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The "Three Worlds" of the Cold War (in April–August 1975)
  First World: Countries aligned with the Western Bloc (i.e., NATO and allies), led by the United States
  Second World: Countries aligned with the Eastern Bloc (i.e., Warsaw Pact, China, and allies), led by the Soviet Union
Political situation in Europe during the Cold War

The Western Bloc, also known as the Capitalist Bloc, is an informal, collective term for countries that were officially allied with the United States during the Cold War of 1947–1991. While the NATO member states, in Western Europe and Northern America, were pivotal to the bloc, it included many other countries, in the broader Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa with histories of anti-Soviet, anti-communist and, in some cases anti-socialist, ideologies and policies. As such, the bloc was opposed to the political systems and foreign policies of communist countries, which were centered on the Soviet Union, other members of the Warsaw Pact, and usually the People's Republic of China. The name "Western Bloc" emerged in response to and as the antithesis of its Communist counterpart, the Eastern Bloc. Throughout the Cold War, the governments and the Western media were more inclined to refer to themselves as the "Free World" or the "First World", whereas the Eastern bloc was often referred to as the "Communist World" or less commonly the "Second World".

1947–1991 Western Bloc associations


* Indicates founding member state

Five Eyes


Anti-Soviet communist or socialist states (until 1989)

Compact of Free Association

METO, Baghdad Pact, CENTO (until 1979)

Rio Treaty


Map of SEATO members in 1959, shown in blue

Middle East/North Africa Region

Further information: Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition and Gulf Cooperation Council

See also: Iran–Saudi Arabia proxy conflict

Asia, Southeast Asian, and Oceania Partners


Post-1991 Western-aligned associations


* Indicates pre-1991 member state

Major non-NATO ally (MNNA)

Middle Eastern Partners

Asia, South East Asian, and Oceania Partners

Inter-American Partners

Quadrilateral Security Dialogue


See also