Neutrality was once an attractive option in Europe.
Switzerland made non-alignment look almost sexy, with its ski resorts, excellent chocolates, and secure banking system. Then there was Sweden, which refused to join NATO or subordinate its military policy to Moscow, offering instead to broker peaceful compromises between east and west as well as north and south. Austria, divided into four occupation zones after World War II just like Germany, embraced neutrality as the last foreign troops exited the country in 1955. It has sent peacekeepers around the world and offered Vienna as a neutral place for negotiations, like the ones that produced the Iran nuclear deal.
During the Cold War, non-alignment emerged as a third path between Soviet-style communism and American-style capitalism, between two nuclear superpowers, between a poorly delineated East and West. So many countries were eager to go down this path that they formed a new bloc, the Non-Aligned Movement, at the Bandung Conference in 1955, with Yugoslav leader Tito as one of its prime movers.
The end of the Cold War rendered non-alignment moot. Even France, which had left NATO in 1966 because it refused to relinquish control of its military strategy and nuclear weapons, returned to the fold in …read more
Source:: Institute for Policy Studies