NATO at the heart of a new Cold War, says former Ambassador
By James Bissett
Defence Watch Guest Writer
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was meant to be a purely defensive organization. When the Brussels Treaty of 1948 established the European Defence Alliance of five European countries, it was Canada’s Minister of Foreign affairs, Louis St. Laurent, who proposed the alliance be expanded to include the United States and Canada.
One year later, in April 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was born. The primary purpose of the new organization was to defend member states from any attack from the Soviet Union and to act in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
NATO was born in the aftermath of the Second World War. Its founders were painfully aware that having reached the mid-point of the 20th century there had already been two world wars and the dropping of the atom bomb on civilian cities. They were determined that war and violence should not become the norm in resolving disputes and it was in this spirit that Article I of the treaty was conceived.