NATO countries ready to jointly respond to attacks in space
BRUSSELS – NATO leaders will extend the use of their all-for-one, one-for-all collective defense clause to attacks in space on Monday, the military organization’s top civilian official said.
Article 5 of the founding treaty of NATO stipulates that an attack against one of the 30 allies will be considered as an attack against all. So far, it has 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 considered an attack on all, that we will all respond,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, at a meeting of the German Marshall Fund. tank event.
“We will make it clear at this summit that, of course, any attack on space capabilities like satellites etc. or attacks from space will or could trigger Article 5,” he said. hours before chairing a summit with US President Joe. Biden and his counterparts.
About 2,000 satellites orbiting the earth, more than half of which are operated by NATO countries, provide 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 the alliance’s “fifth area” of operations, after land, sea, air and cyberspace. Many member countries are concerned about what they say is increasingly aggressive behavior in the China-Russia space.
About 80 countries have satellites and private companies are also setting up shop there. In the 1980s, only a fraction of NATO communications was via satellite. Today it is at least 40%. During the Cold War, NATO had more than 20 stations, but new technologies allow the world’s largest security organization to double its coverage to a fifth of that number.
NATO’s collective defense clause was only activated once, when members rallied to the United States following the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Former President Donald Trump sparked serious concern among US allies, especially those bordering Russia like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, when he suggested he might not rally to them if they did not increase their defense budgets.
Biden has been trying to reassure them since taking office and will use the summit as a formal opportunity to underscore America’s commitment to its European allies and Canada.
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