A Venerable Alliance

VOC’s President and CEO, Dr. Eric Pattersonwrites for World Magazine on the 75th anniversary of the founding of NATO, and its importance as a “collective guardian of peace.”

As Dr. Patterson writes, “Just a few weeks ago, Sweden became the latest state to join NATO. That was an historic development, but even more importantly, April marks the 75th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s founding. At a time when NATO faces the greatest threat in the past two decades on border with Russia, it is time to reflect on the way that this sturdy alliance has kept the peace.

Remember how NATO started. At the end of World War II, Soviet armies raced across Eastern and Central Europe and then refused to budge. In the first two years after the war—from Fall 1945 through the end of 1947—it is noteworthy to compare the difference between the areas liberated from Nazi conquest by Soviet armies versus those liberated by the United States and its allies. Both sides had promised that these countries would return to their pre-war independence—the most notable being the promise of free elections in Poland—but when it came to Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union lied. Moscow absorbed countries such as the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania and occupied others, imposing repressive communist regimes in Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and elsewhere.

This is what Winston Churchill was talking about when he said, ‘From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an ‘Iron Curtain’ has descended across the continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe.’

Of course, Stalin’s communist allies were not content to rest there. In the war’s aftermath they supported communists in France and Italy, contributing to political turmoil, and armed violent revolutionaries attempting to overthrow the governments of Greece and Turkey.”

Read the full article in World Magazine.

Dr. Eric Patterson is President and CEO of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.