New Research Division Publication - Article 5 of the Washington Treaty: Its Origins, Meaning and Future

  • 11 May. 2016
  • |
  • Last updated: 12 Jan. 2017 18:33

Research Paper 130

Dear Reader,

Article 5 of the Washington Treaty is often considered the heart of NATO’s security commitments to one another, reflecting the “all for one and one for all” nature of the Alliance. NATO’s renewed focus today on collective defense in a changed security environment demands that the organization and its member States are fully cognizant of the exact significance of Article 5 of the Washington treaty, and think about possible evolutions of its interpretation. This paper describes the origins and meaning of Article 5, raises questions about the implications of such a commitment, including the problem of declaring “red lines,” and makes suggestions for the future.

I hope you enjoy reading about this critical aspect of the Alliance and the level of commitment it entails for a member state.

Regards,

Jeff

Jeffrey A. Larsen, PhD, Division Head Research


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