As NATO celebrates 70 years since its inception, Felix Rowe gives his views on the history and evolution of this important but sometimes controversial organisation.

A photo portrait of NATO delegates and national leaders, including British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, French President François Mitterrand and US President George H W Bush, at Lancaster House, July 1990. (NATO)

Three USAF F-15C Eagles of 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing are led over Neuschwanstein Castle by a Luftwaffe F-104G Starfighter during Exercise Reforger, September 1982. (US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE)

As the oft-quoted and – in hindsight – ill-judged epitaph infamously foretold, the worldwide conflict of 1914-1918 was the ‘war to end all wars’. In fact, as we are only all-too aware, it conversely sowed seeds for the greatest fight in global history. World War Two sent devastating shockwaves across the globe that still echo to this day. After six gruelling years and untold bloodshed, the victors were particularly keen to ensure that such a conflict wouldn’t ever happen again.

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