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Russian Missiles Hit at Polish Border, Two Dead.

DoD - US will defend "every inch"of NATO territory. Now what?

Russian missiles tore across Ukraine and landed across the border on a farm in Przewodów,  Poland on Tuesday, killing two people. The problem is that Poland is a NATO country, and signatories are bound to defend member nations under Article 5 of their charter. It is likely an Article 4 will be on the table instead of Article 5.

UPDATE: NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg told reporters that the missile that fell in Poland may not have been Russian at all, but part of the Ukraine air defense system.

“Right now we are aware of the press reporting on this and we have no information at this time to corroborate those reports. I don’t want to speculate or get into hypotheticals when it comes to our security commitments. We’ve been crystal clear that we will defend every inch of NATO territory.” Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder 

Poland has reportedly been somewhat “hawkish” after Russia invaded Ukraine, and could easily have the authority to invoke Article 5. It is likely that their leaders will be strongly advised against it, however, or even invoking Article 4, which is less intense. WWIII is not something any NATO nation wants to start. Article 4 entails:

“The parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the parties is threatened.”

The 30 member states then start formal consultations at the request of the threatened member. The talks look at whether a threat exists and how to counter it, with decisions arrived at unanimously.” The Guardian

NATO’s mutual defense clause is something Russia hates. With this kind of disaster, Russia has been vigorously denying that they targeted any place inside Poland. Whoever inadvertantly allowed their missile to reach into Poland will probably be severely punished. If it was an accident- some say it was deliberate.

But was it deliberate, or accidental? Russia denies the whole thing.

Former DIA officer and Russian expert Rebekah Koffler said, “Moscow doesn’t want to start a war. If there’s one thing Putin fears it’s U.S.-NATO intervention. It’s exactly the pathway — unintentional escalation —  that could lead to U.S.-NATO involvement in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, potentially leading it to World War III.” Fox

So it seems that someone royally screwed up.  A screw up that could be the spark for WWIII. Good thinking, comrade.

*****

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Faye Higbee

Faye Higbee is the columnist manager for Uncle Sam's Misguided Children. She has been writing at Conservative Firing Line since 2013 as well. She is also a published author.

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