Evolution of an Alliance

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					         Washington
                                                                                      with leaders from Russia’s President
                                                                                      Dmitri A. Medvedev to Venezuela’s Pres-
                                                                                      ident Hugo Chávez, relaxing tensions
                                                                                      and setting the stage for possible agree-


Notebook                                      By Daniel Schorr                        ments.
                                                                                         What we have learned in his first 100
                                                                                      days is Obama’s governing style: concen-
                                                                                      trating on outcomes, settling for half a
                                                                                      loaf when necessary. He clearly wants to
                                                                                      become the nation’s healer and the world’s
                                                                                      unifier. Whether he succeeds will take
                                                                                      several more 100 days to know.


                                                                                      Evolution
                                                                                      of an
                                                                                      Alliance
                                                                                          ON APRIL 4, 1949, as 11 foreign min-
                                                                                      isters and Secretary of State Dean Ach-
                                                                                      eson, along with President Harry S.
                                                                                      Truman, gathered in an auditorium near
                                                                                      the White House for the North Atlantic
                                                                                      Treaty signing, a Marine band played
                                         troubles abroad. Tensions with the So-       Gershwin tunes, including “I Got Plenty
Lesson of                                viet Union heightened, leading to a cri-     of Nothin’” and “It Ain’t Necessarily So”
                                         sis over Berlin. The most somber event       from Porgy and Bess. That helped to ease
the First                                was the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion      the tension in the air. Joseph Stalin’s
                                         of Cuba.                                     blockade of Berlin had been met with a
100 Days                                     President Barack Obama’s first 100       massive American airlift, and the big
    THE first 100-day sprint by a Presi- days present a mixed picture. There has      question was what the Soviet dictator
dent that I can remember was Franklin D. not been much progress on his goal of        would try next.
Roosevelt’s. Faced with the crushing     changing the way Washington works by             The treaty, in effect, spread an Ameri-
Great Depression, he launched a rapid    neutralizing the lobbyists and assem-        can nuclear umbrella over nervous allies
series of recovery measures under the    bling a reliable bipartisan coalition.       in Europe. NATO’S first secretary gener-
heading of the New Deal. They includ-    But by adroit concessions he has man-        al, Britain’s Lord Ismay, is said to have
ed closing the banks to                                   aged to achieve impor-      neatly summed up the purpose of the al-
prevent a run on them,                                    tant legislation, notably   liance: to keep the Russians out, the Amer-
establishing regulatory                                   the multibillion-dollar     icans in and the Germans down. In 1955,
agencies, hiring unem-                                    stimulus package. Con-      West Germany joined NATO and was en-
ployed workers, initi-                                    fronted with possible       couraged to rearm, but with th
				
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Description: [...] the Warsaw Pact fell apart and the Soviet Union collapsed.
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