War not on NATO mind, hopes unity show will calm US

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War not on NATO mind, hopes unity show will calm US


BRUSSELS, SEPTEMBER 13: DESPITE NATO’s unprecedented move to invoke a Cold War mutual Defence clause over Tuesday’s terror attacks, the alliance is not about to go to war.

Indeed many European allies hope their symbolic display of political solidarity may help restrain Washington from lashing out in ways they fear could inflame anti-Western passions in West Asia, diplomats said.

If military action does occur, it is more likely to be a US strike, perhaps with a few selected partners in supporting roles, than a collective NATO operation subject to the alliance’s cumbersome decision-making procedures, they said.

For the first time in its 52-year history, NATO invoked the key Article V of its founding treaty on Wednesday, declaring that the attacks on New York and Washington were an attack on all NATO members and could prompt a military response. But the allies left it up to the United States to determine the source of the attacks and request assistance if it chose.

‘‘The Council agreed that if it is determined that this was an attack directed from abroad against the United States, it shall be regarded as an action covered by Article V of the Washington Treaty,’’ the 19-nation NATO council said.

Since the mutual Defence clause, meant to deter a Soviet attack on Western Europe, has never been used before, there was some uncertainty about exactly what happens next. (Reuters)


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), September 14, 2001


The Israelis posed a similar question: Would they not do the very thing we are contemplating, or have already done, if it happened on their soil. WAKE UP EUROPE and the democracies of the world!!!!!

-- Steve McClendon (ke6bjd@yahoo.com), September 14, 2001.

I thought this was nothing more than a symbolic gesture.

-- Uncle Fred (dogboy45@bigfoot.com), September 14, 2001.

I just can't see the passive, appeasing Europeans - with the exception of Britain - following through on any commitments to help us.

-- Big Cheese (bigcheese@multimax.net), September 14, 2001.

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