Presentation on theme: "Standard Grade Modern Studies Military Alliances - NATO -"— Presentation transcript:
Standard Grade Modern Studies Military Alliances - NATO -
Member countries 1952Greece, Turkey 1955Germany 1982Spain 1999Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom, United States 26 Member Countries WHAT IS NATO? OVERVIEW Member countries
What is NATO? After World War Two, USSR had liberated most of Eastern Europe from the Nazis, but had replaced fascist ideas with communist ideas. The countries of Eastern Europe effectively became puppet states of USSR. Fear in the West of continued Soviet expansion. So in 1949, a military alliance called NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) was formed between the USA, Canada and the nations of liberated Europe (15 countries). Idea was that if any member country of NATO was attacked, was seen as an attack on the whole organisation. Was NATO a success? After 1949, no further expansion of communism so can be argued that NATO was a success.
The Cold War From late 1980s, USA and its allies faced USSR and its allies across an Europe divided by the ideologies capitalism and communism. Although the 2 Superpowers had immense military power in the shape of nuclear weaponry, did not go to war directly with one another. Instead, supported by their allies, they spied on each other, threatened each other, took each other to the brink of war. This period, which lasted over 40 years, was called the COLD WAR. The threat of all-out nuclear war between the two sides was prevented by the fear that there would be no winners in a nuclear war. This stalemate was often called the balance of terror.
Why was there so much rivalry? The answer to this lay in the differing ideologies of the two sides. Ideology based on CAPITALISM - linked to democracy. Under capitalism, people have great individual freedom and choice to live and work as they want. Many people could own their own businesses, become rich and enjoy a good lifestyle. Vs Ideology based on COMMUNISM. Here the Government controlled every aspect of peoples lives - from farming to education etc. There was no individual freedom, no free elections to change the government- only one political party - the Communist Party.
Why was there so much rivalry? Both countries were convinced that their ideology was right and were frightened that the other would expand its influence over a wider area. Both Superpowers built up alliances to strengthen their positions (The USSR started a similar alliance to NATO in called the Warsaw Pact). The threat of nuclear war was never far away through the 1950s s.
Why did the Cold War end? From 1960s s, many attempts made by Us and USSR leaders to reduce development of nuclear weapons. President Reagan elected in took hard line with Soviets Position changed in 1985 with election of charismatic Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev. He wanted change. In his own country, developed policies of Glasnost (freedom) and Perestroika (economic freedom and flexibility) Wanted his own country to improve and have more freedom - not interested in fighting an expensive Cold War.
Change and the Fall of Communism Agreements were reached to reduce nuclear and conventional weapons between the 2 Superpowers. Countries under the influence of the USSR began to change (wanted more freedom). Gorbachev encouraged this. Series of revolutions swept across E Europe as communists removed from power and democratic elections held (eg. in Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia etc.) Ideological division which had split Europe was removed. But people of USSR also wanted more freedom - various parts of USSR broke away and became independent countries (eg Ukraine) USSR reverted to Russia - led to fall of Gorbachev and weakening of Russia as a Superpower.
NATOs Changing Role The role of NATO has changed since the end of the Cold War The new approach includes: Less dependence on nuclear weapons. More flexible forces which can take on a variety of tasks Greater use of multinational forces. Active involvement in international peacekeeping More co-operation with organisations like the United Nations
Do We Still Need NATO? Arguments FOR NATO formed to stop communism which is no longer a powerful force Cold War is over. United defence forces are based on out-of-date ideologies. European countries should have their own alliances without relying on the USA. Arguments AGAINST Russia could still become unstable. Former Yugoslavia still an area of possible future conflict - NATO might be needed to intervene. NATO may be required to control actions of rogue states – countries like Iran NATO is an organisation with power to combat world terrorism Vs
The Future of NATO Some former members of the Eastern European communist block want to join NATO. Partnership for Peace policy set up in 1994 to draw these countries closer to NATO NATO forces of each member country have been reduced and reorganised - new tactics have made them more flexible to reponsive to crises. USA, in the light of world terrorism, has realised that close ties are needed with Europe - particularly fast and flexible response. Need for Europe to police its own security without relying on NATO.
The Future of NATO Intention of EU to set up a rapid reaction force of 60,000 troops to deal with security threats in Europe - humanitarian/rescue tasks, peacekeeping tasks etc. NATO regards Russia as vital to European security. NATO now consults regularly with Russia on political and security issues like peacekeeping, nuclear safety etc. The new relationship with Russia is seen by many as proof that NATO is concentrating on combatting international threats like world terrorism. USA has tried to expand the role of Europe in NATO - no longer USA + the rest. The US is less involved in European events. NATO has been enlarged from 18 to 26 members.