Relations between the United States and the Soviet Union began to deteriorate rapidly in 1948. There were sharp differences of opinion on Germany`s post-war status, with the Americans insisting on the German takeover and possible rearmament, and the Soviets strongly opposing such actions. In June 1948, the Soviets blocked all ground travel in the American zone of occupation in West Berlin, and only a massive American airlift with food and other necessities supported the population of the area until the Soviets sank and blocked it in May 1949. In January 1949, in his State of the Union address, President Harry S. Truman warned that the forces of democracy and communism were mired in a dangerous struggle, and called for an alliance to defend the nations of the North Atlantic – the U.S. military in Korea. In April 1949, representatives from Germany, Canada, Denmark, France, the United Kingdom, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Portugal joined the United States in signing the NATO agreement. The signatories agreed: “An armed attack on one or more of them… be considered an attack on them all. President Truman hailed the organization as a “shield against aggression.” This treaty is ratified and its provisions are implemented by the contracting parties in accordance with their respective constitutional procedures. The ratification instruments are filed as soon as possible with the Government of the United States of America, which informs all other signatories of any filing. The treaty will enter into force between the states that have ratified it as soon as the ratifications of most of the signatories, including those of Belgium, Canada, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, have been tabled and will enter into force for other states on the date of the tabling of their ratifications. 3.
Contracting parties may unanimously invite any other European state capable of supporting the principles of this treaty and contributing to the security of the North Atlantic to accede to this treaty. Any state so invited can become a party to the treaty by filing its instrument of membership with the government of the United States of America. The Government of the United States of America informs each of the contracting parties of the filing of any accession instrument.