Stavridis: Activate NATO Against ISIS and Invite Russia to Participate

November 16, 2015

The question of whether or not France will request the activation of NATO, under NATO's Article 5 collective defense provision, in the aftermath of the Nov. 13 terror attacks in Paris, is now an open one. Retired Admiral James Stavridis, a former commander of NATO and the current dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, writes in a Nov. 14 article on the website of the journal, Foreign Policy, that France should invoke Article 5 and that NATO must now join the fight against ISIS.

Adm. Stavridis writes: "Paris would be within its rights to expect NATO to play a meaningful role in organizing a significant military response to the attacks...The fundamental purpose of a NATO mission should be to defeat the Islamic State in Syria and destroy the infrastructure it has created there." Stavridis then lays out the steps that NATO should take, including going to the UN Security Council.

Stavridis goes a step further, however, and calls for inviting Russia to participate in this NATO mission. NATO should emphasize that it is building an 'open coalition,' one that can not only include the forces of traditional allies, but also those of NATO's traditional adversary, Russia...Russia should be invited to participate alongside NATO and other coalition members against the Islamic State."