Skip Navigation LinksCSL home > Library > Document



NATO Handbook

372 pages, pdf
 Download Back


NATO Handbook

Publisher: NATO Office of information and press Brussels

Volume: 372 pages, pdf


In 1989 the world witnessed the beginning of a process of fundamental political change in East-West relations including the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, the disappearance of one-party Communist states throughout Central and Eastern Europe, the establishment of free and independent states in the republics of the former Soviet Union, and the end of the division of Europe. The role played by the N orth Atlantic Alliance, from its establishment in 1949 to the end of the Cold W ar four decades later, was fundamental in bringing about the conditions which made these developments possible. As the instrument for guaranteeing the security, freedom and independence of its members, maintaining a strategic balance in Europe and promoting democratic values and the emergence of European democratic institutions, the Alliance created the stability which was the precondition for bringing an end to the adversarial relationship between East and West.

The advent of these momentous events and of the transformation of the security environment has had a profound impact on the North Atlantic Alliance. Marking the end of the political, ideological and military confrontation between East and West which characterised the Cold War years, it has enabled the Alliance to reorient its policies, maintaining its core function of ensuring the security of its member states while pursuing its long-standing political goal of establishing a just and lasting peaceful order in Europe.