Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty stipulates that if an ally is attacked, the other signed parties must consider it an attack against itself. Article 5 has only been invoked once, after the September 11 attacks. Now many question whether France will invoke the article after a terrorist attack on Friday.
An Article 5 invocation would come after a summit as required by Article 4. Regarding the similarity to 9/11, Admiral James Stavridis told NPR that “I do [think that], and I think the French very much do. Any nation of the 28 in NATO has the authority to request an Article 4 consultation, which leads to an Article 5 declaration. I think France will do that.”
French President Francois Hollande referred to the attack as an “act of war” and has started airstrikes against ISIS targets. Article 5 invocation would cause the other allies to join the fight against ISIS and strike back.
In America, two presidential candidates called on Article 5 to be invoked. Governor John Kasich (R) and Senator Marco Rubio (R) both advocated for its use.
TKNN reached out to the French government for comment, but there was no response at publication.