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Title:INTRODUCING NATO: A BRIEFING FILM [Main Title]
Film Number:NAT 2049
Other titles:NATO DOCUMENTARIES [Allocated Series Title]
Summary: A North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) documentary film about how the alliance works, why it must be maintained and its development since being established in 1949. The film is made using a mixture of animation, archive footage and commentary.
Description: The signing of the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949 and the role of the democratically run North Atlantic Council is covered, providing context for the rest of the film. Using animation, it is explained that the alliance gets much of its durability from its “scale” and because it “links for the first time the New world and the Old.”
The film uses an animated map of Europe to explain how the course of events though the history of the 20th century has led to continent being divided. Particular emphasis is given to the expansion of the Soviet Union.
The circumstances surrounding the division of Berlin and the Berlin Blockade leads into an explanation of why forces within the NATO alliance believe it necessary to build-up their armed forces despite their desire for peace.
An explanation of the need for different commands within the organisation and how they are structured. The international nature of the organisation is shown to be reflected in the make-up of the centralised NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
The benefits of cooperation on defence spending are highlighted. One example being the “billions” spent on an advanced early warning radar system, stretching across Western Europe (NATO Air Defence Ground Environment or NADGE). The North American NORAD system is used as a direct comparison, integrating United States and Canadian radar networks, ground to air missile sites and military aircraft. A separate system, used for detecting long-range missiles, called the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System or BMEWS, is also featured.
An animation is used to demonstrate the gradual build-up of Soviet vessels in the Atlantic. Another animation covers the build-up of Soviet ground troops in Europe, providing figures for the number of Red Army divisions, aircraft and missiles available.
The narrator suggests that efforts to negotiate a detente between NATO, the Soviet Union and allied countries of Eastern Europe are the best way forward for achieving greater security. However, it is also cautioned that vigilance is still necessary and that the consequences of failing to maintain peace have consequences beyond that of NATO member nations.
Production Details: NATO INFORMATION SERVICE (Production company)
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Production sponsor)
Baylis, Peter (Production individual)