What Was the Original Purpose of Nato

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What was the original purpose of NATO? In which ways has NATO "reinvented" itself in the post-cold war world? Suggestions:
Concise coverage of NATO + CW
Belief of many politicians that NATO had become redundant re: end of CW How NATO has defied this prediction
Eg expansion of NATO -> PFP -> NATO+Russia
Kosovo
9/11
Afghanistan

At present two important formal alliances dominate the international security scene. By far the most powerful is the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), which encompasses Western Europe and North America (the second is the US-Japanese alliance). Using GDP as a measure of power, the 26 NATO members possess nearly half the world total. The NATO “allied supreme commander” has always been a U.S. general. In NATO, each state contributes its own military units- with its own national culture, language, and equipment specification.

NATO was founded in 1949 to oppose and deter Soviet power in Europe. Its counterpart in East Europe during the Cold War, the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact, was found in 1955 and disbanded in 1991. During the Cold War, the USA maintained more than 300000 troops in Europe with advanced planes, tanks and other equipment. After the Cold War ended, these forces were cut to about 100000. But NATO stayed together because its members believed that NATO provided useful stability even though its mission was unclear. Article 5 considered the heart of NATO asks members to come to the defense of a fellow member under attack. It was envisioned as a US commitment to help defend Western Europe against the USSR but instead was invoked for the first time when Europe came to the defense of the USA after the 9/11.

The first actual of force by NATO was in Bosnia in 1994, in support of the UN mission there. A “dual key” arrangement gave the UN control of NATO’s actions in Bosnia, and the UN feared retaliation against its lightly armed peacekeepers if NATO attacked the Serbian forces to protect Bosnian civilians. As a...
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