ARTICLE 5 OF NATO Syllabus GS Paper 2 – IR)

News-CRUX-10     14th February 2024        
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Context: The former U.S. President raised a storm of criticism from the White House and top Western officials for suggesting he would not defend NATO allies who failed to spend enough on defense and would even encourage Russia to attack them.


  • About: It is a military alliance established by the North Atlantic Treaty (also called the Washington Treaty) of April 1949, by the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations.
  • Countries: NATO currently has 31 members- most of them European nations, plus the United States and Canada. The newest member is Finland, which joined last April.
  • Founding members: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium.
  • Funding: NATO is funded by its members. The U.S. contributes roughly three-fourths of NATO's budget

What Is NATO's Article 5?

  • About: In Article 5 of the founding treaty, NATO members establish that an armed attack on any of them in Europe or North America is considered an attack against all.
  • Commitment to Assistance and Action: The treaty outlines the commitment of NATO members to assist the attacked party promptly, both individually and collectively, using necessary actions, including armed force.
  • Limitations: Article 5 falls short of guaranteeing an automatic military response to aid an ally under attack, relying instead on clear statements from political leaders to ensure its effectiveness.
  • Dependence on Political Endorsement: The strength of Article 5 hinges on political leaders explicitly backing it with actionable support, emphasizing the importance of verbal affirmation to reinforce the commitment.
  • Trump's Controversial Comments: During a time of heightened NATO concerns about Russia's intentions, Trump's remarks stirred controversy by suggesting a reluctance to take military action in defense of an ally, thereby undermining the assumed power of Article 5.