North Atlantic Treaty Organization

(NATO)
   Portugal joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949, as a founding member. Besides complementing the Atlantic orientation of Portugal's foreign and defense policies, this membership also supported the country's close relationship with two leading members of NATO, Great Britain and the United States. Portugal's slight contribution to NATO in the first decades after joining was conditioned mainly by the fact that Portugal's primary concern was in defending its colonial empire, Portuguese India (1954-61) and in conducting several colonial wars in its African empire in Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea- Bissau (1961-74). One contentious question during this phase of Portugal's membership was the extent to which Portugal used NATO-issued equipment to fight those wars in Africa and Asia, since several of these colonial territories were neither on the Atlantic nor in NATO's jurisdiction (Mozambique and Portuguese India).
   The perceived strategic value of Portugal's key Atlantic archipelagos, the Azores and Madeiras, constituted Portugal's primary contribution to NATO and neutralized any U.S. ambivalence about the question of Portugal's NATO membership. The usefulness of Azores' air and naval bases, especially Lajes base at Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira Island, Azores, along with bases in continental Portugal and in the Madeira Islands, trumped international criticism of Portugal's colonial action and influenced American policy toward Portugal. This remained the situation until after the Yom Kippur war, an Arab-Israeli conflict, in October 1973, when Portugal, despite the risks to her energy supplies, gave the United States permission to use Azores bases for resupplying Israel.
   The Revolution of 25 April 1974 had an impact on Portugal's relationship to NATO. Leftist forces in Portugal were now in command, and Portuguese NATO delegates did not attend highly sensitive NATO defense briefings. But by 1980, after moderate military forces had ousted the radical leftists, Portugal's NATO roles returned to the routing. One of NATO's major subordinate commands became IBERLANT (Iberian Atlantic Command), under SACLANT (Supreme Commander Atlantic), located at Norfolk, Virginia. IBERLANT is located at Oeiras, Portugal and, in 1982, the IBERLAND commander for the first time was a Portuguese Vice Admiral. That same year, Spain joined NATO and, until 1986, when Spain decided not to join NATO's integrated military structure, Portugal was anxious that Portuguese commanders not be subordinate to Spanish commanders in NATO. As a key leader of IBERLANT, along with the representative units of Great Britain and the United States, Portugal's forces remain responsible for surveillance and patrolling of the area from central Portugal to the straits of Gibraltar.
   Portugal has made symbolic if modest contributions to NATO's mission in the Balkan conflicts beginning in the late 1990s and in Afghanistan since 2001. Among Portugal's contributions has been the service of medical units in Afghanistan.

Historical dictionary of Portugal 3rd ed.. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization — ➡ NATO. * * * Introduction   military alliance established by the North Atlantic Treaty (also called the Washington Treaty) of April 4, 1949, which sought to create a counterweight to Soviet (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) armies stationed… …   Universalium

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization — (NATO)    Established on 4 April 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a collective security arrangement backed by the United States and its allies. Its principal function is to provide mutual defense if any member state is attacked by… …   Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization — Flagge der NATO Generalsekretär …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization — (NATO)    Brussels serves as the seat of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the defense organization formed by North Atlantic nations in 1949. The headquarters were located in London from 1949 to 1952 and then moved to Paris. Following the… …   Historical Dictionary of Brussels

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization — NATO * * * North Atlantic Treaty Organization   [nɔːθ ət læntɪk triːtɪ ɔːgənaɪ zeɪʃn, englisch], die NATO …   Universal-Lexikon

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization — noun an international organization created in 1949 by the North Atlantic Treaty for purposes of collective security • Syn: ↑NATO • Hypernyms: ↑world organization, ↑world organisation, ↑international organization, ↑international organisation,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization — (NATO)    Italy signed the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949. The decision to enter the Western alliance was a hugely controversial one in an ideologically divided nation. In a parliamentary debate shortly before the signature of the pact,… …   Historical Dictionary of modern Italy

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization — (NATO)    Established in January 1950 to implement the provisions of the North Atlantic Treaty, NATO established a center in Brussels, Belgium, and in 1951 the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) was created in France with General… …   Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization — (NATO)    NATO was created in April 1949 as an alliance of 12 states (the United States and Canada, along with several states of Western Europe). It was established as a defensive alliance against the communist bloc, as a result of the growing… …   Glossary of UK Government and Politics

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization — North At|lan|tic Treat|y Or|ga|ni|za|tion, the the full name of ↑NATO …   Dictionary of contemporary English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.