“NATO” takes a balanced position on the “Poland missile” incident

“NATO” takes a balanced position on the “Poland missile” incident
“NATO” takes a balanced position on the “Poland missile” incident

“NATO” takes a balanced position on the “Poland missile” incident

Poland announced the day before yesterday that a Russian missile landed on its territory, killing two civilians. Initial information about the attack indicated that this incident could significantly complicate NATO’s strategic calculations regarding the war in Ukraine.

Poland is a NATO member in general and has a fierce anti-Russia bias in its strategic culture. Among the fundamental Articles on which NATO was based is Article 5, which contains an obligation for all members of the Alliance that “any attack on any of its countries shall be deemed an attack on all countries of the Alliance”. Putting all of these points together, it’s easy for the casual observer to say that NATO is on the verge of war.

See Kathleen J. Ines, senior fellow in the International Security Program at the US Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Daniel Fata, a nonresident advisor in the center’s International Security Program, said the missile attack was definitely not an intended one Russian attack on Polish soil, but rather a tragic accidental result of an attempt by Ukrainian forces to defend Kyiv in the face of enemy fire.

And although there were immediate calls from NATO to demonstrate alliance unity, it turned out that NATO did what it had to do: “Collect the facts, check what happened, consider prudent courses of action and breathe a sigh of relief . “

Fata and Innes, in an analysis published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said NATO has developed a progressive approach to assisting Ukraine while staying away from the war itself. NATO member states, individually, provided arms and military assistance to Ukraine, but the Alliance has limited its work to date to providing non-lethal support and is therefore not a party to the war.

However, war is inherently complex and full of disputes. It confuses people and causes systems to fail. Given that, and given the massive amounts of missiles Russia is raining down on Ukraine, it’s a bit odd that such an incident didn’t actually happen.

Establishing such a position demonstrates the unity of institutions like NATO. Rather than NATO immediately and inadvertently escalating the crisis, it and its members relied on decades-old institutional ties and relationships to achieve a balanced, fact-based approach to the situation.

“While (NATO) is known for its Article 5 collective defense commitment, another powerful means of action at its disposal is through the defense consultation mechanisms that are part of Article 5,” say Fata and Innes. These mechanisms allow Allies to form a common understanding of the situation and agree a coordinated NATO-level response to crises.

It is not clear whether Warsaw requested recourse to the Defense Consultation Mechanism after the missile attack. In the coming days, however, a meeting of NATO military leaders and officials to discuss what the alliance must do in the event of a future crisis of this nature will send a strong message to Putin that NATO is still united. The Alliance may also use the Consultation Mechanism to discuss and plan for dealing with adventitious or intended attacks on the territory of Allies.

NATO and its members drew on decades-old institutional ties and relationships to arrive at a balanced, fact-based approach to the situation.

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