North Atlantic Treaty 63 Stat. 2241 (1949)

AuthorBurns H. Weston

Page 1827

Following WORLD WAR II, the Soviet Union rapidly expanded its influence in Eastern and Central Europe. Fearing a further "Communist offensive," the West, led initially by Belgium, Canada, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States, negotiated the North Atlantic Treaty which, it was hoped, would deter Soviet expansionism. The treaty was signed by twelve countries on April 4, 1949, and presently lists a total of sixteen countries among its signatories. The primary objectives of the treaty are as stated in its preamble: "to promote stability and well-being in the North Atlantic area" and "to unite ? for collective defense and for the preservation of peace and security." The treaty stipulates that "an armed attack against one or more of the [State] Parties in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all" and that, in the event of such an attack, each State Party shall take "such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area." Some commentators have suggested that this language may effect an unconstitutional delegation of United States authority to declare war. The argument is of minimal concern, however, inasmuch as Article 11 of the treaty provides that all of the treaty's provisions shall be "carried out by the Parties in accordance with their respective...

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