NATO Says It Might Now Have Grounds to Attack Russia

by Eric Zuesse, via The Saker

On Tuesday, June 14th, NATO announced that if a NATO member country becomes the victim of a cyber attack by persons in a non-NATO country such as Russia or China, then NATO’s Article V “collective defense” provision requires each NATO member country to join that NATO member country if it decides to strike back against the attacking country. The preliminary decision for this was made two years ago after Crimea abandoned Ukraine and rejoined Russia, of which it had been a part until involuntarily transferred to Ukraine by the Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev in 1954. That NATO decision was made in anticipation of Ukraine’s ultimately becoming a NATO member country, which still hasn’t happened. However, only now is NATO declaring cyber war itself to be included as real “war” under the NATO Treaty’s “collective defense” provision.
NATO is now alleging that because Russian hackers had copied the emails on Hillary Clinton’s home computer, this action of someone in Russia taking advantage of her having privatized her U.S. State Department communications to her unsecured home computer and of such a Russian’s then snooping into the U.S. State Department business that was stored on it, might constitute a Russian attack against the United States of America, and would, if the U.S. President declares it to be a Russian invasion of the U.S., trigger NATO’s mutual-defense clause and so require all NATO nations to join with the U.S. government in going to war against Russia, if the U.S. government so decides.
NATO had produced in 2013 (prior to the take-over of Ukraine) an informational propaganda video alleging that “cyberattacks” by people in Russia or in China that can compromise U.S. national security, could spark an invasion by NATO, if the U.S. President decides that the cyberattack was a hostile act by the Russian or Chinese government. In the video, a British national-security expert notes that this would be an “eminently political decison” for the U.S. President to make, which can be made only by the U.S. President, and which only that person possesses the legal authority to make. NATO, by producing this video, made clear that any NATO-member nation’s leader who can claim that his or her nation has been ‘attacked’ by Russia, possesses the power to initiate a NATO war against Russia. In the current instance, it would be U.S. President Barack Obama. However, this video also said that NATO could not automatically accept such a head-of-state’s allegation calling the cyber-attack an invasion, but instead the country that’s being alleged to have perpetrated the attack would have to have claimed, or else been proven, to have carried it out. With the new NATO policy, which was announced on June 14th, in which a cyber-attack qualifies automatically as constituting “war” just like any traditional attack, such a claim or proof of the target-nation’s guilt might no longer be necessary. But this has been left vague in the published news reports about it.
In the context of the June 14th NATO announcement that cyberwar is on the same status as physical war, Obama might declare the U.S. to have been invaded by Russia when former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s State Department emails were copied by someone in Russia.
It’s a hot issue now between Russia and the United States, and so, for example, on the same day, June 14th, Reuters headlined “Moscow denies Russian involvement in U.S. DNC hacking”, and reported that:

Russia on Tuesday denied involvement in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee database that U.S. sources said gained access to all opposition research on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.”

In previous times, espionage was treated as being part of warfare, and, after revelations became public that the U.S. was listening in on the phone conversations of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, espionage has become recognized as being simply a part of routine diplomacy (at least for the United States); but, now, under the new NATO policy, it might be treated as being equivalent to a physical invasion by an enemy nation.
At the upcoming July 8th-9th NATO Summit meeting, which will be happening in the context of NATO’s biggest-ever military exercises on and near the borders of Russia, called “Atlantic Resolve”, prospective NATO plans to invade Russia might be discussed in order to arrive at a consensus plan for the entire alliance. However, even if that happens, it wouldn’t be made public, because war-plans never are.
The origin of this stand-off between the U.S. and Russia goes back to promises that the West had made in 1990 to the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, not to expand NATO up to the borders of Russia, and the West’s subsequent violations of those repeatedly made promises. Gorbachev disbanded the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact, on the basis of those false assurances from Western leaders.
Thus, Russia is surrounded now by enemies, including former Warsaw Pact nations and even some former regions of the Soviet Union itself, such as Ukraine and the Baltic republics, which now host NATO forces. NATO is interpreting Russia’s acceptance of the Crimeans’ desire to abandon Ukraine and rejoin Russia following the 2014 Ukrainian coup, as constituting a showing of an intent by Russia to invade NATO nations that had formerly been part of the Soviet Union and of the Warsaw Pact, such as Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia; and this is the alleged reason for America’s Operation Atlantic Resolve, and the steep increase in U.S. troops and weapons in those nations that border on Russia.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.


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Categories: empire watch, latest, Ukraine
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Jun 19, 2016 5:45 PM

Just a thought, when it was found out that the US/UK coalition was listening in to Angela Merkels phone,
Would this have been sufficient cause for the European army to invade Britain?

Eurasia News Online
Eurasia News Online
Jun 19, 2016 9:00 AM

Reblogged this on Eurasia News Online.

Brian Harry, Australia
Brian Harry, Australia
Jun 16, 2016 11:02 PM

“might constitute a Russian attack against the United States of America, and would, if the U.S. President declares it to be a Russian invasion of the U.S., trigger NATO’s mutual-defense clause and so require all NATO nations to join with the U.S. government in going to war against Russia, if the U.S. government so decides”.
Sounds remarkably like the American claims that “A US ship in the Gulf of Tonkin was attacked by the Vietnamese”……or, “Iraq has weapons of Mass Destruction, and could launch a nuclear attack within 45 minutes notice” Blah blah blah…………..
I suppose some highly paid “Legal Eagle” in the Pentagon, whose job it is to find statements made by “America’s enemies” and build a case for American retaliation against “terrorist aggression”
We’re ALL being drowned in Bullshit, by the Military Industrial Complex, and the corporate owned(bought and paid for) Mainstream Media.

Jun 16, 2016 4:54 PM

Reblogged this on Worldtruth and commented:
Well one contrived, lame and pathetic excuse is as good as another, right? With regard to NATO, they have been trying to find any excuse to stop Russia from trading with other countries and their solution was always yet another war. Be it on their own head, or more to the point – OURS!

Jun 16, 2016 1:53 PM

I too am rather sceptical about this report. Of course, the NATO video is ridiculous, using graphics to show Moscow as flying a piratical black flag with the skull and crossbones, as well as linking-in completely unrelated incidents. All absurd! A minor NATO member – Turkey – has already tried to drag NATO into the conflict in Syria – and failed. More worrying is the fact that “Israel” now appears to have some sort of semi-detached status within NATO. Just what sort of devilish mischief might they provoke? Ultimately, the good sense of the people and – to a lesser extent – the politicians in the West will prevail. When Cameron tried to gain approval for military action in Syria, he was turned down. This, in turn, led to Obama abandoning a similar course of action in the United States. I know they are still trying fruitlessly to be involved… Read more »

Jun 16, 2016 4:59 PM
Reply to  John

Are you aware that the UK now has boots on the ground in Syria? Something that was not even mentioned in Parliament let alone secured by a vote.

Jun 17, 2016 12:35 AM
Reply to  mohandeer

I am fully aware that the UK has around 200 to 300 special forces in Syria, as do the US and – possibly – the French too. They also have small numbers of troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya – which I also mentioned in my posting above. However, in all of these cases, neither the UK, US or France are making a big deal out of it. That is because such deployments do not possess any democratic sanction to them. The authorities in the UK, US and France know they have no democratic support for such actions. That is why they have been deployed covertly rather than overtly, Cameron, Obama and Hollande each know they do not have popular support for such policies. Any attempt on their part to launch attacks against Russia on any scale would see mass protests in their cities. Once November comes around, it will… Read more »

Jun 16, 2016 1:47 PM

Reblogged this on EU: Ramshackle Empire.

Brad Benson
Brad Benson
Jun 16, 2016 1:20 PM

This is not a criticism and I respect your work. However, there was nothing in the link provided that stated that NATO had declared anything about Hillary’s Emails or her private server. It was about the DNC being hacked and they did not use Hillary’s personal server, which has now been turned over to the FBI.
I may have missed it in the linked article, but that statement is misleading unless I did. Please cite the quote from the article if I am wrong.

Jun 16, 2016 5:01 PM
Reply to  Brad Benson

It was indeed the DNC which the US has taken exception to and cited as a supposedly plausible reason for attacking Russia.

Jun 17, 2016 12:48 AM
Reply to  Brad Benson

I don’t think it now matters where the Russian hackers might have copied those emails of Hillary Clinton’s, whether they were copied directly from her private email server or through other databases that got hold of the hacked emails. The fact that the emails have now ended up in the hands of Russian-based hackers is sufficient for NATO to liberally interpret Article 5 of its founding treaty to declare war on Russia. This is all within the context of NATO finding any excuse to invade Russia to satisfy an agenda that the general public in the West knows nothing about.
This act by NATO helpfully obscures the real issue that Hillary Clinton set up a private email server to conduct email correspondence away from US State Department scrutiny and that she should have known that doing so was a security risk and therefore illegal and criminal.