Is NATO the War on Terrorism's Greatest Victim?

As wars end, diplomatic and political autopsies begin. It is too soon to draw firm conclusions about the ``war on terrorism'' as waged in Afghanistan. But it is not too early to draw other preliminary conclusions. One concerns the almost revolutionary changes now being contemplated in NATO's relations with Russia. Less visible is the deep and self-inflicted wound that, I suspect, has opened within NATO itself.

From the beginning of this crisis, on September 11 th , NATO's European members (as well as other countries, of course) promptly lined up with the US in moral and political solidarity, and with offers of cooperation. For the first time since NATO's founding, Article 5 of the Washington Treaty was invoked.

The Washington Treaty was signed half a century ago to meet the Soviet threat at the Cold War's outset. Article 5 is the Treaty's keystone, because it says that an attack against one member of the alliance shall be considered an attack against them all. This article distinguishes NATO from virtually any other defensive alliance in human history, in the sense that it incorporated an open-ended guarantee of collective defence. Until September 11 th , it had never been activated.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To access our archive, please log in or register now and read two articles from our archive every month for free. For unlimited access to our archive, as well as to the unrivaled analysis of PS On Point, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/ve6knLj;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.