Article 2 is reinforced by Article 4, which encourages Allies to “consult” whenever they deem it necessary, which facilitates the emergence of consensus. The practice of regular information exchange and joint consultation strengthens the links between governments and the knowledge of their respective concerns so that they can agree on common policies or take action more easily. The Mutual Defence Support Act created the Mutual Assistance Program, which became an integral part of the federal government`s policy to curb Soviet expansion. This program differed from the Lend Lease program of the Second World War in that it had never required a refund from the country receiving military assistance. Between 1950 and 1967, $33.4 billion in supernumerary weapons and services and armaments were released under the program, worth $3.3 billion. When the Cold War developed, these acts were part of the American policy of containing communism. They provided defence assistance to all allies who could be attacked by the Soviet Union or one of its allies, while other programs provided non-military economic assistance. In Asia, the programmes were expanded with the new Maoist People`s Republic of China and other regions, with the development of specific country missions, including Austria (1947-50), China (1946-1948), Ireland (1948-51) and Trieste (1947-52).  Relations between the United States and the Soviet Union began to deteriorate rapidly in 1948. There were sharp differences of opinion on Germany`s post-war status, with the Americans insisting on the German takeover and possible rearmament, and the Soviets strongly opposing such actions.
In June 1948, the Soviets blocked all ground travel in the American zone of occupation in West Berlin, and only a massive American airlift with food and other necessities supported the population of the area until the Soviets sank and blocked it in May 1949. In January 1949, in his State of the Union address, President Harry S. Truman warned that the forces of democracy and communism were mired in a dangerous struggle, and called for an alliance to defend the nations of the North Atlantic – the U.S. military in Korea. In April 1949, representatives from Germany, Canada, Denmark, France, the United Kingdom, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Portugal joined the United States in signing the NATO agreement. The signatories agreed: “An armed attack on one or more of them… be considered an attack on them all. President Truman hailed the organization as a “shield against aggression.” In 1952, the members agreed on the accession of Greece and Turkey to NATO and added the Federal Republic of Germany in 1955.