Message to Moscow – Cyber-Attack Could Trigger Full NATO ‘Article 5’ Response

U.S. Department of State from United States via Wikimedia Commons

Speaking online at the CYBERSEC conference in Poland at the end of September, Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană emphasized NATO’s new focus to be more ‘cyber-ready’ and ‘cyber-secure’. Significantly, he noted that NATO designated cyberspace as a separate military domain, alongside land, sea, air, and space, adding it as an attack vector to be defended against.

According to NATO Newsroom:

The Deputy Secretary General also noted that actors have used the current COVID-19 crisis to exploit vulnerabilities in cyber space and there has been an increase in malicious cyber activities since the start of the crisis. He said that it is therefore important for Allies to continue to better protect their cyber infrastructure and increase their resilience to novel threats.

To deal with this new threat, Geoană noted that NATO agreed to establish a Cyberspace Operations Centre at the heart of the Alliance’s military command structure, reported NATO Newsroom. More importantly – and fairly underreported – the Deputy Secretary General noted a major shift in Alliance policy, adding that:

“We agreed that a cyber-attack could trigger Article 5 of our founding treaty where an attack against one Ally is treated as an attack against all.”

The Article 5 ‘collective defense’ statute in the NATO charter is the key to the Alliance.

Elevating cyber attacks to the level of armed attack against NATO sends a clear message primarily to Moscow that NATO could respond as a united front if any of its members (such as the smaller Baltic nations) come under cyber-attack.

Cyber attacks are one of Russia’s preferred weapons in its hybrid warfare armory.

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Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank. - - PAULCRESPO.COM

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1 year ago

Splendid. It’s even easier to manipulate the population with a cyber false flag than with weapons of mass destruction.

1 year ago

NATO, all bark and no bite!

Linda Evans
Linda Evans
1 year ago
Reply to  Ray

NATO is our helper in time of trouble. NATO with America & God we will win

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