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39

During the Cold War, there were always doubts if extended deterrence would hold. Would the US put Washington at risk to defend or avenge Bonn or Frankfurt? So NATO needed powerful signals that they would stand together, even at the expense of operational efficiency. Compare the multinational battalions in the Baltics today -- those cannot stop a Russian ...


18

tl;dr Yes, arguably. There were several repeated assurances that NATO would not expand, given only orally or in letters, public newspaper articles, but no official treaty signed over this. This was heard from the Soviet side and is still interpreted by the Russian side today as "a promise". But it was a mere prerequisite for opening talks with the Soviets ...


15

As your article itself states: On the record, the Germany government only admits to being part of what is officially termed a "nuclear sharing agreement." In essence, the nuclear sharing agreement provides for member states of the military alliance without nuclear weapons to partake in planning and training for the use of nuclear weapons by NATO. ...


13

This depends on how you define "responsible" The immediate reason was that the Croats and Slovenes (and later all the other non-Serbian nationals) overwhelmingly wanted independence. Under those circumstances an eventual breakup was unavoidable. Of course, you can look deeper and ask why did they want independence? Was is because of the Serbian dominance ...


11

NATO stands for North ATLANTIC Treaty Organization, not North American. It is a treaty of mutual defense originally formed around the idea of protecting Europe from attack, specifically by the Soviet Union and later the Warsaw Pact. To quote first NATO Secretary General, Lord Ismay, the organization's goal was "to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, ...


10

Under the banner of NATO, not that I'm aware of. However the forces of NATO nations under UN command have fought directly against Russian forces in the Korean War - specifically pilots flying MiG-15's against mostly American air forces. There have also been a number of incidents similar to today's shooting down of a Russian aircraft: see here for details ...


10

Short Answer: Pragmatism. Long Answer: Looking at the history, there does not appear to have been much resistance to the US "running the show." This is probably due to the fact that the US, UK, and Canada were the initial parties pushing for something like NATO. This desire was intensified by the Berlin Blockade. Not to mention the fact that at the time of ...


10

Sanctions generally work when the country which suffers is isolated relatively and rely on trade with the opposite members of the sanctions. When Warsaw Pact existed it formed a separate and relatively independent economic structure from the west. It was named Comecon. As you said correctly: "All these sanctions are having crippling effects." This is an ...


8

Short Answer The Question is asked based on two incorrect (or incomplete) premises: 1) The German aerospace industry is very healthy. In 2017 Germany was third in the world (behind only the US and France) in dollar value worth of exported aerospace products. Germany was also third in the world in 2017 (again, behind the US and France) in posting the ...


7

False sense of security Mainstream wisdom during Cold War was that if ever that war becomes hot, Soviets (and Warsaw Pact in general) are bound to invade Western Europe, before substantial reinforcements could come from CONUS . Soviet military did have various contingency plans, some were almost purely offensive ones like 7 days to river Rhine, some were ...


6

We can read a NATO perspective on this. Basically, personal conversations regarding the reunification of Germany did not constitute commitments for what would happen a later with the Russian Federation. Nothing was ever written down, but it sounds like there were vague informal promises made on repeated occasions with the intention of soothing Soviet ...


5

NATO stayed out of the way; and they "consulted" Article 4 The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened. Civil war, insurrection, coup, and any number of other calamities short of war may meet those conditions, and ...


5

When you think about sanctions, you have to get your terminology right. Boycott, the organized refusal to trade with somebody. Embargo, the legal prohibition by a government to trade with somebody. Sanction, coercive economic measures by several governments. You could say that the capitalist countries had sanctions against the communist countries and vice ...


5

Mechanised infantry were used in very small quantities during WWI, with extra troops carried in German A7V tanks, and became reasonably commonplace during WWII, with the advent of armoured personnel carriers. The defining feature of mechanised infantry is that the vehicles they travel in provide a significant degree of ballistic protection. Apart from that,...


5

Someone better versed in the relevant history and politics might give you a more precise answer, but being able to read German sources is at least somewhat helpful. In short, there was also a lot of power politics going on. See for example this article (in German). Essentially, in the 50s and 60s, everyone wanted their own nukes. That included Germany's ...


4

There are several issues raised in the question: The legal issue is quite clear and was addressed in other answers. "... how these leaders justified NATO's expansion. Surely someone would have asked them why they are breaking their promises. How did they respond? I'm asking about these named leaders who made the promises only." This question also has a ...


4

As @T.E.D. has pointed out in the comments, NATO almost certainly had top-level planning to cover that contingency, but it is extremely unlikely that NATO ever seriously considered starting a war unilaterally. Some idea of NATO's strategic planning can be found in the review of NATO Strategy Documents, 1949-1969. These strategy documents show that the focus ...


4

This is really a question? NATO came into existence BECAUSE of the USSR. Since the USSR was seen as an aggressor in the post-WW2, bases on their behavior in Eastern Europe, some Western European and North American countries saw the need for a defense pact. The USSR applying for membership in 1954 is nonsensical as by then they had created the Warsaw pact (...


4

If simple shooting down of a plane counts, then one thing that immediately springs to mind is the shooting down of the U-2 spy plane over Russian territory in 1960. The main point of difference is that the pilot in that incident was not part of the US military, and it was not an operation for a military service. Considering that he was former military, and ...


3

You have to see it in the historical context. Compared to the Communists, they were "free" indeed, even as a military dictatorship. For suitable meanings of "free," which was mostly defined as being against the Communists. Greece had fought a civil war in 46-48, which had left deep divisions, and the coup participants of 67 were very anti-Communist. Turkey ...


3

The Incident at Pristina Airport, 12 June 1999, following the war in Kosovo, was a direct stand-off between NATO and the Russian Federation. Despite a desire (and order) for engaging in combat by SACEUR Wesley Clark,the incident passed without bloodshed allegedly after some strategic insubordination by now-crooner James Blunt.


3

This is intended as a historical complement to the technical answers. I'm aware of the treatment it is liable to receive. I still believe it is worth posting. Hopefully people will take it as a useful complement to the more pragmatic detailed material in other answers. I write this in 2020. 75 years ago the US was just concluding part 2 of the-war-to-end-...


3

TLDR: Prior to economic troubles provided by economic mismanagement courtesy of the IMF, most Yugoslavians were not nationalistic separatists; they wanted a unified Yugoslavia. After economic troubles, IMF/Nato in its cold war methodology fanned the flames of nationalism to put nationalist into power. In this view, Milosevic was a tool of the greater powers ...


2

When the promise was given in the the 1990s, there was an explicit or implicit assumption that Russia would not invade neighboring countries. Justification is simple and evident: all Eastern European countries (except Finland Belorussia and possibly Moldowa) strongly and unambiguously expressed their desire to join NATO. Since there is no official signed ...


2

Restricting this answer to the objective, "What reforms the Milosevic introduce?" From the Britanica article: As Serbia’s party leader, Milošević demanded that the federal government restore full control to Serbia over the autonomous provinces of Vojvodina and Kosovo. And at a time when the federal government was trying to introduce free-market ...


1

You might be interested in the Wagon fort (or in German, Wagenburg): including armoured wagons used as fortifications to defend soldiers -- and regularly used as such, tactically, on the battlefield. A circle of wagons was especially useful against cavalry, apparently. They're not "mechanized", in the sense that they're not mechanically motorized ... but ...


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