Does Nonmember Ukraine Have a De Facto Article 5 Commitment From NATO?

by Ted Galen Carpenter

“One supposedly crucial and unfortunate feature separating Ukraine from formal members of NATO is that Kyiv does not have a security guarantee under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. That provision proclaims that an attack on any NATO member will be considered an attack on all. Some critics of NATO’s unwillingness to respond favorably to President George W. Bush’s 2008 lobbying campaign for Kyiv’s membership insist that the decision emboldened Russia and subsequently led to the February 2022 invasion. If Ukraine had enjoyed an Article 5 guarantee, and especially a U.S. troop presence, the reasoning goes, Vladimir Putin would never have dared launch his war of aggression. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, expresses certainty about that point. There are two major problems with the argument.” (05/10/22)