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Friday, June 11, 2010

Role of NATO During Early Cold War

Friday, June 11, 2010 - 0 Comments

Early Cold War

The unity of NATO was breached early on in its history, with a crisis occurring during Charles de Gaulle’s presidency of France from 1958 onward. De Gaulle protested the United States’ hegemonic role in the organisation and what he perceived as a special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom. In a memorandum sent to President Dwight. D. Eisenhower and Prime Minister Harold Macmillan on 17 September 1958, he argued for the creation of a tripartite directorate that would put France on an equal footing with the United States and the United Kingdom, and also for the expansion of NATO’s coverage to include geographical areas of interest to France, most notably Algeria, where France was waging a counter-insurgency and sought NATO assistance.

Considering the response given to be unsatisfactory, de Gaulle began to build an independent defence for his country. On 11 March 1959, France withdrew its Mediterranean fleet from NATO command; three months later, in June 1959, de Gaulle banned the stationing of foreign nuclear weapons on French soil. This caused the United States to transfer two hundred military aircraft out of France and return control of the ten major air force bases it had operated in France since 1950 to the French by 1967. The last of these was the Toul-Rosieres Air Base, home of the 26th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, which was relocated to Ramstein Air Base in West Germany.

In the meantime, France had initiated an independent nuclear deterrence program, spearheaded by the “(Striking Force”). France tested its first nuclear weapon, Gerboise Bleue, on 13 February 1960.

Though France showed solidarity with the rest of NATO during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, de Gaulle continued his pursuit of an independent defence by removing France’s Atlantic and Channel fleets from NATO command. In 1966, all French armed forces were removed from NATO’s integrated military command, an all non-French NATO troops were asked to leave France. This withdrawal precipitated the relocation of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) from Paris to Casteau, north of Mons, Belgium, by 16 October 1967. France remained a member of the alliance throughout this period and subsequently rejoined NATO’s Military Committee in 1995, and intensified working relations with the military structure. However, France has not yet rejoined the integrated military command and no non-French NATO troops are allowed to be based on its land.

The creation of NATO necessitated the standardisation of military technology and unified strategy, through Command, Control and Communications centers (aka C4ISTAR)> The STANAG (Standardisation Agreement) insured such coherence. Hence the 7.62 × 51 NATO rifle cartridge was introduced in the 1950s as a standard firearm cartridge among many NATO countries. Fabrique Nationale’s FALI became the most popular 7.62 NATO rifle in Europe and served into the early 1980s. Also, aircraft marshalling signals were standardised, so that any NATO aircraft could land at any NATO base.

Organization and Objectives of NATO

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO (also called the North Atlantic Alliance, the Atlantic Alliance, or the Western Alliance) is a military alliance, established by the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949. With headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, the organization established a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party.



The Treaty of Brussels, signed on 17 March 1948 by Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, and the United Kingdom, is considered the precursor to the NATO agreement. This treaty established a military alliance, later to become the Western European Union. However, American participation was thought necessary in order to counter the military power of the Soviet Union, and therefore talks for a new military alliance began almost immediately.

These talks resulted in the North Atlantic Treaty, which was signed in Washington, D. C. on 4 April 1949. It included the five Treaty of Brussels states, as well as the United States, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. Three years later, on 18 February 1952, Greee and Turkey also joined.

In 1954, the Soviet Union suggested that it should join NATO to preserve peace in Europe. The NATO countries ultimately rejected this proposal.

The incorporation of West Germany into the organisation on 9 May 1955 was described as “a decisive turning point in the history of our continent” by Halvard Lange, Foreign Minister of Norway at the time. Indeed, one of its immediate results was the creation of the Warsaw Pact, signed on 14 May 1955 by the Soviet Union and its satellite states, as a formal response to this event, thereby delineating the two opposing sides of the Cold War.

Ninth Meeting of PUOICM

Ninth Meeting of PUOICM

The Ninth Meeting of the Council of PUOICM was held on 15 and 16 Feb 2007 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Speaker of Malaysia’s House of Representatives, Ramli bin Ngah Talib, delivered a speech at the beginning of the inaugural ceremony. OIC secretary-general Prof Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said prior to the meeting that one main agenda item is stopping Israel from continuing its excavation at the Western Wall near the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest shrine. OIC is also discussing how it might send peacekeeping troops to Muslim nations, and the possibility of a change in the name of the body as well as its charter Additionally, return of the sovereignty right to the Iraqi people along with withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq is another main issues on the agenda. Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri told reporters on 14 February 2007 that the Secretary General of OIC and foreign ministers of seven “like-minded Muslim countries” will meet in Islamabad on 25 February 2007 following meetings of President Musharaf with heads of key Muslim countires to discuss “a new initiative” for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Kasuri said this will be a meeting of foreign ministers of key Muslim countries to discuss and prepare for a summit in Mecca to seek the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict

Structure and Organization

The Islamic Summit

The largest organ, attended by the Kings and the Heads of State and Government of the member states, convened every three years.

The Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers

It meets once a year to examine a progress report on the implementation of its decisions taken within the framework of the policy defined by the Islamic Summit.

The Permanent Secretariat

It is the executive organ of the Organization, entrusted with the implementation of the decision of the two preceding bodies, and is located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Current Secretary General of this international organization is Ekmeheddin Ihsanogin from Turkey since January 1, 2005.

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