National Affairs: Bound Together

Almost as soon as the North Atlantic Treaty, in its blue goatskin binding, was safely tucked away in the State Department archives, eight of the signers went one step further. They asked Secretary of State Dean Acheson if they could now expect arms from the U.S. No facts or figures were mentioned, though rough estimates put the first-year cost somewhere between $1 billion and $2 billion. Acheson promised to see what he could do.

It was a bold, even risky step for the Secretary of State to take. Before the Senate could vote on the Atlantic pact (which requires a two-thirds...

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