Organization founded in 1949 to facilitate and coordinate the economic development of Soviet-bloc countries. Its original members were the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Romania; other members joined later, including Albania (1949) and the German Democratic Republic (1950). Its accomplishments included the organization of Eastern Europe's railroad grid, the creation of the International Bank for Economic Cooperation, and the construction of the “Friendship” oil pipeline. After the political upheavals in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s, it largely lost its purpose and power. In 1991 it was renamed the Organization for International Economic Cooperation.
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The act was part of the American Cold War strategy of containment. The act had a number of sections. Most importantly it promised defense assistance to any ally that might be attacked by the Soviet Union, or one of its allies.
It also cut off all aid and economic assistance to any country that traded in strategic materials with the Soviet Union or its allies. The act covered a wide range of materials needed for the production of weapons, and was especially focused on anything that could aid atomic weapons research and construction.
Support included massive financial aid, material supply from the US Army (uniform, helmet, rifle, tanks), US Navy (carrier Belleau Wood/Bois Belleau), the US Airforce (twelve Fairchild C-119, fighters, bombers and maintenance crews) and the CIA (twenty four pilots of the CAT) from which two pilot were killed in action during the battle of Dien Bien Phu.