The Cold War that developed in Europe during 1948 and escalated into the attempted seizure of West Berlin, convinced the western nations to form a common defense organization. Discussions led to a multinational defense agreement that evolved into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). A central NATO defense strategy was the use of tactical air power to offset the Soviet Union.
Due to the vulnerability of West Germany to Soviet attack, USAF planners did not want any new tactical air units moved into the US "Zone of Occupation" there. By 1950 , the United States Air Force in Europe (USAFE) wanted all tactical air units to be located west of the Rhine River to provide greater air defense warning time and France agreed to provide air base sites.