History Optional Paper-2 Solution – 2007: Q. 5 (d)
Q. 5 (d) “NATO in many ways symbolized the key role that the United States had come to play in Europe.” Comment.
The formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization came after a year of Marshal Plan. in many ways symbolized the key role that the United States had come to play in Europe.
The policy of the communist containment mainly started with the Truman doctrine, in which the United States had shown determination to help regimes theatened by the commumism. The next step was Marshal Plan (European Recovery Program) to provide USA economic aid to European countries with one of the aims of containing communism. Both, Truman doctrine and Marshal Plan had committed the United States as leader of Western World in containing communism.
The culmination of the communist containment came a year after Marshal Plan. The Berlin blockade by the USSR had shown the West’s military unreadiness and frieghtened them into making definite preparations. On 4 April 1948, the United States, Canada and ten West European countries formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) after signing the North Atlantic Treaty, agreeing to regard an attack on any one of them as an attack in them all, and placing their defence forces under a joint NATO command organisation.
The adherence of the United States of America to NATO was part of Truman doctrine and supplement to the Marshall Plan.
NATO was a highly significant development, giving key role to the United States in Europe:
(1) The Americans had abandoned their traditional policy of no entangling alliances and for the first time pledged themselves in advance to military action.
(2) NATO became an institutional structure linking the United States with Europe permanently. And being the largest military and economic power among NATO members, the United States had to play key role in Europe.
(3) NATO gave the United States a legitimate umbrella it was seeking to establish her military hegemony over Europe and then over world by establishing military bases, exporting arms, deploying missiles.
(4) By NATO the United States also aimed to defend the massive capital investments it had made in Europe and to keep its economic strong hold over Europe intact.
Hence, NATO in many ways symbolized the key role that the United States had come to play in Europe.