North Atlantic Treaty Organization*

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a collective defense alliance that came into being as a response to the devastation of the two World Wars and the fear that humankind would not survive a third. Originally founded in response to the threat posed by the Soviet Union, the creation of the alliance was part of a broader effort to serve three fundamental purposes: (1) deterring Soviet expansionism, (2) forbidding the revival of nationalist militarism in Europe through a strong North American presence on the continent, and (3) encouraging European political integration.

In part, the founding of the alliance was the next step in a process of collective defense begun through the adoption of the Charter of the United Nations (UN), whose primary purpose was

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