NATO Should Act in Europe’s Defense, Not Ukraine’s
Most Europeans support Ukraine but are reluctant to provide it arms or training to defend itself, a recent poll found. This reflects the ambiguous responses of European and NATO leadership. The Ukrainian crisis has revealed the political limits of the alliance, as leaders have been unable to promote the case for intervention.
Article 5 of the NATO treaty, which says that an attack on one NATO member is an attack on all, establishes the credibility of the alliance but its strict constraints have also prevented a clear strategy for defending nonmember nations. There needs to be a middle-way between Article 5 and a complete absence of reaction, especially when the security of NATO partners is affected.
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Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer is a senior trans-Atlantic fellow and the director of the Paris office of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.