Reports are coming in that on Monday France will invoke Article 5 of the NATO Mutual Defense Treaty. NATO’s collective defense clause compels all NATO members – including America – to fight alongside France against ISIS.
In response to Friday’s series of coordinated attacks across Paris, French President Francois Hollande declared on Saturday that France would respond with a “pitiless” war against the group responsible. Speaking from the Bataclan, the site of one of the attacks, he stated, “We are going to lead a war which will be pitiless.”
On Sunday, 10 French fighter jets pummeled the ISIS-held city of Raqqa with at least 20 bombs, according to the French defence ministry. Britain’s Mirror reported the jets hit a command and control center, jihadi recruitment center, munitions depot and a training camp.
ISIS is claiming responsibility for the Paris attacks. In an online statement in Arabic and French which authorities say appears to be genuine, the attacks are called a “miracle” carried out by “eight brothers wearing explosive vests and assault rifles.” The statement called Paris the “capital of abomination and perversion.”
The Guardian reports security analyst Charlie Winter said he has seen huge amounts of ISIS propaganda and he believes the statement is definitely from the group, though it was “put together hastily” and it is not clear whether the attacks that killed 127 people were directly ordered by ISIS or only inspired by the group.
International Business Times notes: “NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday the alliance would stand with France and remain ‘strong and united’ against terrorism. Although France hasn’t announced whether it will invoke Article 5, Stoltenberg told the Journal NATO’s members stand ready to assist. ‘The important thing is we support French authorities in their determination to deal with the terrorist threat,’ he said.”
“The defense clause of NATO’s founding treaty stipulates that if invoked, each of the members will assist the party attacked,” continues IB Times. “NATO’s military resources include more than 3 million troops under arms, 25,000 aircraft and 800 oceangoing warships, according to Foreign Policy. Economically, the alliance is also an intimidating force, representing more than 50 percent of global GDP. … The only time Article 5 has been invoked was after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the New York and Washington, which prompted NATO’s participation in the Afghanistan military mission. Should France become the second country to do so, ambassadors of the 28 nations would need to convene for consultation to determine a plan of action. The last country to request such a consultation was Turkey after attacks by ISIS in 2014.”
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Security expert Bruno Tertrais, senior research fellow with the Paris-based Fondation pour la Recherche Strategique (FRS), in speaking with DW, said, “I believe it is now time for a united front in Europe and along with our NATO allies to see whether we can coordinate better and act more vigorously against the jihadi terrorist threat in all its components. One of the things that will be discussed in the coming hours and days is whether or not the clauses of solidarity which exist in EU treaties and in the NATO treaty’s Article 5 should be called upon and put into effect. Certainly on the French side, there is a hope that our European friends and allies will also contribute to the military action against ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria in a more proactive way.”
If France involkes Article 5, it is essentially declaring war, not just an authorization for the use of military force.
However the situation is complicated by the fact that ISIS is based in Syria.
“Russia is defending Syria to assist Syrian President Bashar Assad,” notes SuperStation95. “When NATO goes to get ISIS, they will necessarily have to go into Syria … where Russia is defending. Will Russia relent and let NATO attack? Or will Russia decide this NATO action is a thinly disguised effort to unseat Bashar Assad, and cause Russia to battle NATO?”
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Tertrais noted that Paris-style attacks could happen in every major Western city.
“It does not really come as a surprise,” he said. “All the intelligence services and police knew that a major attack of the kind we had [on Friday] was not only possible, but almost likely. It is the kind of attack that police has tried to prevent for several years now, but it was absolutely not a surprise. Of course, it was a huge shock, especially because of the simultaneous nature of the attacks and the fact that for the first time ever, we had suicide bombers operating on the national territory.
“It’s the combination of a new modus operandi, the suicide attack, with the number and coordination of the attacks which is particularly troubling and shocking. But that is not even the worst thing. The worst thing is that they could be testing us for an even bigger attack; at least that is a hypothesis that some of the intelligence services are working on right now. This tells me that there is both the intent and the capability to try to do serious harm to the French republic. And if they were able to do that yesterday night, they unfortunately are able and likely to do it again. And I am certain that the French government is also working on that hypothesis.”
Speculation is strong that France’s declaration will usher in World War III.
According to SuperStation 95, currently high-level discussions are taking place in Congress about whether to intern all Muslims in America, similar to the way the Japanese were interned during World War II after the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941.
“According to well-placed sources in the Defense Department,” writes SuperStation 95, “inquiries have been made by staff from the congressional leadership, asking if the camps created under the REX-84 program in the mid-1980s are available for use? When told ‘Yes’ the congressional staff revealed that discussions are taking place among the highest levels of U.S. congressional leadership about possibly interning ALL Muslims in the United States. … The prevailing thinking is that Muslims of today represent a much more dangerous threat than the Japanese during World War 2 and if the U.S. is going to declare war upon ISIS, it may be necessary to control the Muslim population within the USA.”
Speculation about whether to intern Muslims in America go back as far as July, in the wake of the Chattanooga, Tennessee, shootings in which four Marines and a Navy petty officer were killed by a 24-year-old Muslim man.