Lord Ismay (1887-1965), who was the first Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from 1952 to 1957. supposedly said that NATO’s purpose was to “keep the Americans in, the Russians (Soviets) out, and the Germans down.” The exact quotation has not been found. The quotation became popular in the 1980s, and a 1985 newspaper stated:
“NATO’s first secretary-general, Lord Ismay, once described the purpose of the alliance as being to keep the Americans in, the Soviets out, and the Germans down.”
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO /ˈneɪtoʊ/; French: Organisation du traité de l’Atlantique Nord; OTAN), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949. The organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party. NATO’s headquarters are located in Haren, Brussels, Belgium, where the Supreme Allied Commander also resides. Belgium is one of the 28 member states across North America and Europe, the newest of which, Albania and Croatia, joined in April 2009. An additional 22 countries participate in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, with 15 other countries involved in institutionalized dialogue programmes. The combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70 percent of the global total. Members’ defense spending is supposed to amount to 2 percent of GDP.
The Treaty of Brussels, signed on 17 March 1948 by Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, and the United Kingdom, is considered the precursor to the NATO agreement. The treaty and the Soviet Berlin Blockade led to the creation of the Western European Union’s Defence Organization in September 1948. However, participation of the United States was thought necessary both to counter the military power of the USSR and to prevent the revival of nationalist militarism, so talks for a new military alliance began almost immediately resulting in the North Atlantic Treaty, which was signed in Washington, D.C. on 4 April 1949. It included the five Treaty of Brussels states plus the United States, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. The first NATO Secretary General, Lord Ismay, stated in 1949 that the organization’s goal was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”
Wikipedia: Hastings Lionel Ismay, 1st Baron Ismay
General Hastings Lionel Ismay, 1st Baron Ismay KG GCB CH DSO PC DL (21 June 1887 – 17 December 1965), nicknamed Pug, was a British Indian Army officer and diplomat, remembered primarily for his role as Winston Churchill’s chief military assistant during the Second World War and his service as the first Secretary General of NATO from 1952 to 1957.
8 May 1985, Washington (DC) Times, “Have we broken the great war cycle?” by Gwynne Dyer, pg. B1, col. 3:
NATO’s first secretary-general, Lord Ismay, once described the purpose of the alliance as being to keep the Americans in, the Soviets out, and the Germans down.
16 February 1992, Boston (MA) Sunday Herald, “Europeans see Yankee selfishness rising as U.S. role ends abroad” by Jim Hoagland, pg. 39, col. 4:
This was the American era in Europe, when NATO was invented to keep the Americans in, the Russians out and the Germans down.
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NATO Expansion—WSJ Article about Hungary
Alexander N. Bossy
In todays’ (January 2, 1997) Wall Street Journal, there was a front page article on Hungary’s admission to NATO. The following is an extract from the article:
It is important that we keep pushing for NATO’s continued expansion until every democratic country that wants to join is admitted. And,when that includes Russia, Russia should also be admitted, thus transforming NATO from an organization to “keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down” to one that will “keep the Americans in, the Muslim fundamentalists out, and the Russians down.”
Small Wars Journal
Lord Ismay, Restated
by Octavian Manea
November 18, 2010 - 8:12pm
The first NATO Secretary General, Lord Ismay, stated the organization’s goal was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down”.
A series of rephrasings of this famous quote follows:
The purpose of NATO is to keep the West in, the Russians out, and the isolationists (especially in Europe) down. (John Hulsman, HCSS)
Today; NATO’s purpose is to keep the Americans in charge, the Europeans compliant, and the Brussels bureaucracy busy. (Stephen Walt, Harvard University)
The Wall Street Journal
12:16 pm ET Dec 11, 2015 FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Russia Submits Reduced List of 30 Diplomats Accredited to NATO
By JULIAN E. BARNES
There is an old saying that the purpose of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is to keep the Americans in, the Germans down and the Russians out.
To that end, the Russian mission to the alliance is due to take a big reduction next month.
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • Friday, December 11, 2015 • Permalink