OPINION | Paris, The Article 5 Territory Under Attack
IndraStra Global

OPINION | Paris, The Article 5 Territory Under Attack

By IndraStra Global Editorial Team

Friday the 13th, 2015 - the "Blackest Friday" in the history of France ever been documented in the era of highly inter-connected world. But, will it change the French policies towards ISIS? The answer is big no. But, of-course the structure of EU-NATO security framework has been greatly suffered.

OPINION | Paris, The Article 5 Territory Under Attack

According to Article 5, North Atlantic Treaty, Washington D.C. April 4, 1949 

"The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will 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.

Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security." 

The History:

From its earliest days, NATO remained a largely benign presence coordinating humanitarian aid and, most importantly, standing as a symbolic reminder to the USSR. NATO's original goals were largely accomplished when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 eliminating any threat of a Soviet invasion of Europe. 
With the addition of central and eastern European countries, NATO's membership stretched beyond the Balkans to include Bulgaria and Turkey. As the Soviet block disintegrated, rather than accept the glory of Mission Accomplished, NATO justified its continued existence as it adopted a curiously prescient Strategic Concept policy which identified 'complex new risks to Euro-Atlantic peace and security." 

Institutionalized relations between NATO and the European Union (EU) were launched in 2001, building on steps taken during the 1990s to promote greater European responsibility in defence matters (NATO-Western European Union cooperation). The political principles underlying the relationship were set out in the December 2002 NATO-EU Declaration on a European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). The declaration also reaffirmed EU assured access to NATO’s planning capabilities for the EU’s own military operations. Later, the so-called “Berlin Plus” arrangements set the basis for the Alliance to support EU-led operations in which NATO as a whole is not engaged.

NATO’s Strategic Concept clearly advocates for an active and effective EU contribution to the overall security of the Euro-Atlantic area. However, the yesterday's attack proved it otherwise. The European Union’s Lisbon Treaty (in force end 2009) provides a framework for strengthening the EU’s capacities to address common security challenges. And, Arab countries which are happens to be Non-EU European Allies do make a significant contribution to these efforts by building mosques across EU, bizarre, but that's the utmost contribution they have offered to EU yet. For the strategic partnership between NATO and the EU, their fullest involvement in these efforts is essential but not visible.

EU or NATO : Only One Can Survive

In April 2011, France temporarily re-imposed border checks with Italy, after the political unrest unleashed by the Arab Spring led to a rise in uncontrolled migration from Tunisia to the small Italian island of Lampedusa and to Puglia. The number of arrivals was large but manageable, eventually peaking at around 48,000 migrants. Nevertheless, Roberto Maroni, Italy’s then Interior Minister, demanded a major intervention from other EU countries to help deal with the influx, claiming that a “human tsunami” was underway from North Africa. This exaggerated rhetoric was part of a strategy to pressure neighboring France into taking in the French-speaking migrants from its former colony. Maroni issued newly-arrived Tunisians with residency papers, giving them the right to move freely around the Schengen area. The French authorities responded by re-instating checkpoints between the two countries and halting trains traveling from the northern Italian town of Ventimiglia, the last town before the border. In the end, this dispute proved to be minor. It was resolved swiftly at a bilateral summit the same month between the leaders of the two countries, Silvio Berlusconi and Nicolas Sarkozy. But the political impact reverberated throughout the EU because Maroni’s tactics alarmed other Schengen members including Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

Unlike Germany and  France, most of the NATO allies are not showing their clear intentions to meet the 2% (percent) commitment based spending of their GDP in Europe's security. We do agree, with Europe’s sluggish growth and continued uncertainty about the economic future after the euro crisis, economic considerations will remain key factors for Europeans’ under performance against the 2% (percent) metric.This metrics has all the ingredients to touch on all aspects of European security that matter. And this is why, despite its considerable conceptual flaws, the 2 percent metric will remain indispensable in Europe’s political discourse for the foreseeable future in terms of overall security.

It's quite visible, EU's internal policies are effecting NATO's operational policies, And, the collapse of the former is imminent due to lack of decision makers and takers. 

 In the above video, which was released in November 2014, the men symbolically burn their French passports as they urge their fellow Muslims to kill people in France “in the name of Allah” if they are unable to travel to Syria or Iraq. They denounce the Western ideas of secularism and democracy, and declare the West as full of “Taghut“, or idol worshipers.

Give More Power to EUROSUR Network:

EU's Eurosur is the information-exchange framework designed to improve the management of Europe’s external borders.The Warsaw-based agency is tasked with analysing the “European situational picture” - information collected and inserted into the system by member states. It aims to support Member States by increasing their situational awareness and reaction capability in combating cross-border crime, tackling irregular migration and preventing loss of migrant lives at sea. The program was put into effect by the European parliament on October 10th 2013. On December 2nd 2013, Eurosur was started in 18 EU member states and Norway.

The backbone of Eurosur is a network of National Coordination Centres (NCCs). Each member state establishes an NCC, which groups the authorities responsible for border control in a given member state. The main role of the NCC is to coordinate the border surveillance activities on national level and serve as a hub for the exchange of information.The NCCs collect local and national information about what takes place at the border, including illegal border crossings and criminal activity. The data processed by the NCC personnel creates a national situational picture. The NCCs are also responsible for sharing the relevant information with other member states and Frontex. Based on this input and information from other sources, Frontex creates the European situational picture and the common pre-frontier intelligence picture (focused on areas beyond the Schengen Area and EU borders).The two pictures created by Frontex contain information on the events that recently took place at the borders, operational activities and analysis. These are created and maintained by Frontex and shared with Member States through the NCC network.

As the industry for border security expands, and EU integration continues, relations between the EU institutions, EU Member States, academia, consultancies, industry, and industrial lobbyists are being forged into policy networks. A major political question surrounding the border management industry has been the question of transparency and accountability of democratic institutions tasked with designing security, establishing norms, and executing law.

In case of France, which has a long history of Islamist terrorism going back to 1986 and 1995; it did not wait until 2001 to develop its own police and judiciary response, which was heavy-handed enough to spare the country from new deadly attacks until 2012. Intelligence gathering was part of this response. In July 2015, France's highest constitutional authority finally approved a controversial bill that significantly expands the government's surveillance powers. In a decision handed down Thursday night, the Constitutional Council ruled that all but three of the bill's provisions are in line with the French constitution, allowing the law to go into effect despite vehement opposition from civil liberties groups. It has been a fierce and public debate. The bill’s opponents — civil liberties groups, environmental parties, the data protection agency and tech companies — criticize it for allowing “mass surveillance” without sufficient safeguards. The Friday the 13th, Paris Terror Attacks had close the lid on all the questions till further notice. 


Since 1949, the United States has been the guarantee power of (Western) Europe. By means of its nuclear weapons arsenal and a massive troop presence across the continent, U.S. extended deterrence was designed to keep its European allies safe from territorial invasion and political blackmail. After the end of the Cold War, the U.S. security guarantee stayed in place and was even extended to parts of Europe that had hitherto been excluded from it. NATO, as a political organization, was conceived to administer this security guarantee and make the Europeans themselves stakeholders in it. This fundamental principle of the political order of Europe has never been abandoned and remains in place till today. However, on other hand the Russians are evolving at lightening speed. It should be also noted, the borders are essentially elastic in nature. They have always been tightened or loosened in response to domestic political imperatives, large influxes of migrants or economic circumstances. And whatever the present concerns of EU citizens over immigration, few voters would be content to return to a Europe where they are confronted with national frontiers when they commute to work, go on holiday or travel to other Schengen countries on business. But it was hoped that their governments would never allow matters to reach that point, but Friday the 13th came too soon in the history of France and EU.

Not unlike the Musketeers' petty quarrels, bruised personal-cum-political egos and imagined slights that culminated in continuous duels and conflicts, Yes, Article 5 creates a fraternity of omnipotent nations, bound together by an almost effortlessly,but it's necessary because of EU's inability to take collective decisions. Current odds favor that, given an unprecedented proliferation of weapons sales as a highly profitable global business, increased international geopolitical tensions, economic catastrophes and a diminished commitment to diplomacy, Article 5 will provide the rationale for a constant state of combat guaranteed. As the Alliance renounces the war-as-a-last-resort option, Article 5 is embedded as standard operating procedure. A remnant of the Cold War, a 'collective defensive' strategy is going to remain as an only appropriate tactic for 21st century international policy of European nations. 


1. NATO Treaty Articles - http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_17120.htm

2. EUROSUR by Frontex - http://frontex.europa.eu/intelligence/eurosur/

3. The Schengen Crisis in the Framework of the Arab Spring by Hugo Brady Senior Research Fellow Centre for European Reform, London - [Pdf]

4. The Politics of 2 Percent: NATO and the Security Vacuum in Europe by Jan Techau - [Link]

5. The annual report of the European Defense Agency publicly lists some of these indicators, in a simplified form. NATO could easily do the same. European Defense Agency, Annual Report 2014 (Brussels: European Defense Agency, 2015), www.eda.europa.eu/docs/default-source/eda-annual-reports/eda-annual-report-2014.

6. EU border surveillance system not helping to save lives By NIKOLAJ NIELSEN - https://euobserver.com/justice/124136

7. OPINION | The Business of Militarized Borders in the European Union by Theodore Baird - [Link]