November 2015 – EUROPE – Republican presidential candidate and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said U.S. allies should invoke the collective defense clause of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in response to terrorist attacks in Paris. “This is clearly an act of war and an attack on one of our NATO allies, and we should invoke Article 5 of the NATO agreement, and bring everyone together to put together a coalition to confront this challenge,” Mr. Rubio said Sunday morning on ABC. French president Francois Hollande called the attacks “an act of war” and cited Islamic State as responsible.
Former Florida governor and GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush stopped short calling for an Article 5 declaration, which is the formal recognition that an attack on one NATO member represents an attack on them all, and sets the groundwork for collective military action. “I think the president should convene the North Atlantic Council to discuss that,” Mr. Bush said Sunday morning on CNN. “If that’s what the French want, then, our longest and strongest and most loyal ally over our entire history, we should certainly consider it.”
The only time the collective defense provision was invoked came after the Sept. 11 terror attacks in the U.S. Later, on NBC, Mr. Bush said: “This is a threat to western civilization and we should consider it that way.” The U.S. and France already work together in operations in Iraq and Syria, sharing intelligence and coordinating airstrikes. Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser to President Barack Obama, agreed with Mr. Hollande that the attacks in Paris were an act of war. He said the U.S. wants “to continue to intensify that coordination” with France. While France hasn’t invoked Article 5, NATO’s secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said members are ready to assist. –Wall Street Journal