The latter half of the twentieth century has been dominated by the Cold War and the actions and events surrounding it. During this period different alliances and treaties were formed and many of these were institutionalized. One such alliance was the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This organization was set up by the Northern Atlantic Western Powers to combat the Eastern Soviet threat. Today however NATO still exists and plays an active role in international relations. NATO was formed on the 4th of April 1949 with an alliance of twelve independent nations committed to defense and security. Natio's primary job was to act as the opposition to the Soviet Union and its Warsaw pact nation allies.
In the years after World War II (1939-1945), many Western leaders believed the policies of the USSR threatened international stability and peace. The forcible installation of Communist governments throughout Eastern Europe, territorial demands by the Soviets, and their support of guerrilla war in Greece and regional separatism in Iran appeared to many as the first steps of World War III.
Such events prompted the signing of the Dunkirk Treaty in 1947 between Britain and France, which pledged a common defense against aggression. Subsequent events, including the rejection by Eastern European nations of the European Recovery Program (Marshall Plan) and the creation of Cominform, a European Communist organization, in 1947, led to the Brussels Treaty signed by most Western European countries in 1948. Among the goals of that pact was the collective defense of its members. The Berlin blockade that began in March 1948 led to negotiations between Western Europe, Canada, and the United States that resulted in the North Atlantic Treaty.
Until 1950 NATO consisted primarily of a pledge by the United States to defend other members of the alliance under the terms of...