The NATO Treaty Does Not Give Congress a Bye on World War III,

Michael J. Glennon, professor of constitutional and international law at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

On March 13, Russian missiles hit a military base in Ukraine, about 15 miles from the Polish border. Poland is a NATO member. Suppose the airstrike had occurred 15 miles on the other side of the border, in Poland. Would the NATO Treaty automatically place the United States and all other NATO members at war with Russia? […]

That understanding is mistaken. The NATO treaty does not require the United States or any other party automatically to go to war if a party is attacked. The treaty provides that an attack on one is an attack on all—but it leaves each nation free, in accordance with its own “constitutional processes,” to determine whether an armed attack has occurred and to take such action “as it deems necessary” in response. Nor does the treaty expand the president’s war power. “The distribution of power within the United States government is precisely what it would have been in the absence of the treaty,” the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said in 1979. In the event of an armed attack, the United States “reserves the right to determine for itself what military action, if any, is appropriate.” Läs  artikel