According to the NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, ‘fake news’, hacker attacks and attempts of political impact can be equated to an attack on the alliance.
NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, British General Adrian Bradshaw, did not rule out that ‘fake news’, hacker attacks and political impact against one of the NATO countries can be regarded as an act of aggression against the whole alliance, the Times newspaper reported.
According to Bradshaw, such actions can conform to Article Five of the NATO’s Collective Security Treaty, which states that “an armed attack against one or more [members] shall be considered an attack against them all.”
“It is a political decision, but it is not out of the question that aggression, blatant aggression, in a domain other than conventional warfare might be deemed to be Article Five,” the general told the newspaper, answering the question whether NATO’s Article Five applies to misinformation or interference in elections.
Bradshaw added that the organization has “declared cyber as a domain in warfare, alongside air, maritime, special forces and land.”
“It is hard to imagine any future conflict that doesn’t include a substantial cyber element,” he said. “It’s not just the threat of overt military attack, but it’s a raft of other measures, including covert, paramilitary, and non-military activities, some of which will be coordinated by the intelligence arms of Russia,” Bradshaw said in January.
“And we as NATO need to have our antenna tuned to the signs that this sort of hostile activity is going on,” the general added.
The US special services under the Obama’s administration accused Russia of an attempt to interference in the presidential elections in the country, however, no evidence was provided. Moscow categorically denies the allegations, calling them baseless and unfounded.
Earlier, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed concern about the increasing number of hacker attacks on facilities of the alliance and said that NATO is ready to use the article on collective self-defense in the case of cyber attacks. Stoltenberg also stressed that the alliance does not see any immediate threat from Russia for the NATO’s eastern flank.