The Big Ideas

'NATO's Shifting Focus to China'

Politico China Direct | Politico EU

Stuart Lau | Politico EU
'NATO's Shifting Focus to China'
'NATO's Shifting Focus to China'
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Another World War: Could NATO Be Brought into a U.S. Conflict with China?

March 4, 2021
BIG IDEA | ‘Consider, for example, a war escalating over the defense of Taiwan. “We should not forget that the main member state in NATO, the United States, is not only a transatlantic nation, but also a Pacific nation. And the question is, if at a certain stage, the U.S. were to be threatened by China, would that invoke Article 5 in the treaty?"'
' "In principle, yes, because it states that an attack on one ally should be considered an attack on all allies, and that goes for the U.S. as well,” said former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.’  

My Take

Throughout history treaty alliances have been responsible for the escalation of what would have been relatively minor conflicts into major wars.

President Biden has reaffirmed that if Japan enters an armed coflict with China over the Senkaku/Diaoyutai Islands, it falls under the mutual defense treaty.

And now the former head of NATO suggests that alliance countries would come to America’s defense if the U.S. and China come to blows.

While neither of these scenarios is likely to happen, the treaty arrangements themselves add greatly to the risks inherent in either one and make the possibility of a world war among nuclear-armed adversaries a real one.