Defense of Europe

January 8, 1951

Report Outline
Effort to Defend Europe in World Crisis
Development of Joint Defense Measures
German Participation in European Defense

Effort to Defend Europe in World Crisis

Arrival of Gen. Eisenhower in Europe to take up a command post comparable to the one he laid down less than six years ago marks a significant step in practical implementation of a new united effort to preserve the freedom and independence of the Atlantic community. The Supreme Commander's task last time was to liberate a continent which already had fallen victim to aggression. Today it is to build up armed strength adequate to stop another aggression when it occurs and prevent a second enslavement of Europe. The aim is thus to reduce if not remove the threat to the security of all the nations of the West that is now raised by Soviet ambitions for world domination, as it was raised so recently by Nazi dreams of world conquest.

Spurring of Atlantic Defense Plans by Korean War

It was nearly two years ago that the United States joined Great Britain, France, and nine other North Atlantic countries in a defensive military alliance designed to bring the collective armed power of the group to the immediate support of any member subjected to attack. After the North Atlantic treaty' was signed on Apr. 4, 1949, many months were consumed in building an administrative organization and in carrying out the preliminaries to dispatch of American military material to the treaty partners under a complementary program for mutual assistance in rearming.

The Communist aggression in Korea in midsummer 1950 shocked the North Atlantic nations into realization that their rearmament must go forward at an accelerated pace and that drastic action must be taken to maximize the military power at their disposal. At New York in September the North Atlantic Council determined to establish “an integrated force under centralized command” to defend Western Europe. But agreement on the details was blocked a month later when France objected to United States proposals for use of German manpower in such a force. It was only under the impact of Chinese Communist intervention in Korea that a compromise finally was reached. Thus, under the double prodding of forces representing the potential aggressor in Europe, the North Atlantic nations at last came to the agreement, sealed by their foreign ministers at Brussels on Dec. 19, which opened the way to the new Eisenhower mission and gave hope of making the pact an effective working alliance.

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