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Help Ukrainians survive the war: LifeFunder

BRUSSELS, Belgium (LifeSiteNews) – A cyberattack could theoretically suffice to entangle the allied nations of NATO into open military conflict, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday as tensions continue to intensify over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We have stated that cyberattacks can trigger Article 5, but we have never gone into the position where we give a potential adversary the privilege of defining exactly when we trigger Article 5,” Stoltenberg said Friday. “We are focused on strengthening our cyber defenses, we are very much aware that that’s a risk, and therefore we are stepping up, both the protection of our cyber networks but also [inaudible] support Ukraine, and we are very focused on the need for de-confliction.”

Article 5 of NATO’s charter holds that member nations, which include the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, shall consider an armed attack on all NATO members to be an armed attack on all members, obligating all members to “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.”

Ukraine is not a NATO member, but U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) suggested Thursday that a Russian cyberattack on the country could “very likely… turn off the power in eastern Poland, in eastern Romania,” which in turn could harm American soldiers stationed in the region. It’s unclear whether such a chain of events would be interpreted by NATO as qualifying, but Warner warned that “we are in totally unpredictable territory.” 

The senator also raised the possibility of Russian President Vladimir Putin hitting the U.S. with a cyberattack directly, perhaps in retaliation for U.S. led sanctions against the Kremlin.

“But Article Five is not a mechanical mechanism,” Fox News’s Tucker Carlson responded. “Human beings have to decide to invoke it and the question is: Is what the senator just described something that is worth risking a nuclear conflict over? And that is something we should pause very deeply to think about in the most sober possible way, and we hope that our leaders are.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has elicited vigorous debate over whether President Joe Biden’s softer approach to the Kremlin than former President Donald Trump’s emboldened Russia to act, as well as divided American conservatives as to what interest, if any, the United States has in the outcome. Carlson has emerged as a prominent voice against intervention; Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) argues that the outcome should be of concern for Americans due to the precedent it will set for other expansion-minded regimes such as China.