From the first Nato Secretary-General Hastings Lionel, Baron Ismay (1952 to 1957), a British General and politician who originated the quip that Nato had three tasks: the Soviet Union of Western Europe, the Americans in Western Europe, on the inside, and to keep the small German (“to keep the Soviet Union out, the Americans in and the Germans down”).

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Previously secret U.S. documents from the sixties to demonstrate that the loose spell was quite serious.

In the internal Memos of the U.S. Department of state was designated in 1965 and 1966 that the Western Alliance is “the West should reduce Germany’s strength and dominance on the continent”. The term “containment” (“containment”) was held in Public, otherwise only for the US policy towards the Soviet Union use.

Against a “revival of militarism”

The Americans were around twenty years after the end of the Second world war, the now strengthened West Germany could ally with the Soviets. So Secretary of defense Robert McNamara wrote on 21.September 1966 U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, the military U.S. presence on the old continent and serve as a “deterrence of any bilateral security agreement” between Bonn and Moscow, and the German of a “resurgence of militarism” should hold. During the Cold war, at times more than 400, 000 American soldiers were stationed in Europe, today there are about 60 000.

The documents published by the historian, William Burr of the private organization the National Security Archive. He suspected that it was with the first written evidence that the term “containment” took place on the Federal application.

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