NATO, the defense alliance formed by the US and European countries to counter Soviet influence during the Cold War. Photo/REUTERS
JAKARTA – NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and SEATO (Southeast Asian Treaty Organization) are defense alliances formed by the United States (US) after World War II. But both have different goals and priorities.
NATO was founded in 1949 as a collective defense alliance between the United States and its European allies. NATO’s main goal was to counter Soviet military and political influence in Europe during the Cold War.
The US, along with European countries such as Great Britain, France and Germany, agreed to provide mutual defense assistance in the event of an attack by a member state.
NATO also serves as a forum for military cooperation, information exchange and joint exercises.
In contrast, SEATO was formed in 1954 as a regional defense pact with the aim of stopping the spread of communism in Southeast Asia.
The United States, together with the Philippines, Thailand and Australia, agreed to provide military assistance and cooperation to countries in the region threatened by communist insurgency or foreign invasion.
The formation of SEATO was in response to the Korean War and French defeat in Indochina, which raised fears of the spread of communism in the region.
Although both were formed by America, NATO and SEATO have different goals and priorities. NATO focused on fighting Soviet influence in Europe, while SEATO focused on fighting the spread of communism in Southeast Asia.
In addition, most of the NATO member countries are located in Europe, and SEATO member countries are located in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
Another difference between the two alliances is the commitment of member countries. NATO is committed to providing significant military assistance to each other in the event of an attack.
In contrast, SEATO is more of a loose alliance, with member countries providing only limited military assistance.
In the end, NATO became a much more successful alliance than SEATO. NATO succeeded in containing Soviet influence in Europe and played an important role in ending the Cold War.
SEATO, on the other hand, was unable to prevent the spread of communism in Southeast Asia and eventually disbanded in 1977.
MG/Tazakka Artesa Hidayat
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