During the cold war, there was a pattern of competition between the United States and the Soviet Union, affecting the stability of the security of the European region. The ideological conflict between the two superpowers is capable of influencing all interactions of life. So it is with security issues in the European region.
In 1952, Europe sought to raise security forces from within its regional territory, among European Countries and European Community (ECSC) Prime Minister of France, Rena Pleven for input from Jean Monnet proposing the establishment of the European Defense Community (EDC), but this was rejected by member countries, including by France itself. But two years later, in 1954, the ECSC countries again negotiated the formation of a security and defense system called the Western European Union (WEU) Agreement. In meetings attended by France, Britain, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Italy, agreed to integrate themselves into an armed force. At that meeting, a council of ministers, a small secretariat, a consultative assembly, and armed forces were formed. Previously this forum was only a coordinating council on the foreign policy of its member countries.
Although European countries have formed defense alliances in creating regional security, two defense pacts, NATO and Warsaw, still hold the key to the security of European countries. Both are mutually balancing and military maneuvers indirectly against countries that are considered as ideological opponents. Although it has become a military alliance, inevitably, the interests of America and the Soviets are the main priorities of the performance of the two Defense Pacts.
Instead of creating political stability and world peace, the Warsaw Pact emphasized opposition with the Allies. This was seen when the Soviet Union with Warsaw carried out military aggression against Czechoslovakia in 1968. Only because of the accusation of the Czechoslovak leader were the Liberalist minions, the Soviets with their fleet of war destroyed the country.
At this time, military power has an important bargaining position as a form of political power balance. Even nuclear weapons have become a vital factor in national defense. In this era, it indirectly affected the basis of the overall European regional defense system. But the movement of change made by Mikhail Gorbachev through the Priostoika program has changed the situation. With the uprising of the workers as a pro-democracy movement led by Lech Walesa in Poland, spread to other countries such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, East Germany, and Romania. The climax of the movement was the desire of East German and West German citizens to reunite. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of communist power with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1989, America’s influence on the world became more dominant.
End of Warsaw Pact Defense Journey
After the Soviet Union broke up and the union of West Germany and East Germany, the security situation in Europe began to change. This is due to the economic crisis that took place in Europe. On November 19, 1990, in Paris, 32 European countries with the US and Canada signed an agreement known as the “second Magna Carta,” which each party agreed to eliminate military disputes and work together to form peace. Previously there were agreements to reduce conventional weapons between 22 NATO countries and the Warsaw Pact. The economic crisis that hit the Eastern European region made the country’s leaders consider the existence of the defense pact because the most important thing needed was economic-political cooperation. So on February 25, 1991, in Budapest, the leaders of the Warsaw Pact alliance defense alliance gathered and agreed that the alliance was dissolved.
In 1992 the European desire arose to form a European economic community (EEC), the rapid pace of European economic growth led to a desire for Europe itself to be independent in all fields, both economic, political, and security.
So in terms of its military function, NATO is certainly no longer needed to stem the Soviet forces in the European region after the collapse of the communist state. However, until now, America has continued to strive to declare that NATO is the most suitable alliance to be implemented in Europe. This is closely related to the US foreign policy agenda, which is to keep NATO in Europe as a guardian of political and economic stability in order to support and accelerate the pace of US economic growth.