From its inception, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) considered itself to be a moderating force in the Cold War and in the post-colonial world. In September 1961, in the wake of the Belgrade Conference and at the height of the Berlin crisis, it dispatched emergency missions to Washington and Moscow, with Sukarno and Keita journeying to Washington and Nehru and Nkrumah flying to Moscow. Yet, by the decade's end, the movement had moved away from that mission. Paying particular attention to key turning points of the mid-1960s such as the 1964 Congo crisis and the Americanisation of the Vietnam War, this paper interprets the abandonment of cold war mediation as a product of the Vietnam War, rising anti-colonial sentiment, and organised non-alignment's corresponding shift toward a more militant stance on the world stage. This shift helped to foster a newly antagonistic relationship between the United States and the NAM.