Missile impact in Poland: That’s what articles four and five of the NATO treaty say

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Missile impact in PolandThat’s what articles four and five of the NATO treaty say

After a missile hit Poland, killing two people, NATO will hold an emergency meeting. There she could choose to activate article four or five.

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The Defense Alliance was founded in 1949: An F-16 fighter jet during a NATO exercise in Poland. (October 12, 2022)

AFP/Radoslaw Jozwiak

NATO is closely monitoring the situation in Poland: Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

NATO is closely monitoring the situation in Poland: Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

AFP/Kenzo Tribouillard

NATO can activate Articles Four and Five at its emergency meeting.

NATO can activate Articles Four and Five at its emergency meeting.

AFP/Kenzo Tribouillard

Articles four and five of the NATO founding treaty of April 4, 1949 are the basic elements of the defense alliance. Above all, article five is considered to be the heart – it regulates the so-called alliance case.

Article 4 states: “The Parties shall consult each other if, in the opinion of either Party, there is a threat to the territorial integrity, political independence or security of either Party.” This may not lead to specific reactions.

According to NATO information, the article has been used seven times since the founding of the alliance in 1949. The last time this happened was on February 24, 2022. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic applied for it.

Article 5 activated once

Article 5 provides that the Allies shall regard an armed attack against one or more of them as an attack against all. You agree to provide assistance. Specifically, this means that these are measures they consider necessary to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic region – including the use of force of arms.

Article 5 has only been activated once in NATO’s history, after the attacks of September 11, 2001. This led to Germany and other NATO countries joining the war against the Taliban and the al-Qaeda terrorist organization in Afghanistan. However, the wording of the article does not state that NATO countries would have to, for example, send their own troops to provide support. It only obliges you to immediately take the measures that the relevant NATO country deems necessary.

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(DPA/chk)

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