Drawn into a regional war it didn’t want by Article Five

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Senior Member
I can't get my head around this sentence found in a novel by Mark Greaney (Tom Clancy Commander in Chief).

"During the Cold War it was presumed that any attack of any NATO country would be part of an all-out Soviet invasion of the West, so the prospects of NATO’s being drawn into a regional war it didn’t want by Article Five were slim. But now, as small NATO nations in Central Europe found themselves in the crosshairs of Valeri Volodin, NATO leaders across Europe had become shaky, to put it mildly".

If it's of any help, Article Five 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 attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense . . . will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith . . . such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area".

Now, that "drawn into a regional war it didn't want by Article Five" confuses me. NATO didn't want a war that violated Article Five? Is this what that "by" means in this case? But I cannot grasp the meaning of the sentence.
Have you got any idea about its meaning?

I thank you in advance.

  • King Crimson

    Modus in fabula
    Hi Broca,
    try to read it this way: ...the prospects of NATO’s being drawn (into ...) by Article Five...

    In other words, Article Five is what is drawing NATO into the war.


    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Article 5 requires all members of NATO to participate in a war that results from any one of them being attacked. Observing Article 5 would draw NATO into war, or to make it passive voice, NATO would be drawn into a war by Article 5. NATO was not created to address small, regional conflicts, but was instead created to address the threat of a major invasion by the Soviet Union. You can reword the sentence as:
    "The prospects were slim /that NATO would be drawn by Article 5 /into a regional war that it did not want."

    Does that help?

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