The NATO Background: 1957 to 1976
In trying to understand why successive British governments took no decisive steps towards collaboration in European equipment programmes for almost ten years following the 1957 declaration, a brief analysis of the political and organisational background in NATO during those years is needed, as it gives part of the explanation. A Defence Production Board came into existence early in NATO’s history with the aims of helping to increase production in member countries and of facilitating joint use of industrial installations — even before the NATO Council itself had been instituted and NATO had become a permanent organisation. Initially the task of improving national defence equipment programmes was undertaken through help by the stronger nations to the weaker, but, once a NATO international staff had been established in this same year, military and civilian effort moved increasingly into the preparation of standardisation agreements. These represented early attempts to influence military thinking in the direction of harmonising requirements before national production began, and the policy was thus a useful first step towards equipment collaboration.
KeywordsSecretary General Defence Industry Member Nation Defence Minister Military Authority
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