Western Bloc

The Western Bloc, also known as the Capitalist Bloc, the American Bloc, and the NATO Bloc, was a coalition of countries that were officially allied with the United States during the Cold War of 1947–1991. While the NATO member states, in Western Europe and North America, were pivotal to the bloc, it included many other countries, in the broader Asia-Pacific region, Middle East, Latin America, and Africa with histories of anti-Soviet, anti-communist and, in some cases anti-socialist, ideologies and policies. As such, the bloc was opposed to the political systems and foreign policies of communist countries, which were centered on the Soviet Union, other members of the Warsaw Pact and, usually, the People's Republic of China. The name "Western bloc" emerged in response to, and as the antithesis of, its communist counterpart: the Eastern bloc. Throughout the Cold War, the governments and the Western media were more inclined to refer to themselves as the Free World or the First World, whereas the Eastern bloc was often referred to as the "Communist World" or, less commonly, the "Second World".

The "Three Worlds" of the Cold War era, April–August 1975
  First World: Western Bloc led by the USA, the UK, NATO, Japan and their allies
  Second World: Eastern Bloc led by the USSR, the Warsaw Pact, China and their allies
  Third World: Non-Aligned Movement (led by India and Yugoslavia) and other neutral countries
Political situation in Europe during the Cold War

1947–1991 Western Bloc associations


* Indicates founding member state

Five Eyes


Anti-Soviet communist or socialist states (until 1989)

Compact of Free Association

METO, Baghdad Pact, CENTO (until 1979)

Rio Treaty

SEATO (until 1977)

Map of SEATO members in 1959, shown in blue

Middle East/North Africa Region

Asia, Southeast Asian and Oceania Partners


Post-1991 Western-aligned associations


* Indicates pre-1991 member state

Major non-NATO ally (MNNA)

Middle Eastern Partners

Asia, South East Asian and Oceania Partners

Inter-American Partners

Quadrilateral Security Dialogue


See also


    1. See De-satellization of the Socialist Republic of Romania


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