The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a military alliance between several European and North American countries that was founded in 1949. Its 29 Member States assure each other military assistance in case of an outside attack. This provision, known as Article 5 of the NATO treaty, has only been invoked once, following the September 11 attacks. Other challenges NATO dealt with counter-piracy, peace-keeping operations and humanitarian missions. Recently, cooperation and mutual training support have become more important again, especially in light of a possible confrontation with Russia.
This year’s topics :
Topic A: Cybersecurity and Terrorism
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization dealing with Cybersecurity and Terrorism is an important and long-term project. Facing new threats for the past 20 years, NATO is getting ready to face the new threats that the Internet created and now NATO needs to be able to defend the citizens of the Alliance as it has been doing for decades on the classical battlefields. Cybersecurity is another warfare that the delegates need to tackle and secure to ensure the lasting but fragile peace on the web. Not only focusing on the States, NATO will need to protect every citizens’ data. The committee will point out major recent crisis to consider the wide range of dangers that are on the web, could that be related to private sector attacks, the democratic process or otherwise.
Using the already existing protection, NATO will need to be more effective, more innovative and more creative than the potential attackers and to find new ways of fighting terrorism online. Being in the due process of creation of new means of defence, the delegates will face a large number of possibilities to improve cybersecurity. NATO, as an Alliance, need to think for a cooperative way to protect every member of the coalition and its allies, to help each and every one of them to get a common and effective protection, by coordinating cybersecurity as a whole.
Topic B: Reviewing Art. 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty
Article 5 of NATO is considered as one of the bases of the alliance, it says “The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area”.
The problem is that NATO treaty was written in 1949 and never updated. This makes a massive impact on the application or not on some of its articles, like Article 5. It’s common knowledge nowadays that hacking, spying and other non-conventional war tactics, known as Hybrid War, are as dangerous to the territorial integrity of an ally country as any conventional armed attack. It’s mandatory to discuss the scope of Article 5 today, as it only triggered once (US – after 11-S) and even that time there was a lot of discussion about whether Article 5 covers that situation or not; and then, the need to modifying it in order to successfully protect allies countries of new weapons and ways of doing war, far more developed and dangerous than conventional war as allies knew back in 1949.
The purpose of the alliance was to protect allied countries and, in order to achieve that, NATO treaty has to evolve, improve and adapt to the new era of Hybrid Warfare.
List of available countries/positions:
Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom, United States, Greece, Turkey, Germany, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro.