Security and Defence

Policy briefs

Article 5 revisited – Is NATO up to it?

29 Aug 2014 - 10:24
Bron: Flickr / Jane's Gascony

This Clingendael Policy Brief addresses the political and military implications of the Ukraine crisis and other rising threats for the NATO summit in Wales on 4 and 5 September.

Events in Ukraine pose fundamental questions about the Alliance's military and political ability to uphold its obligations to defend NATO's member states. Article 5 is suddenly back in the centre of everybody’s attention. However, is NATO up to it?

NATO's military readiness as well as political unity are questioned. Russian tactics in Georgia and Ukraine remain below the article 5 threshold of an 'armed attack against one or more' Allies, which means that not only a dusting off of conventional defence forces is required, but also a rethink as to whether NATO has the right tools and mind-set.

At the summit in Newport the Allies will have to rise to the challenge of translating the short-term response into a longer-term strategy, while simultaneously not neglecting ongoing needs for crisis management out-of-area.