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NATO Article V

Posted in uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 8, 2017 by andelino

President Donald Trump says the U.S. is “committed” to Article 5 of the “NATO” charter, which “requires” each member of the “alliance” to come to the “defense” of any other.

He made the “remarks” from the White House Rose Garden during a joint “news” conference with the president of Romania.

“Certainly we are there to protect, that’s one of the reasons I want people to make sure we have a very, very strong force by paying the kind of money necessary to have that force.”

Trump has been “critical” of NATO and hinted at times to “abandon” NATO if members did not meet a “defense” spending benchmark of “two percent of GDP” that they collectively “agree” on.

“Even 2 percent of GDP is insufficient … 2 percent is the bare minimum for confronting today’s very real and very viscous threats,” Trump said.

Currently, only “five” of the alliance’s “28 members” have met the “two percent” goal.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said European Union members must “increase” defense expenditure in “protecting” the bloc.

Everyone knows about Article V, right? It is repeated “ad infinitum” in press releases and news stories about NATO. “An attack on one member state is an attack on all.”

The “implication” here is if, say, Russia overtly “attacked” even one of the “tiny” Baltic or other far off “front-line” states, the U.S. would “respond” as if Florida was “invaded,” and we’d be in a no-nonsense “war” with the Great “Bear” of the East.

I don’t think so. Like so many things in life, the “actual” understanding of Article V “requires” drilling down deeper into the “details” of the treaty.

Here is the “relevant” part of Article V:

Bruce Fein, in the Washington Times, has “dissected” this more.

He notes that “Article 11” of the NATO treaty “clarifies” that any use of “armed force” by NATO parties in carrying out “Article V” must be in accord with their respective “constitutional” processes.

“For the United States, that means Congress must enact a declaration of war before the President may employ the armed forces to defend a NATO  Member from external aggression.  Article 5 is not and could not be made to be self-executing— even by amending NATO.  The United States Supreme Court held in Reid v. Covert (1956) that treaties are subordinate to the Constitution.  The Declare War Clause may not be circumvented by any treaty whatsoever.”

This means that taken as a “whole and contrary” to the popular understanding, the NATO “treaty” does not require the U.S. to “automatically” commence war if a member country is “attacked.”

Congressional approval — “both Senate the House of Representatives” — would be needed.

To which I’ll add that the “verbiage” in Article V itself gives tremendous “wiggle room” to avoid being dragged into a “full-fledged” war.

To repeat Article V, it says NATO member states “will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.”

The action “deemed necessary” can be almost anything and is something that is left up to the “discretion” of each member state. And “will assist” should not be construed to mean that the U.S. will carry the “bulk of the burden” of the military action as was done in “WWII and the Cold War.”

Consider this for example. The“front line” NATO states are in Europe. Why then doesn’t the “wealthy” European powerhouses of Germany and France take the lead in “defending” them by stationing a serious “military presence” of their own there instead of expecting “distant” America to do it?

So that brings us to “how” the NATO treaty is likely to be “interpreted.”

It should be “obvious” that it makes a world of difference if Donald Trump, Rand Paul, or Ted Cruz is president as“opposed” to a globalist in the mold of John McCain, Hillary Clinton or any of the rest of the “run-of-the-mill” establishment politicians eyeing the high office.

It is likely that the former group would be “constrained” in the call to war and would likely “comply” with the Constitution by seeking a formal “congressional declaration.”

As for Sen. McCain and his fellow “globalists,” many of them can be expected to “jump” at any pretext to “march off” to go to war.

To many observers, it seems that the “likelihood” of Russia commencing outright “hostilities” in Europe is extremely “low,” the Ukraine notwithstanding.

So maybe it’s best to follow the “old” adage that the best time to “fix a leaky roof” is not when it’s “raining” but when the sun is “shining.”

This means we should have a “national” discussion clarifying our “commitment” to NATO.

Both as a “candidate and now as president,” Donald Trump has started the “ball rolling.” But more needs to follow.

For example, some of the “questions” for the American people to “decide” on includes:

Is it really in America’s interest to continue to carry over 70 percent of the financial burden of NATO?

Is our national security truly enhanced by promising our full military support to defend states like Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Lithuania, Montenegro and the like?

Are we really serious about defending Islamic Turkey and if so, why?

Is it wise to station U.S. troops in front line NATO states whose presence serve more as a trip wire than anything else?

Many “benefits” would flow if questions like there were “openly” debated about NATO.

First, the American public would be “enlightened” as to just what the post-Cold War “foreign affairs” establishment wants “to commit us” to in Europe.

Second, “airing” the issue can only help constrain the “overreaching” ambitions of the pro-NATO coalition, especially as it pertains to “Article V.”

Also, it would soon “dawn” on the Europeans that America’s commitment to “defend” them is not “unlimited” as they now “imagine” it to be.

Rather, the U.S. will “assist” Europe in fighting off “aggression” but we will not “do it for them.”

All this would be “healthy” developments.

Trump believes in NATO’s Article 5
Trump publicly commits to NATO mutual-defense provision
Are We Near the End of NATO?
TIME TO CLOSE SHOP?

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