chapter  8
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization
WithPhillip Taylor
Pages 20

The North Atlantic Alliance, or North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), was created in April 1949 "to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilization of the [member-states'] peoples,... to promote stability and well-being in the North Atlantic area, ... for collective defense and for the preservation of peace and security." 1 Beyond these stated purposes, the major motivations for the creation of NATO were Soviet actions in Europe (or, more to the point, perceptions by the founding member-states of those actions) from 1945 to 1948. NATO was to become the first link in what George Kennan had labeled "the policy of containment of Soviet expansionist intentions by the United States and its allies." 2 By the end of the 1970s, NATO was charged with the pursuit of dual "complementary" aims of deterrence and détente. 3