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This compelling history brings to life the watershed year of 1948, when the United States reversed its long-standing position of political and military isolation from Europe and agreed to an "entangling alliance" with ten European nations. The historic North Atlantic Treaty was signed on April 4, 1949, but the often-contentious negotiations stretched throughout the preceding year. Lawrence S. Kaplan, the leading historian of NATO, traces the tortuous and dramatic process, which struggled to reconcile the conflicting concerns on the part of the future partners. He brings to life the colorful diplomats and politicians arrayed on both sides of the debate. The end result was a remarkably durable treaty and alliance that has linked the fortunes of America and Europe for over fifty years. Kaplan's detailed and lively account draws on a wealth of primary sources—newspapers, memoirs, and diplomatic documents—to illuminate how the United States came to assume international obligations it had scrupulously avoided for the previous 150 years.
This conference-based work offers the views of seven American diplomatic historians on the role of NATO from an American perspective, placing the alliance within the larger frame of America's foreign policy as a superpower. Each reveals an aspect of how NATO has fashioned the American Century.
When the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed just four years after the United Nations, it provided its members with a measure of security in the face of the Soviet Union’s veto power in the senior organization’s Security Council, as well as a means of coping with Communist expansion. Ever since then, the two institutions have been competitors in maintaining peace in the postwar world. Occasionally they have cooperated; more often they have not. In NATO and the UN, Lawrence Kaplan, one of the leading experts on NATO, examines the intimate and often contentious relations between the two and describes how this relationship has changed over the course of two generations. Kaplan documents the many interactions between them throughout their interconnected history, focusing on the major flashpoints where either NATO clashed with UN leadership, the United States and the Soviet Union confronted each other directly, or fissures within the Atlantic alliance were dramatized in UN sessions. He draws on the organizations’ records as well as unpublished files from the National Archives and its counterparts in Britain, France, and Germany to provide the best account yet of working relations between the two organizations. By examining their complex connection with regard to such conflicts as the Balkan wars, Kaplan enhances our understanding of both institutions. Crisis management has been a source of conflict between the two in the past but has also served as an incentive for collaboration, and Kaplan shows how this peculiar but persistent relationship has functioned. Although the Cold War years are gone, the UN remains the setting where NATO problems have played out, as they have in Iraq during recent decades. And it is to NATO that the UN has turned for military power to face crises in the Balkans, Middle East, and South Asia. Kaplan stresses the importance of both organizations in the twenty-first century, recognizing their potential to advance global peace and security while showing how their tangled history explains the obstacles that stand in the way. His work offers significant findings that will especially impact our understanding of NATO while filling a sizable gap in our understanding of post-World War II diplomacy.
This new Handbook provides readers with the tools to understand the evolution of transatlantic security from the Cold War era to the early 21st century. After World War II, the US retained a strong presence as the dominant member of NATO throughout the Cold War. Former enemies, such as Germany, became close allies, while even countries that often criticized the United States made no serious attempt to break with Washington. This pattern of security co-operation continued after the end of the Cold War, with NATO expansion eastwards extending US influence. Despite the Iraq war prompting a seemingly irreparable transatlantic confrontation, the last years of the Bush administration witnessed a warming of US-European relations, expected to continue with the Obama administration. The contributors address the following key questions arising from the history of transatlantic security relations: What lies behind the growing and continuing European dependency on security policy on the United States and what are the political consequences of this? Is this dependency likely to continue or will an independent European Common Foreign and Security Policy eventually emerge? What has been the impact of 'out-of-area' issues on transatlantic security cooperation? The essays in this Handbook cover a broad range of historical and contemporary themes, including the founding of NATO; the impact of the Korean War; the role of nuclear (non-)proliferation; perspectives of individual countries (especially France and Germany); the impact of culture, identity and representation in shaping post-Cold War transatlantic relations; institutional issues, particularly EU-NATO relations; the Middle East; and the legacy of the Cold War, notably tensions with Russia. This Handbook will be of much interest to students of transatlantic security, NATO, Cold War Studies, foreign policy and IR in general.
The intention of the participants was to deal with NATO's historical record and its significance for the present and future. For this purpose the early chapters concentrate on such issues as the relations of the larger and smaller nations with NATO and with the United States over the forty-year span. The latter half of the book centers on the continuing issues of the alliance, including relations with the Third World and with the European Community, as well as with such central concerns of the organization as conventional versus nuclear defense, the place of detente in NATO's history, and the record of arms control negotiations with the Warsaw Pact.
The Berlin blockade brought former allies to the brink of war. Britain, France, the United States and the Soviet Union defeated and began their occupation of Germany in 1945, and within a few years, the Soviets and their Western partners were jockeying for control of their former foe. Attempting to thwart the Allied powers' plans to create a unified West German government, the Soviets blocked rail and road access to the western sectors of Berlin in June 1948. With no other means of delivering food and supplies to the German people under their protection, the Allies organized the Berlin airlift. In Berlin on the Brink: The Blockade, the Airlift, and the Cold War, Daniel F. Harrington examines the "Berlin question" from its origin in wartime plans for the occupation of Germany through the Paris Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in 1949. Harrington draws on previously untapped archival sources to challenge standard accounts of the postwar division of Germany, the origins of the blockade, the original purpose of the airlift, and the leadership of President Harry S. Truman. While thoroughly examining four-power diplomacy, Harrington demonstrates how the ingenuity and hard work of the people at the bottom -- pilots, mechanics, and Berliners -- were more vital to the airlift's success than decisions from the top. Harrington also explores the effects of the crisis on the 1948 presidential election and on debates about the custody and use of atomic weapons. Berlin on the Brink is a fresh, comprehensive analysis that reshapes our understanding of a critical event of cold war history.

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