The WTO in 1990
|Abbreviation||WTO, WAPA, DDSV|
|Motto||Union of peace and socialism|
|Founded||14 May 1955|
|Founded at||Warsaw, Poland|
|Dissolved||1 July 1991|
|Headquarters||Moscow, Soviet Union|
|Affiliations||Council for Mutual Economic Assistance|
The Warsaw Treaty Organization(WTO), officially the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, commonly known as the Warsaw Pact (WP), was a collective defense treaty signed in Warsaw, Poland between the Soviet Union and seven other Eastern Bloc socialist republics of Central and Eastern Europe in May 1955, during the Cold War. The Warsaw Pact was the military complement to the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CoMEcon), the regional economic organization for the socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe. The Warsaw Pact was created in reaction to the integration of West Germany into NATO in 1955 per the London and Paris Conferences of 1954, but it is also considered to have been motivated by Soviet desires to maintain control over military forces in Central and Eastern Europe.
The Warsaw Pact was established as a balance of poweror counterweight to NATO. There was no direct military confrontation between them; instead, the conflict was fought on an ideological basis and in proxy wars. Both NATO and the Warsaw Pact led to the expansion of military forces and their integration into the respective blocs. Its largest military engagement was the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968 (with the participation of all Pact nations except Albania and Romania), which, in part, resulted in Albania withdrawing from the pact less than a month later. The Pact began to unravel in its entirety with the spread of the Revolutions of 1989 through the Eastern Bloc, beginning with the Solidarity movement in Poland and its electoral success in June 1989.
East Germany withdrew from the Pact following German reunification in 1990. On 25 February 1991, at a meeting in Hungary, the Pact was declared at an end by the defense and foreign ministers of the six remaining member states. The USSR itself was dissolved in December 1991, although most of the former Soviet republics formed the Collective Security Treaty Organization shortly thereafter. Throughout the following 20 years, the seven Warsaw Pact countries outside the USSR each joined NATO (East Germany through its reunification with West Germany; and the Czech Republic and Slovakia as separate countries), as did the Baltic states which had been part of the Soviet Union.
The Warsaw Treaty's organization was two-fold: the Political Consultative Committee handled political matters, and the Combined Command of Pact Armed Forces controlled the assigned multi-national forces, with headquarters in Warsaw, Poland. The Supreme Commander of the Unified Armed Forces of the Warsaw Treaty Organization, which commanded and controlled all the military forces of the member countries, was also a First Deputy Minister of Defence of the USSR, and the Chief of Combined Staff of the Unified Armed Forces of the Warsaw Treaty Organization was also a First Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Soviet Armed Forces. Therefore, although ostensibly an international collective security alliance, the USSR dominated the Warsaw Treaty armed forces, analogous to the United States' domination of the NATO alliance.
The strategy behind the formation of the Warsaw Pact was driven by the desire of the Soviet Union to prevent Central and Eastern Europe being used as a base for its enemies. Its policy was also driven by ideological and geostrategic reasons. Ideologically, the Soviet Union arrogated the right to define socialism and communism and act as the leader of the global socialist movement. A corollary to this was the necessity of intervention if a country appeared to be violating core socialist ideas, explicitly stated in the Brezhnev Doctrine.
Before the creation of the Warsaw Pact, the Czechoslovak leadership, fearful of a rearmed Germany, sought to create a security pact with East Germany and Poland.These states protested strongly against the re-militarization of West Germany. The Warsaw Pact was put in place as a consequence of the rearming of West Germany inside NATO. Soviet leaders, like many European countries on both sides of the Iron Curtain, feared Germany being once again a military power and a direct threat. The consequences of German militarism remained a fresh memory among the Soviets and Eastern Europeans. As the Soviet Union already had bilateral treaties with all of its eastern satellites, the Pact has been long considered 'superfluous', and because of the rushed way in which it was conceived, NATO officials labeled it as a 'cardboard castle'. The USSR, fearing the restoration of German militarism in West Germany, had suggested in 1954 that it join NATO, but this was rejected by the US and UK.
The Soviet request to join NATO arose in the aftermath of the Berlin Conference of January–February 1954. Soviet foreign minister Molotov made proposals to have Germany reunifiedand elections for a pan-German government, under conditions of withdrawal of the four powers' armies and German neutrality, but all were refused by the other foreign ministers, Dulles (USA), Eden (UK), and Bidault (France). Proposals for the reunification of Germany were nothing new: earlier on 20 March 1952, talks about a German reunification, initiated by the so-called 'Stalin Note', ended after the United Kingdom, France, and the United States insisted that a unified Germany should not be neutral and should be free to join the European Defence Community (EDC) and rearm. James Dunn (USA), who met in Paris with Eden, Adenauer, and Robert Schuman (France), affirmed that "the object should be to avoid discussion with the Russians and to press on the European Defense Community". According to John Gaddis "there was little inclination in Western capitals to explore this offer" from the USSR. While historian Rolf Steininger asserts that Adenauer's conviction that "neutralization means sovietization" was the main factor in the rejection of the Soviet proposals, Adenauer also feared that German unification might have resulted in the end of the CDU's dominance in the West German Bundestag.
Consequently, Molotov, fearing that the EDC would be directed in the future against the USSR and "seeking to prevent the formation of groups of European States directed against other European States",made a proposal for a General European Treaty on Collective Security in Europe "open to all European States without regard as to their social systems" which would have included the unified Germany (thus rendering the EDC obsolete). But Eden, Dulles, and Bidault opposed the proposal.
One month later, the proposed European Treaty was rejected not only by supporters of the EDC but also by Western opponents of the European Defence Community (like French Gaullist leader Gaston Palewski) who perceived it as "unacceptable in its present form because it excludes the USA from participation in the collective security system in Europe".The Soviets then decided to make a new proposal to the governments of the US, UK, and France to accept the participation of the US in the proposed General European Agreement. As another argument deployed against the Soviet proposal was that it was perceived by Western powers as "directed against the North Atlantic Pact and its liquidation", the Soviets decided to declare their "readiness to examine jointly with other interested parties the question of the participation of the USSR in the North Atlantic bloc", specifying that "the admittance of the USA into the General European Agreement should not be conditional on the three Western powers agreeing to the USSR joining the North Atlantic Pact".
Again all proposals, including the request to join NATO, were rejected by the UK, US, and French governments shortly after.Emblematic was the position of British General Hastings Ismay, a fierce supporter of NATO expansion. He opposed the request to join NATO made by the USSR in 1954 saying that "the Soviet request to join NATO is like an unrepentant burglar requesting to join the police force".
In April 1954 Adenauer made his first visit to the USA meeting Nixon, Eisenhower, and Dulles. Ratification of the EDC was delayed but the US representatives made it clear to Adenauer that the EDC would have to become a part of NATO.
Memories of the Nazi occupation were still strong, and the rearmament of Germany was feared by France too.On 30 August 1954, the French Parliament rejected the EDC, thus ensuring its failure and blocking a major objective of US policy towards Europe: to associate West Germany militarily with the West. The US Department of State started to elaborate alternatives: West Germany would be invited to join NATO or, in the case of French obstructionism, strategies to circumvent a French veto would be implemented in order to obtain German rearmament outside NATO.
On 23 October 1954 – only nine years after the Allies (UK, USA, and USSR) defeated Nazi Germany ending World War II in Europe – the admission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the North Atlantic Pact was finally decided. The incorporation of West Germany into the organization on 9 May 1955 was described as "a decisive turning point in the history of our continent" by Halvard Lange, Foreign Affairs Minister of Norway at the time.In November 1954, the USSR requested a new European Security Treaty, in order to make a final attempt to not have a remilitarized West Germany potentially opposed to the Soviet Union, with no success.
On 14 May 1955, the USSR and other seven European countries "reaffirming their desire for the establishment of a system of European collective security based on the participation of all European states irrespective of their social and political systems"established the Warsaw Pact in response to the integration of the Federal Republic of Germany into NATO, declaring that: "a remilitarized Western Germany and the integration of the latter in the North-Atlantic bloc [...] increase the danger of another war and constitutes a threat to the national security of the peaceable states; [...] in these circumstances the peaceable European states must take the necessary measures to safeguard their security".
One of the founding members, East Germany, was allowed to re-arm by the Soviet Union and the National People's Army was established as the armed forces of the country to counter the rearmament of West Germany.
The eight-member countries of the Warsaw Pact pledged the mutual defense of any member who would be attacked. Relations among the treaty signatories were based upon mutual non-intervention in the internal affairs of the member countries, respect for national sovereignty, and political independence.
The founding signatories to the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance consisted of the following communist governments:
At first, China, North Korea, Mongolia, and Vietnam had observer status, but China withdrew after the Sino-Soviet split in the early 1960s.
For 36 years, NATO and the Warsaw Pact never directly waged war against each other in Europe; the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies implemented strategic policies aimed at the containment of each other in Europe, while working and fighting for influence within the wider Cold War on the international stage. These included the Korean War, Vietnam War, Bay of Pigs invasion, Dirty War, Cambodian–Vietnamese War, and others.
In 1956, following the declaration of the Imre Nagy government of the withdrawal of Hungary from the Warsaw Pact, Soviet troops entered the country and removed the government.Soviet forces crushed the nationwide revolt, leading to the death of an estimated 2,500 Hungarian citizens.
The multi-national Communist armed forces' sole joint action was the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968.All member countries, with the exception of the Socialist Republic of Romania and the People's Republic of Albania, participated in the invasion. The German Democratic Republic provided only minimal support, however.
In 1989, popular civil and political public discontent toppled the Communist governments of the Warsaw Treaty countries. Independent national politics made feasible with the perestroika and glasnost policies induced institutional collapse of the Communist government in the USSR in 1991.From 1989 to 1991, Communist governments were overthrown in Albania, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, and the Soviet Union.
As the last acts of the Cold War were playing out, several Warsaw Pact states (Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary) participated in the US-led coalition effort to liberate Kuwait in the Gulf War.
On 25 February 1991, the Warsaw Pact was declared disbanded at a meeting of defence and foreign ministers from remaining Pact countries meeting in Hungary.On 1 July 1991, in Prague, the Czechoslovak President Václav Havel formally ended the 1955 Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance and so disestablished the Warsaw Treaty after 36 years of military alliance with the USSR. The USSR disestablished itself in December 1991.
On 12 March 1999, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland joined NATO; Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, and Slovakia joined in March 2004; Albania joined on 1 April 2009.
Russia and some other post-USSR states joined the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in 1992, or the Shanghai Five in 1996, which was renamed the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) after Uzbekistan's addition in 2001.
In November 2005, the Polish government opened its Warsaw Treaty archives to the Institute of National Remembrance, which published some 1,300 declassified documents in January 2006. Yet the Polish government reserved publication of 100 documents, pending their military declassification. Eventually, 30 of the reserved 100 documents were published; 70 remained secret and unpublished. Among the documents published was the Warsaw Treaty's nuclear war plan, Seven Days to the River Rhine – a short, swift counter-attack capturing Austria, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands east of the Rhine, using nuclear weapons, in self-defense, after a NATO first strike. [ unreliable source? ] The plan originated as a 1979 [ unreliable source? ] field training exercise war game and metamorphosed into official Warsaw Treaty battle doctrine, until the late 1980s – which is why the Polish People's Republic was a nuclear weapons base, [ failed verification ] first, to 178, then, to 250 tactical-range rockets, though these numbers may differ. Doctrinally, as a Soviet-style (offensive) battle plan, Seven Days to the River Rhine gave commanders few defensive-war strategies for fighting NATO in Warsaw Treaty territory. [ unreliable source? ][ failed verification ]
Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer was a German statesman who served as the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 to 1963. He was co-founder and first leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), a Christian Democratic party that under his leadership became one of the most influential parties in the country.
The Treaty establishing the European Defence Community, also known as the Treaty of Paris, is an unratified treaty signed on 27 May 1952 by the six 'inner' countries of European integration: the Benelux countries, France, Italy, and West Germany. The treaty would have created a European Defence Community (EDC) with a pan-European defence force. The treaty failed to obtain ratification in the French parliament and it was never ratified by Italy, so it consequently never entered into force. Instead, the London and Paris Conferences provided for West Germany's accession to NATO and the Western European Union.
The original Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) was negotiated and concluded during the last years of the Cold War and established comprehensive limits on key categories of conventional military equipment in Europe and mandated the destruction of excess weaponry. The treaty proposed equal limits for the two "groups of states-parties", the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Warsaw Pact. In 2007, Russia "suspended" its participation in the treaty, and on 10 March 2015, citing NATO's de facto breach of the Treaty, Russia formally announced it was "completely" halting its participation in it as of the next day.
West German rearmament refers to the United States program to help rebuild the military of West Germany after World War II. Fears of another rise of German militarism necessitated the new military to operate within an alliance framework, under NATO command. The events led to the establishment of the Bundeswehr, the West German military, in 1955. The name Bundeswehr was a compromise choice suggested by former general Hasso von Manteuffel. The older Wehrmacht term for the combined German forces of Nazi Germany had been vetoed by the American occupational authorities.
The Treaty of Brussels, also referred to as the Brussels Pact, was the founding treaty of the Western Union (WU) between 1948 and 1954, when it was amended as the Modified Brussels Treaty (MTB) and served as the founding treaty of the Western European Union (WEU) until its termination in 2010. The treaty provided for the organisation of military, economic, social and cultural cooperation among member states as well as a mutual defence clause.
The Stalin Note, also known as the March Note, was a document delivered to the representatives of the Western allied powers from the Soviet Occupation in Germany on March 10, 1952. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin put forth a proposal for a reunification and neutralization of Germany, with no conditions on economic policies and with guarantees for "the rights of man and basic freedoms, including freedom of speech, press, religious persuasion, political conviction, and assembly" and free activity of democratic parties and organizations.
A defense pact is a type of treaty or military alliance in which the signatories promise to support each other militarily and to defend each other. In general, the signatories point out the threats in the treaty and concretely prepare to respond to it together.
The General Treaty is a treaty of international law which was signed by the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Western Allies on 26 May 1952 but which took effect, with some slight changes, only in 1955. It formally ended Germany's status as an occupied territory and recognised its rights of a sovereign state, with certain restrictions that remained in place until German reunification in 1990.
During World War II, the Soviet Union occupied and annexed several countries effectively handed over by Nazi Germany in the secret Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of 1939. These included the eastern regions of Poland, as well as Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, part of eastern Finland and eastern Romania. Apart from the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and post-war division of Germany, the USSR also occupied and annexed Carpathian Ruthenia from Czechoslovakia in 1945.
The Balkan Pact of 1953, officially known as the Agreement of Friendship and Cooperation, was a treaty signed by Greece, Turkey, and SFR Yugoslavia on 28 February 1953. It was signed in Ankara. The treaty was to act as a deterrence against Soviet expansion in the Balkans. It provided for the eventual creation of a joint military staff for the three countries. At the time Turkey and Greece were members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), while Yugoslavia was a non-aligned communist state. The Balkan Pact allowed Yugoslavia to associate itself with NATO indirectly.
The London and Paris Conferences were two related conferences held in London and Paris during September–October 1954 to determine the status of West Germany. The talks concluded with the signing of the Paris Agreements, which granted West Germany full sovereignty, ended the occupation, and allowed its admittance to NATO. Furthermore, both West Germany and Italy joined the Brussels Treaty on 23 October 1954. The Agreements went into force on 5 May 1955. The participating powers included France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, West Germany, Italy, Canada, the United States, and remaining NATO members.
The Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, officially known as Operation Danube, was a joint invasion of Czechoslovakia by five Warsaw Pact countries – the Soviet Union, Poland, Bulgaria, East Germany and Hungary – on the night of 20–21 August 1968. Approximately 250,000 Warsaw Pact troops attacked Czechoslovakia that night, with Romania and Albania refusing to participate. East German forces, except for a small number of specialists, did not participate in the invasion because they were ordered from Moscow not to cross the Czechoslovak border just hours before the invasion. 137 Czechoslovakian civilians were killed and 500 seriously wounded during the occupation.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the Cold War:
The Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions (MBFR) talks were a series of negotiations held in Vienna between NATO and Warsaw Pact countries between 1973 and 1989.
The term Big Four Conference may refer to one of several conferences between heads of state or foreign ministers of the victorious nations after World War I (1914–18) or during and after World War II (1939–45).
The Warsaw Pact Early Warning Indicator Project was a highly classified US and Allied program designed to gather intelligence that would provide indicators of impending Soviet nuclear attacks before they occurred. It was the American analogue to Operation RYAN. The project aimed to observe and find ways to prevent conflicts with the Soviet Union and its allies from the Warsaw Pact. It consisted of intense clandestine reporting, and Indicator and Warning Methodology.
The Treaty on Relations Between the USSR and GDR was a treaty between the Soviet Union and German Democratic Republic, commonly known as East Germany, signed on 20 September 1955. The treaty became the legal basis for the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, and its successor, the Western Group of Forces to maintain its presence in Germany following the end of the Soviet Occupation.
This article outlines the history of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) of the European Union (EU), a part of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).
The history of NATO started when British diplomacy set the stage to contain the Soviet Union and to stop the expansion of communism in Europe. The United Kingdom and France signed in 1947 signed the Treaty of Dunkirk, a defensive pact, which was expanded in 1948 with the Treaty of Brussels to add the three Benelux countries and committed them to collective defence against any armed attack for fifty years. The British worked with Washington to expand the alliance into NATO in 1949, adding the United States and Canada as well as Italy, Portugal, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland. West Germany and Spain joined later.
The Message from Turnberry was a message of 8 June 1990 sent by the North Atlantic Council meeting on June 7–8 near the ruins of the Turnberry Castle, Scotland, addressed to "to the Soviet Union and to all other European countries"; effectively meaning the Warsaw Pact and neutral European nations, offering "friendship and cooperation... to help build a new peaceful order in Europe, based on freedom, justice and democracy".
In the morning hours of August 21, 1968, Soviet and Warsaw Pact tanks roll in the streets of Prague; to distinguish them from Czechoslovak tanks, they are marked with white crosses.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Warsaw Pact .|