NATO leaders on Monday will expand the use of their all for one, one for all, collective defense clause to include attacks in space, the military organization’s top civilian official said.
Article 5 of NATO’s founding treaty states that attack on any one of the 30 allies will be considered an attack on them all. So far, it’s only applied to more traditional military attacks on land, sea, or in the air, and more recently in cyberspace.
“I think it is important (with) our Article 5, which states that an attack on one will be regarded as an attack on all, that we all will respond,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said, at a German Marshall Fund think tank event.
“We will make it clear at this summit that, of course, any attack on space capabilities like satellites and so on or attacks from space will or could trigger Article 5,” he said, a few hours before chairing a summit with US President Joe Biden and his counterparts.
Around 2,000 satellites orbit the earth, over half operated by NATO countries, ensuring everything from mobile phone and banking services to weather forecasts. Military commanders rely on some of them to navigate, communicate, share intelligence and detect missile launches.
In December 2019, NATO leaders declared space to be the alliance’s “fifth domain” of operations, after land, sea, air and cyberspace. Many member countries are concerned about what they say is increasingly aggressive behavior in space by China and Russia.
Around 80 countries have satellites, and private companies are moving in, too. In the 1980s, just a fraction of NATO’s communications was via satellite. Today, it’s at least 40 percent. During the Cold War, NATO had more than 20 stations, but new technologies mean the world’s biggest security organization can double its coverage with a fifth of that number.
NATO’s collective defense clause has only been activated once, when the members rallied behind the United States following the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Former President Donald Trump raised deep concern among US allies, notably those bordering Russia like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, when he suggested that he might not rally to their side if they didn’t boost their defense budgets.
Biden has been trying to reassure them since taking office and will use the summit as a formal opportunity to underline America’s commitment to its European allies and Canada.
At NATO summit, Lithuania says Russia trying to ‘swallow’ BelarusLithuania told a summit of NATO leaders on Monday that Russia was trying to “swallow” Belarus and that the Western military alliance needed to be ... World News
NATO leaders to discuss Russian disinformation, China: MerkelLeaders of NATO countries will discuss topics including the challenges posed by Russia and China at their Brussels summit, German Chancellor Angela ... World News
US President Biden arrives in Brussels for NATO, EU summitsUS President Joe Biden arrived Sunday in Brussels for two days of summits with leaders from the NATO military alliance and the European Union.Biden, ... World News
Erdogan says he and Biden must leave troubles behind at NATO meetingTurkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said that he and US President Joe Biden must use a Monday meeting to move on from past troubles, including ... World News
With Trump gone, NATO wages war on climate threatIf the US military were a nation state, it would be the world’s forty-seventh largest emitter of planet-warming greenhouse gases, a 2019 study found. ... World News
Biden G7, NATO to-do list: Unite allies, fight autocracy, attack COVID-19 pandemicPresident Joe Biden’s meeting with leaders of the G7 leading industrial economies in an English seaside village this week will usher in a new focus on ... World News