#AceHistory2Research – NATO – April 04 – On the 65th anniversary of NATO, the debate over the organization’s expansion remains highly contentious, with some viewing it as a broken promise to Russia after the fall of the Iron Curtain.
NATO, an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty, was signed on April 4, 1949 when the US, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland joined the members of the Treaty of Brussels to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
The idea of the alliance was to provide defence against a prospective Soviet invasion. In the early 1950’s, the focus of the communism vs. capitalism fight shifted to Asia, where a series of bloody proxy wars played a major role in convincing Europeans that the Soviet Union and its allies were extremely dangerous and had to be contained at all costs.
Since the reunification of Germany, NATO has almost doubled in size – from 16 member states in 1990 to 28 currently.
Most senior Russian officials feel tricked by NATO and accuse the West of not following through with its commitments made during German reunification negotiations, when NATO agreed not to expand to the East.
Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet president at the time, confirmed that there was a promise not to enlarge NATO, not even “as much as a thumb’s width further to the East.” But this commitment was never formally documented, and since then the alliance has grown drastically.
#AceHistoryNews say an amateur treasure hunter with a hand-held metal detector has turned Canadian history on its head after finding a 16th century shilling buried in clay on the shores of Vancouver Island.
Coat of arms of Victoria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The 435-year-old coin discovered in western-most Canada has rekindled a theory that a British explorer made a secret voyage here two centuries before it was discovered by Spanish sailors.
Official historical records show the Spanish were the first Europeans to set foot in what is now Canada’s British Columbia province in 1774, followed four years later by British Royal Navy Captain James Cook.
Retired security systems installer Bruce Campbell found the coin in mid-December, along with a rare 1891 Canadian nickel, a 1960’s dime and penny from 1900.
“I was getting fat and tired of watching TV,” he said about what got him into his hobby, surrounded in his Victoria, British Columbia home by a trove of adventure novels and a few dug up treasures.
He never imagined, he said, stirring up controversy with his latest find.
According to conspiracy theorists and some historians, the silver coin (produced between 1551 and 1553) is evidence that English explorer Sir Francis Drake travelled as far north as Canada’s Pacific Coast during an expedition to California in 1579, in search of the famed Northwest Passage.
But he covered it up at the behest of Queen Elizabeth I, who supposedly wished to avoid confrontation over the new territory with Spain.