This article assesses the role of the Czechoslovak coup d’état in February 1948 in the establishment of the Brussels Pact a month later and formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in April 1949. The article places these developments in the larger context of post-1945 national security policymaking in several countries, weighing the impact of the Czechoslovak coup on relations among seven countries on national security issues at the outset of the Cold War: Czechoslovakia, France, the United Kingdom, the three Benelux countries, and the United States. The article shows that the only proper way to evaluate the effect of the Communist takeover in Czechoslovakia on the formation of the Western alliance is by looking at the considerations present in each country and seeing how they interacted with one another. The Czechoslovak factor varied in its magnitude from country to country.

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