, p. 35). In-depth analysis of the considerations
which led to the creation of NATO and sustained its unity for most of its 50 year old history suggests that they are no longer pre-sent and that attempts to prop up its tottering structure or to expand its role are not consistent with American vital interests.
It was in the geopolitical interests of the United States and its Western allies to create NATO in 1949. Twice in this century, American military intervention was necessary to counter the threat of German hegemony. After the end of the First World War, America withdrew into isolation. In 1945-1946, the great American army in Europe was rapidly demobilized. In 1947-1948, a series of events occurred which awakened Western Europeans and the United States to the threat posed by the Soviet Union. Europe was prostrate economically and vulnerable to the threat of communist subversion. The Europeans had begun to organize themselves economically with American financial assistance through the Marshall Plan. On March 17, 1948, Great Britain, France, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxem-bourg had taken the first steps toward a military alliance by signing the Brussels Treaty. Since the United States then
possessed a nuclear monopoly, American participation was essential to give any Western alliance substance. The answer was NATO which was signed in Washington on April 4, 1949 and wa