Monday, 14 March 2011

CASE 234 - NATO VS the Warsaw pact

The Warsaw Pact is the name commonly given to the treaty between Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the Soviet Union, which was signed in Poland in 1955 and was officially called 'The Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance'. Although this rather cute title sounds more like the agreement which you and your friend have about sending cards to each other on Valentine's Day, it was actually a military treaty, which bound its signatories to come to the aid of the others, should any one of them be the victim of foreign aggression. Nominally the Warsaw Pact was a response to a similar treaty made by the Western Allies in 1949 (the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, or NATO) as well as the re-militarization of West Germany in 1954, both of which posed a potential threat to the Eastern countries. Although it was stressed by all that the Warsaw Treaty was based on total equality of each nation and mutual non-interference in one another's internal affairs, the Pact quickly became a powerful political tool for the Soviet Union to hold sway over its allies and harness the powers of their combined military. When Hungary tried to extricate themselves from the agreement in 1956, Soviet forces moved to crush the uprising; and, in 1968, Soviet troops invaded Czechoslovakia (with support from five other Pact members), after the Czech government began to exhibit 'Imperialistic' tendencies.

Following the diminishing power of the USSR in the 1980s and the eventual fall of Communism the treaty became redundant. The Warsaw Pact was officially dissolved in Prague in 1991, after successive governments withdrew their support of the treaty.

The war that never was

Warsaw pact countries

NATO countries

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