Pacific Atlantic Treaty Organization?

otapJLF wonders whether NATO will have to consider extending its zone for collective defence (article 5) to the Pacific (Pacific NATO?).

“There are some reports that US Secretary-of-State Hillary Clinton is considering a Pacific-Atlantic Treaty Organisation or PATO.  Certainly, is hard to imagine a future conflict Asia-Pacific conflict that involves the US not demanding of Europeans at the very least solidarity.  But what woud that mean in a Pacific context?  It is certainly the emptiest and most over-used word one hears in Europe these days.  The Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘solidarity’ as “holding together, mutual dependence, community of interests, feelings and actions”.  For many Europeans it seems to mean, ‘you have an obligation to defend me and to give me your money for which I will do little or nothing in return”.  The asymmetric commitment to successive crises has rapidly undermined the ‘contracts’ at the core of both NATO and the EU…The 2010 NATO Strategic Concept states, “This Strategic Concept will guide the next phase in NATO’s evolution, so that it continues to be effective in a changing world, against new threats, with new capabilities and new partners”.  NATO is slowly beginning to grapple with the modernisation of Article 5 collective defence.  To be credible in this new age that will necessarily mean a NATO capable of generating the biggest of biggest security pictures.  It will also mean the creation of advanced deployable military forces reinforced by the defensive and offensive technologies of our time; missile defence, cyber-defence and global intelligence across five domains – air, sea, land, cyber and space.  Above all, it will require a complete overhaul of NATO’s strategic mindset so that everything the Alliance does is considered in the context of the world as it is, not the very narrow focus beloved of Europeans.  If not NATO will not die but slowly fade like the old soldier that it now is.”
Wayne Masden mulled the PATO idea here. Also see a similar report in the National Interest here. Nice idea, but I don’t see much hard evidence that it is going anywhere yet. I recently checked with Adm. Stavridis (current Supreme Allied Commander Europe) whether Guam comes inside the current definition of Article 5, and he replied as follows:

“My sense is that it would not in a formal sense, as the treaty creates geographic boundaries that cover the specific North Atlantic area and the territories “in North America and Europe.” However, in a broad sense if an ally’s forces were attacked anywhere in the world (including outside the treaty areas), the ally could invoke an Article 4 discussion.”

Here is the text from the North Atlantic Treaty: 
Article 4 
The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened. 

Article 5 
The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area. 
Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security . 

Article 6 (1) 
For the purpose of Article 5, an armed attack on one or more of the Parties is deemed to include an armed attack: 
on the territory of any of the Parties in Europe or North America, on the Algerian Departments of France (2), on the territory of or on the Islands under the jurisdiction of any of the Parties in the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer; 
on the forces, vessels, or aircraft of any of the Parties, when in or over these territories or any other area in Europe in which occupation forces of any of the Parties were stationed on the date when the Treaty entered into force or the Mediterranean Sea or the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer. 

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One response to “Pacific Atlantic Treaty Organization?

  1. NATO – Here is the text from the North Atlantic Treaty:
    Article 4
    The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened.

    Article 5
    The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.
    Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security .

    Article 6 (1)
    For the purpose of Article 5, an armed attack on one or more of the Parties is deemed to include an armed attack:
    on the territory of any of the Parties in Europe or North America, on the Algerian Departments of France (2), on the territory of or on the Islands under the jurisdiction of any of the Parties in the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer;
    on the forces, vessels, or aircraft of any of the Parties, when in or over these territories or any other area in Europe in which occupation forces of any of the Parties were stationed on the date when the Treaty entered into force or the Mediterranean Sea or the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer.

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