After war broke out between Arab countries and Israel in October 1973, the U.S. government asked its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to do the unthinkable: establish an agreed position on an ongoing “out-of-area” crisis. Then, on 25 October, the United States unilaterally raised the alert level of its armed forces to DEFCON III, affecting the NATO area without consulting any allies. These actions constituted a radical departure from established NATO practice and angered the Europeans. U.S. officials, for their part, were upset at what they saw as a dismal European failure to support U.S. objectives in the Middle East crisis. In subsequent months, NATO frantically searched for ways to improve consultation, especially on out-of-area issues. The outcome in 1974 was the promulgation of the Atlantic Declaration, along with a series of functional reforms in alliance consultation procedures. The crisis forced NATO to adjust to the new trends of globalization that were rapidly becoming evident.

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