NATO, the ever-expanding military alliance, is now including attacks in space as a potential reason to trigger a war with all 30 of its members.
In a statement issued on Monday’s summit in Brussels, NATO leaders said attacks in or from space could lead to the alliance invoking Article 5, which states that an attack on one NATO member is an attack on them all.
“We consider that attacks to, from, or within space present a clear challenge to the security of the Alliance,” the NATO leaders said. “Such attacks could lead to the invocation of Article 5. A decision as to when such attacks would lead to the invocation of Article 5 would be taken by the North Atlantic Council on a case-by-case basis.”
Ahead of the summit in Brussels, President Biden described the US commitment to Article 5 as a “sacred obligation.” While NATO has fought several offensive wars since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the only time Article 5 was invoked was after the September 11th attacks.
Up to this point, Article 5 applied to traditional land, sea, or air attacks, and the alliance recently added cyberspace as another tripwire for war. In 2019, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg threatened to invoke Article 5 for major cyberattacks against an ally.
In December 2019, the same month the US created Space Force, NATO added space to its “domains” of operations. The US desire to militarize space is reflected in President Biden’s requested budget for military spending in 2022. Space Force requested $17.4 billion for 2022, which marks a 13 percent increase from this year. The increase in Space Force spending comes as other military branches are taking cuts.