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Postwar Prosperity, International Activities
Canadian diplomat, Defense Agreement, Colombo Plan, Suez Crisis, North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Following the war, Canada took an active role in international relations. Canada joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military alliance founded in 1949 to defend Europe against Communist attack. The North American Air (later Aerospace) Defense Agreement, signed in 1958, confirmed American involvement in defending North American airspace over Canada. Canada contributed forces to the United Nations campaign to defend South Korea in the Korean War (1950-1953).
In 1950 Canada began foreign aid programs for underdeveloped nations as part of the Colombo Plan, launched by the Commonwealth of Nations to attack the poverty that was thought to breed support for Communism. Canadian diplomat and politician Lester Pearson won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1956 for organizing a peacekeeping force to defuse the Suez Crisis. Peacekeeping became a frequent assignment for Canadian forces as Canada sought status in world affairs as a so-called middle power: too small to be a great power, but large enough and strong enough to act as an intermediary in world affairs.
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