The Warsaw Pact, also known as the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, was started on May 14,1955. The Warsaw Pact was a Communist group in Eastern Europe. The states included were: People’s Republic of Albania, People’s Republic of Bulgaria, Czechoslovak Republic, German Democratic Republic, People’s Republic of Hungary, and People’s Republic of Poland. The Warsaw Pact was thought to be Soviet Bloc’s military response to West Germany’s integration to NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). [1]

There were two parts to the Warsaw Pact: The Political Consultative Committee and the Unified Command of Pact Armed Forces. The Political Consultative Committee proposed the simultaneous dissolution of the two military blocs, the recognition of the existence of two German States, the development of agreements on
disarmament in Germany and in Europe and the convening of a general European conference with a view to discussing the problems of ensuring security in Europe and of establishing general European cooperation [2]. The Unified Command of Pact Armed Forces was responsible for the military aspects of the organization. Although the Pact was made up of many countries, the USSR was the supreme commander. They controlled all of the member states and made the majority of the decisions. The first official Commander-in-Chief of the Warsaw Pact was a Russian, Ivan Konev. [3]

All member states in the Warsaw Pact shared similar views on international relations. A series of articles were created in the Warsaw Pact to show their stance in certain issues.

Article 1. The contracting parties undertake, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations Organization, to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force, and to settle their international disputes by peaceful means so as not to endanger international peace and security. [1]

Article 2. The contracting parties declare their readiness to take part, in the spirit of sincere co-operation, in all international undertakings intended to safeguard international peace and security and they shall use all their energies for the realization of these aims. Moreover, the contracting parties shall work for the adoption, in agreement with other states desiring to co-operate in this matter, of effective measures towards a general reduction of armaments and prohibition of atomic, hydrogen and other weapons of mass destruction. [1]

Article 3. The contracting parties shall take council among themselves on all-important international questions relating to their common interests, guided by the interests of strengthening international peace and security. They shall take council among themselves immediately, whenever, in the opinion of any of them, there has arisen the threat of an armed attack on one or several states that are signatories of the treaty, in the interests of organizing their joint defense and of upholding peace and security. [1]

Article 4. In the event of an armed attack in Europe on one or several states that are signatories of the treaty by any state or group of states, each state that is a party to this treaty shall, in the exercise of the right to individual or collective self-defense in accordance with Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations Organization, render the state or states so attacked immediate assistance, individually and in agreement with other states that are parties to this treaty, by all the means it may consider necessary, including the use of armed force. The states that are parties to this treaty shall immediately take council among themselves concerning the necessary joint measures to be adopted for the purpose of restoring and upholding international peace and security. In accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations Organization, the Security Council shall be advised of the measures taken on the basis of the present article. These measures shall be stopped as soon as the Security Council has taken the necessary measures for restoring and upholding international peace and security-. [1]

Article 5. The contracting parties have agreed on the establishment of a joint command for their armed forces, which shall be placed, by agreement among these parties, under this command, which shall function on the basis of jointly defined principles. They shall also take other concerted measures necessary for strengthening their defense capacity, in order to safeguard the peaceful labor of their peoples, to guarantee the inviolability of their frontiers and territories and to provide safeguards against possible aggression. [1]

Article 6. For the purpose of holding the consultations provided for in the present treaty among the states that are parties to the treaty, and for the purpose of considering problems arising in connection with the implementation of this treaty, a political consultative committee shall be formed in which each state that is a party to this treaty shall be represented by a member of the government, or any other specially appointed representative. The committee may, form the auxiliary organs for which the need may arise. [1]

Article 7. The contracting parties undertake not to participate in any coalitions and alliances, and not to conclude any agreements the purposes of which would be at variance with those of the present treaty. The contracting parties declare that their obligations under existing international treaties are not at variance with the provisions of this treaty. [1]

Article 8. The contracting parties declare that they will act in the spirit of friendship and co-operation with the object of furthering the development of, and strengthening the economic and cultural relations between them, agreeing to the principles of mutual respect for their independence and sovereignty, and of non-interference in their internal affairs. [1]

Article 9. The present treaty is open to be acceded to by other states-irrespective of their social and state systems-which may express their readiness to assist, through participation in the present treaty, in combining the efforts of the states for the purpose of safeguarding the peace and security, of nations. This act of acceding to the treaty shall become effective, with the consent of the states that are parties to this treaty, after the instrument of accidence has been deposited with the government of the Polish People's Republic. [1]

Article 10. The present treaty is subject to ratification, and the instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the government of the Polish People's Republic. The treaty shall take effect on the date on which the last ratification instrument is deposited. The government of the Polish People's Republic shall advise the other states that are parties to the treaty of each ratification instrument deposited with it. [1]

Article 11. The present treaty shall remain in force for 20 years. For the contracting parties which will not have submitted to the government of the Polish People's Republic a statement denouncing the treaty a year before the expiration of its term, it shall remain in force throughout the following ten years. In the event of the organization of a system of collective security in Europe and the conclusion of a general European treaty of collective security to that end, which the contracting parties shall unceasingly seek to bring about, the present treaty shall cease to be effective on the date the general European treaty comes into force. [1]

The Warsaw Pact’s main goal was global domination for the Communist party. Another main goal was to stimulate the development of Eastern European nations so they may function on they’re own. Although the Warsaw Pact was prepared for war against the NATO nations, no military action was ever taken. However, the Warsaw Pact and NATO were very much involved in the Cold War. As the war came to a close, the Communists began to lose power. Under Communist control of Mikhail Gorbachev, two new policies were introduced: glasnost & perestroika. Glasnost’s main idea was openness. It created a more transparent government system free of secrets, and far from anything Communist governments were used to. Perestroika’s main idea was political and economic reform. [4] Again this was something very unusual for Communist governments. It was much more democratic. Gorbachev began to lose support and Communism began to fall. As the Warsaw Pact’s leading state lost power, so did the pact. The Warsaw Pact was not renewed and officially came to a close in 1991. [5]

[1] “The Warsaw Pact, 1955.” Modern History Sourcebook. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Oct. 2009. <‌halsall/‌mod/‌1955warsawpact.html>.

[2] “Declaration of the Political Consultative Committee of the Warsaw Pact on the Strengthening of Peace and Security in Europe (Bucharest, 5 July 1966).” European Navigator. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Oct. 2009. <‌declaration_political_consultative_committee_warsaw_pact_strengthening_peace_security_europe_bucharest_july_1966-020006644.html>.

[3] “Ivan Stepanovich Konev.” The Eastern Front. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Oct. 2009. <‌Commanders/‌russian/‌konev.htm>.

[4] “The Warsaw Pact.” Lib of Congress, 1992. Web. 9 Oct. 2009. <‌~his_ncp/‌WarPact.html>.

[5] “What Was the Warsaw Pact?” Wise Geek. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Oct. 2009. <‌what-was-the-warsaw-pact.htm>.