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Cold War The Cold War is the term used to describe the tense relationship between post World War II East and West The United States and Western Europe stood on the principle of opposing the communism that dominated Russia and Eastern Europe Russia was overtaking smaller eastern European countries with force and did not want the United States to resist this movement into Europe The two superpowers quickly abandoned the appearance of being allies with Western Europe aligning with the United States and Eastern Europe aligning with Russia NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization established under the North Atlantic Treaty Apr 4 1949 by Belgium Canada Denmark France Great Britain Iceland Italy Luxembourg the Netherlands Norway Portugal and the United States Greece and Turkey entered the alliance in 1952 West Germany now Germany entered in 1955 and Spain joined in 1982 In 1999 the Czech Republic Hungary and Poland joined bringing the membership to 19 NATO maintains headquarters in Brussels Belgium The treaty one of the major Western countermeasures in the cold war against the threat of aggression by the Soviet Union was aimed at safeguarding the freedom of the Atlantic community Considering an armed attack on any member an attack against all the treaty provided for collective self-defense in accordance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter The treaty was also designed to encourage political economic and social cooperation The organization was reorganized and centralized in 1952 Marshall Plan European Recovery Program project instituted at the Paris Economic Conference July 1947 to foster economic recovery in certain European countries after World War II The Marshall Plan took form when US Secretary of State George C Marshall urged June 5 1947 that European countries decide on their economic needs so that material and financial aid from the United States could be integrated on a broad scale In Apr 1948 President Truman signed the act establishing the Economic Cooperation Administration ECA to administer the program The
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