Spinelli, Altiero
July 1962
Foreign Affairs;Jul62, Vol. 40 Issue 4, p542
Academic Journal
This article discusses the political significance of the Atlantic Pact. Following the economic underpinning provided by the Marshall Plan it constituted a fairly satisfactory solution to the problems which both they and the United States then had to face. Having subjugated Eastern Europe, Soviet premier Joseph Stalin was turning to the West; his prime aim was to undermine democracy there before it could get firmly on its feet. By assuming the leadership in organizing Western defense, the United States provided an effective answer to this challenge. The Atlantic Pact is a defensive alliance among sovereign states, but it is fundamentally different from the traditional alliance common in European history. The latter remained dormant, as it were, until the common enemy had committed an act of aggression. In the meantime, each ally carried out its own foreign and military policies, free from any specific commitment toward its partners. In letter, the Atlantic Pact conforms to this conception, but in reality it has rapidly gone beyond it.


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