Poland row: What invoking NATO’s Article 4 means

Source: The post is based on the articlePoland row: What invoking NATO’s Article 4 means published in Indian Express on 20th November 2022.

What is the News?

NATO is in the eye of the storm after one of its member nations Poland said that a Russian missile killed two of its citizens.

What is NATO?

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What is Article 4 of NATO?

Article 4 of the NATO charter says that member states will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of another member is threatened.

It establishes a consultation mechanism among members to exchange views and information and discuss issues prior to reaching an agreement and taking action.

Member states are not obligated to act if Article 4 is invoked, although deliberations could result in a decision to take joint NATO action.

Article 4 has been invoked seven times since NATO was established in 1949. 

What is Article 5 of NATO?

Article 5 is a collective defense clause. It states that the parties to the NATO treaty agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.

It says that each member of NATO must take such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area. 

It also authorizes the alliance to launch an armed response, but the wording is broad and leaves room for other types of action.

This clause was only invoked once, after the attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001.

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