NATO publicly released a policy on space for the first time Monday that says any attack on an allies’ assets in space is considered an assault on the alliance and could trigger a war with all of its members.
The policy says that NATO allies agreed during the 2021 Brussels summit that any “attacks to, from, or within space present a clear challenge to the security of the Alliance … Such attacks could lead to the invocation of Article 5.”
Article 5 refers to the NATO “collective defense” clause, which states an attack on a NATO member is an attack on the entire alliance. This means an attack on a space satellite or other space infrastructure could trigger a response from all 30 NATO members, although the policy appears to be intentionally vague.
“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,” the policy reads. The policy formalizes a joint statement released last year by NATO leaders after the Brussels summit and is part of the US-led push to militarize space.
NATO first added space to its list of “domains” of operations in December 2019, the same month the US created Space Force. Since its inception, Space Force and other US military leaders have been busy hyping up the threat of Russia and China in the new war-fighting domain.
While they are portrayed as a threat in space, in 2008, China and Russia proposed an international treaty that would ban weapons in space. The US rejected the treaty, but Beijing has recently renewed its call for Washington to join China and Russia in talks to prevent an arms race in space.