlantic Ocean in time of peace.
NATO signified the military movement of the United States on Policy of Containment. The Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan had been the economical sanctions and creation of NATO symbolizes the beginning of the US military movement against the Soviet Union.
The US entry into NATO was “one of the most far-reaching commitments the United States had ever made…”
The First years, NATO was not much more than a political association, but during and after the Korean War (1950-53), NATO structure was built up under the direction of two Supreme commanders.
NATO ensured that the US was permanently aligned and attached to the affairs of Europe thus US isolationism ceased to exist anymore.
As a result of creation of NATO, the Soviet Union counterattacked by creating the Warsaw Pact in 1953, with Satellite states as members.