At the time of the hearings on the treaty before the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, the then secretary of state Dean Acheson was clear that Article V did not mean that America would automatically help the victims of aggression. He said: “This naturally does not mean that the United States would automatically be at war if one or the other signatory nation were the victim of an armed attack. The obligation of this government under Article V would be to take promptly the action it deemed necessary to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.
“That decision would, of course, be taken in accordance with our constitutional procedures. The factors which would have to be considered would be the gravity of the attack and the nature of the action which this government considered necessary to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.”
When Acheson was asked by a lawmaker: “Is there or is there not anything in the treaty that pledges us to an automatic declaration of war in any event?” He replied, “There is nothing in the treaty which has that effect, senator.”
Clearly then, America’s pledge where the treaty is concerned will not appear credible.
US and Nato av A.G. Noorani,indisk advokat och politisk kommentator , Dawn.com 11 december