These three countries soon formed the axis, an offensive alliance that fought for world domination during World War II with a defence alliance of Great Britain, France, China and, from 1941, the Soviet Union and the United States. With the defeat of the Axis powers in 1945, the victorious Allies founded the United Nations (UN), a global organization dedicated to the principles of collective security and international cooperation. However, the United Nations coexisted ineffectively with the robust military alliances formed by the United States and the Soviet Union after the war in strict ideological lines. In 1949, the United States and Canada joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) with Britain and other Western European countries, and in 1955, the Soviet Union and its Central and Eastern European satellites formed the Warsaw Pact after West Germany joined NATO. The rivalry between these two alliances, to which were part of other convention organizations created by the United States (for example. B, the organization of the Treaty on Southeast Asia, the organization of the central treaty and the ZUS pact, ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact in 1991. A treaty is negotiated by a group of countries, either through an organization created for this purpose or by an existing body such as the United Nations Council on Disarmament (UN). The negotiation process can take several years depending on the subject of the treaty and the number of participating countries. At the end of the negotiations, the treaty will be signed by representatives of the governments concerned. Conditions may require that the treaty be ratified and signed before it becomes legally binding. A government ratifies a treaty by tabling a ratification instrument in a treaty-defined location; the ratification instrument is a document containing formal confirmation of the Government`s acceptance of the provisions of the treaty. The ratification process varies according to national laws and constitutions. In the United States, the president can only ratify a treaty after receiving the “consultation and approval” of two-thirds of the Senate.
In addition to treaties, there are other less formal international agreements. These include efforts such as the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and the G7 Global Partnership Against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Although the PSI has a “declaration of prohibition principles” and the G7 Global Partnership includes several statements by G7 heads of state and government, it also does not have a legally binding document that sets specific obligations and is signed or ratified by member states. At the end of the 19th century, a new level of alliance building was reached in Europe, when hostility between Germany and France polarized Europe into two rival alliances. In 1910, most of the major European states were part of one of these great opposing alliances: the central powers, whose main members were Germany and Austria-Hungary, and the allies, composed of France, Russia and Great Britain. This bipolar system had a destabilizing effect, as the conflict between two members of the opposing blocs led to the risk of a general war. Finally, in 1914, a dispute between Russia and Austria-Hungary quickly led their colleagues from the bloc into the general conflict, known as the First World War (1914-18). The outcome of the war was effectively decided when the United States abandoned its traditional isolationism and joined the Allied side in 1917 as one of the “associated powers.” Alliance, in international relations, a formal agreement between two or more states for mutual assistance in the event of war.
Contemporary alliances provide for joint action by two or more independent states and are generally defensive and force allies to regroup when one or more of them are attacked by another state or coalition.