Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Leo J. Reddy

First Page



There are few black and white issues in the field of foreign relations. The problems that NATO faced and that our government faced as a member of NATO in responding to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia illustrate at least some of the complexities that may not have been evident in the news reports. For example, there is a widely held impression that NATO was in a state of decline prior to August 20, 1968 when the Soviet armies marched on Prague, and that this event snatched the organization from the jaws of historical oblivion. This statement greatly oversimplifies the actual state of affairs. In order to understand how NATO responded to the Czech invasion and what the implications are of the United States in the longer term, it is important to have a brief look at where NATO stood prior to the events of last August.