TITLE: NATO Gopher

ACCESS: gopher://gopher.nato.int
or
gopher://marvin.stc.nato.int
CONTACT: scheurwe@hq.nato.int

There is a surprisingly large variety of information available on this gopher from NATO's Integrated Data Service. Anyone interested in defense, security or international affairs in Europe would find this site valuable. It provides access to historical information on NATO and its development, in addition to information on its current activities, from its routine actions to its involvement in Bosnia.

Organizational and background information on NATO can be acquired from a number of sources including a directory of public information officers, Basic Texts, the NATO Handbook, and Factsheets on specific aspects of NATO. Information is supplied on an extensive range of NATO activities, from its seminars, colloquia, fellowships, and its scientific and environmental affairs to its military operations, including operations supporting the UN in the Balkans. For example, there are communiques, press releases, even transcripts of press conferences. There is a surprising amount of historical information. The gopher provides the text of important documents, starting with the NATO treaty and ending with the Partnership for Peace Agreement, and official ministerial communique. These materials cover the development of the alliance from its formation to the present.

In addition to the NATO information, one of this gopher's strengths is the other European international organizations hosted on it. These include some Atlantic Councils, Partnership for Peace Countries and, under 'Other International Organizations,' the Western European Union and its Assembly. The information contained in these resources varies considerably; numerous papers dealing with Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and the defense of Western Europe can be found in these sections.

While this gopher provides a considerable amount of information, it does have two major shortcomings. One, it can be difficult to make a connection; it is generally better in the afternoon or at night, but there is no clear pattern. Efforts to reach the contact were unsuccessful. Second, related information can be hard to find as it may be located in a variety of places. Despite these drawbacks it still contains a wealth of information and is an excellent resource for European affairs.

John K. Stemmer
History/Political Science Librarian
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
jstemmer@vt.edu


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