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NATO Chronology, 1947-1999

Released by the Bureau of Public Affairs, March 12, 1999
Department of State, Washington, D.C.

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Moscow Council of Foreign Ministers and Secretary of State Marshallís report

March-April 1947

Marshall warned about the slow recovery of Europe and Western differences with the USSR

Dunkirk Treaty

March 4, 1947

First peacetime defense pact between Great Britain and France

President Trumanís speech

March 12, 1947

Proposed military and economic aid to Greece and Turkey; approved by Congress on May 22

Secretary Marshallís address

June 5, 1947

Proposed Marshall Plan; invitation to the European nations to submit plans for a European recovery effort

Brussels Treaty

March 17, 1948

Created Western European Union (Brussels Pact); members promised to come to each otherís aid in case of attack

Vandenberg Resolution

June 11, 1948

Advised the President to seek U.S. and free world security through support of mutual defense arrangements that operated within the UN Charter but outside the UN Security Council

Berlin blockade and airlift

June 24, 1948-
May 11, 1949

Soviet blockade of access to Berlin and subsequent US supply by air of the city

Washington Exploratory Talks

July-September 1948

Negotiations over the basic scope and structure of the North Atlantic Alliance

North Atlantic Treaty

April 4, 1949

Signed in Washington by the foreign ministers of 12 nations; created the North Atlantic Treaty Organization for collective defense

US Senate approval of the North Atlantic Treaty

July 21, 1949

On being assured that the Treaty preserved Congressional prerogatives

Entry into force of the North Atlantic Treaty

August 24, 1949

Canada was the first to ratify (May 3) and Italy the last (August 24)

First North Atlantic Council session

September 17, 1949

Held in Washington and chaired by Secretary of State Acheson

Conference of NATO Foreign Ministers, Brussels

December 18, 1950

Approved plans for the defense of Western Europe, including US use of nuclear weapons if necessary to defend NATO nations

General Eisenhower appointed Supreme NATO Commander

December 19, 1950

Appointed by NATO foreign ministers with responsibility to create a force capable of repulsing an armed Soviet attack

Senate approval of first US troops for NATO

April 4, 1951

Approved deployment of 4 divisions of the US Army to Europe, but requested that the President consult with Congress before sending more troops

Greek and Turkish membership

February 18, 1952

Greece and Turkey acceded to the NATO treaty and became and 13th and 14th members

Creation of European Defense Community

May 27, 1952

Intended to unify Western European defense plans and bind West Germany to European defense; rejected by France in August 1954

US Senate ratification of NATO protocol

July 1, 1952

Ratified NATO protocol with West Germany extending NATO guarantees

West German membership

May 5, 1955

Germany became the 15th NATO member

Formation of the Warsaw Pact

May 14, 1955

Soviet response to West German troops in NATO; signed by eight Eastern European nations

French withdrawal from NATO

March 10, 1966

President DeGaulle formally announced Franceís intention to withdraw from the NATO integrated military structure

New NATO Headquarters

October 16, 1967

Headquarters officially opened in Brussels

Harmel Report and Flexible Response

December 13-14, 1967

NATO adopted two-sided strategy of deterrence and détente and the doctrine of flexible response, replacing massive retaliation

NATO Agreement on CSCE and MBFR

May 30-31, 1972

NATO agreed to start Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe; members also proposed talks on Mutual Balanced Force Reductions

"Double Track" Decision on Theater Nuclear Forces

December 12, 1979

NATO decided to deploy Pershing II missiles in Europe if the Soviets refused to negotiate withdrawal of SS-20 missiles in Eastern Europe

Spanish membership

May 30, 1982

Spain became the 16th NATO member

Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

December 8, 1987

President Reagan and Soviet Leader Gorbachev signed the Washington INF Treaty eliminating intermediate-range missiles

Conventional Armed Forces in Europe

November 19, 1990

NATO and Warsaw Pact members signed the CFE treaty in Paris and published a Joint Declaration on non-aggression

Dissolution of Warsaw Pact

July 1, 1991

Members called for a "transition to all-European structures"

Peacekeeping Role in Former Yugoslavia

June 4, 1992

NATO announced readiness to support peace-keeping activities under authority of CSCE

Peacekeeping Operations under UN Authority

December 17, 1992

NATO stated readiness to back further action by the UN in former Yugoslavia

Brussels Declaration

January 10-11, 1994

NATO reaffirmed that the alliance was open to membership of other European states through the Partnership for Peace; NATO also endorsed concept of Combined Joint Task Forces

Operation Joint Endeavor

December 16, 1995

NATO launched the largest military operation to date in support of the Bosnia Peace Agreement

Founding Act between NATO and Russian Federation signed

May 27, 1997

Established framework for security partnership in the post-Communist world

Madrid Summit

July 8, 1997

NATO invited the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to begin negotiations with a view to becoming NATO members

Formal entry into Alliance of Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland

March 12, 1999

Instruments of accession deposited at ceremony in Independence, Missouri

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