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News Would a Retaliatory Strike Trigger Article 5?

  1. Feb 4, 2016 #1

    lisab

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    Suppose a NATO country makes a first-strike against a non-NATO country. If that non-NATO country strikes back in an armed attack, is that considered an attack against all NATO countries?

    In other words, would an armed attack on a NATO country that is a retaliatory strike trigger Article 5?

    http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_17120.htm

    Consider the phrase " if such an armed attack occurs, each of them...will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith...such action as it deems necessary...". The use of "will assist" instead of "shall assist", and the phrase "...as it deems necessary" -- do these phrases give an out to NATO to not attack?
     
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  3. Feb 4, 2016 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    There's always an out. "Yes, the treaty says we will. But we won't. Suck it up." So I think the answer is "it depends on what the member states think".
     
  4. Feb 5, 2016 #3

    Hepth

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    Yep, I read " each of them will assist the Party attacked by taking such action as it deems necessary to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area."

    If one doesn't deem it necessary to lift a finger, I don't see why they would be obliged.
     
  5. Feb 5, 2016 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    It also may be worth pointing out the historically first strikes have been portrayed as retaliatory by their initiators. The 1939 German invasion of Poland was in "retaliation" for the Gleiwitz Incident.
     
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