Formation of Military Alliances
The United States and its European allies formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to resist Soviet aggression in Europe (1949). It was an inter-state military alliance between the countries of North America and Europe. The major member countries included Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the United Kingdom. Later Greece and Turkey joined the organization (1952). Germany joined the NATO in 1955. The chief objective of NATO was the peace and security in the North Atlantic region.
The Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) was organized for the collective security of countries in Southeast Asia. Following the signing of the Manila Pact (1954) by the US, France, England, New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, Thailand and Pakistan. Member countries of SEATO were committed to prevent communism from gaining ground in the region. Unlike the NATO alliance, SEATO had no joint commands with standing forces.
As a counter to the NATO, Soviet Union organized the Soviet-bloc countries for a united military action, under the Warsaw Pact. In December 1954, a conference of eight European nations namely, Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Poland, Romania and Russia took place in Moscow. They concluded the treaty on May 14, 1955. This is known as the Warsaw pact. A joint command of armed forces of the member countries with its headquarters in Moscow was setup. The Warsaw Pact was dissolved in 1991 following the break-up of USSR.
In 1955 Turkey, Iraq, Great Britain, Pakistan and Iran signed a pact known as Baghdad Pact. In 1958 the United States joined the organisation and thereafter it came to be known as the Central Treaty Organization. This treaty was open to any Arab nation desiring peace and security in the region. CENTO was dissolved in 1979.