WASHINGTON — NATO leaders on Wednesday reiterated the alliance's stance on treating cyber attacks against a member as an Article 5 issue, which would potentially draw a military response from the entire alliance.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told a key alliance planning summit on Wednesday morning that "cyber is now a central part of virtually all crisis and conflicts, NATO has made clear that cyber attacks can potentially trigger an Article 5 response."
Just last week, Stoltenberg engaged in a contentious back and forth with Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of Russia's Federation Council Committee on International Affairs, at an event in Brussels when the Russian representative asked if NATO would bomb countries it suspects have been involved in cyber attacks.
"We will do what's necessary to do to protect all allies," Stoltenberg replied. "But I'm not going to tell you exactly how I'm going to do that ... that's the main message."
NATO must also "demonstrate that we can and will act promptly," he added, which it has been doing in doubling the size of its quick reaction force and pushing out thousands of troops for training exercises in eastern Europe.
But Stoltenberg dismissed a question about the snub, saying that he has met the president before, and their staffs are working on a meeting between the two leaders at a later time.