New World Encyclopedia integrates facts with values.
Written by online collaboration with certified experts.
Before the invention of the metronome, words were the only way to describe the tempo of a musical composition (read more)
Wetlands provide innumerable economic, ecological, cultural, recreational, and aesthetic values. The rich biodiversity of wetlands has led to their being described as "biological supermarkets" and "nurseries of life"; their chemical and hydrological functions have led to their characterization as "the kidneys of the landscape." Despite these many values, the historical view of wetlands was that they were "wastelands." Such a perspective found value in draining, diking, and otherwise modifying them in order that the lands serve intensive agricultural, residential, or industrial uses. It is estimated that 50 percent of the world's original wetlands have been lost.
For its first few years, NATO was not much more than a political association. The primary goal of the organization was to act as a defense against Communist expansion. The Korean War galvanized the member states, and an integrated military structure was built up under the direction of two U.S. supreme commanders. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the organization became drawn into the Balkans while building better links with former potential enemies to the east, which culminated with the former Warsaw Pact states joining the alliance. Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, NATO has attempted to refocus itself to new challenges and deployed troops to Afghanistan and trainers to Iraq.