Ever Wonder Why NATO Is Located In Belgium?

September 20, 2015


Let’s have a little talk about NATO, which is more-or-less a forward operating base for the U.S. military. What was The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has significantly expanded operations to become a spearhead in Eastern Europe pointing toward Russia. Agreements were made after the fall of The Berlin Wall that NATO would not move into former Soviet client states, and those treaties were broken. Now we have NATO attempting to pull Ukraine into its gravitational pull, and the U.S. has installed a Nazi government in Kiev.

That said, I started to wonder why NATO headquarters is located in Brussels, Belgium – which incidentally is the de facto capital of The European Union. Well, here’s the deal; NATO was originally located in Paris, France. According to an official NATO historical site, that suited the staff (many British) quite well, Paris was a world-class city. The problem for NATO, predominantly run by the U.S. and Great Britain, was French President Charles de Gaulle. Here’s the general explanation from this NATO historical webpage:


“On 10 March 1966, in a memo addressed to the 14 other NATO nations, the French government announced its intention to withdraw French personnel from the NATO integrated military headquarters, to terminate the assignment of French forces to international commands and to request the removal from French territory of NATO’s headquarters, Allied units, and other facilities and bases which were not under French authority. But France did not question the Washington Treaty, and wished for the Atlantic Alliance to continue.

The French announcement hit international relations like a thunderclap. Since returning to power as the leader of the country in 1958, General de Gaulle had wanted to reform the Organisation – in particular, NATO’s nuclear policy, integrated command structure and the leadership role of the United States – but not the Alliance itself. The treaty signed in Washington in 1949 had brought together a group of nations to face the threat from the Soviet Union. The Organisation, as it was established between 1950 and 1954 by a decision of the North Atlantic Council (NAC), was to be led by an American general in peacetime. It was tasked with setting up an integrated command structure, drawing up operational plans for the forces deployed in Europe and coordinating the training and integration of those forces.

As early as March 1959, General de Gaulle had refused to integrate France’s air defences into the NATO system, had withdrawn the French Mediterranean fleet from NATO control and prohibited the United States from stationing its nuclear weapons and associated launchers in France.”

But leadership roles and nuclear strategy were not de Gaulle’s only concerns. Reading in William Blum’s “The CIA: A Forgotten History” (updated as “Killing Hope”) Blum outlines de Gaulle’s beef with U.S. Intelligence agencies. In his chapter on France/Algeria 1960’s, Blum tells us that in April 1961 both Presidents John Kennedy and Charles de Gaulle faced revolts staged by their military and intelligence units. Kennedy – with the CIA’s Bay of Pigs, and de Gaulle in Algeria facing a right-wing military “putsch” by general Challe. Challe had previously been a NATO commander-in-chief, and had close relations with the CIA. De Gaulle was moving to return control to Algerian nationals, ending France’s colonial rule. The French generals were furious, as was the CIA which feared Algeria would fall to the Communists. Blum writes that “Between 1958 and the middle 1960’s, there occurred some 30 serious assassination attempts upon the life of Charles de Gaulle, in addition to any number of planned attempts which didn’t advance much beyond the planning stage. A world record for a head of state, it is said. In at least one of the attempts, the CIA may have been a co-conspirator.”

Perhaps Blum is being too soft on the CIA aspect. It is well known that the CIA met with French military officials before the Algerian coup, and Blum quotes a report from The Chicago Tribune that outlines the plot, which involved a poison attack that never was completed. Charles de Gaulle had plenty of reason to distrust NATO and The CIA, and it’s no wonder he kicked NATO out of France.

Somehow, de Gaulle survived those thirty attempts on his life, something President Kennedy did not. In fact, there is evidence that the assassination plots against Kennedy and de Gaulle are connected, but we’ll leave that for another article.


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