NATO HQ: It’s taken a while, but NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced here that the 28-member alliance has agreed to declare cyber an operational domain, much as the sea, air and land are.
The really important result of this is that, for the first time, a cyber attack could trigger Article 5, the core NATO language that mandates an attack on one country is an attack on all. This clarifies some strategic ambiguity and assuages a major concern of allies like Estonia, victim of Russian cyberattacks in 2007, who feared Russia could bring them to their knees electronically while the rest of NATO stood by.
No more: “We have decided that a cyber attack can trigger Article 5,” Stoltenberg told reporters in an end-of-day press conference.
Declaring cyber a domain will mean NATO “will coordinate and organize our efforts to protect against cyber attacks in more efficient and effective way. It also will help defend individual nations defend their networks.” The secretary general also said the alliance will work closely with the European Union on cyber defense and related issues. Given how intertwined domestic and military networks can be, that certainly makes sense.
“We have many other concerns than the US election, OK? I leave it to the voters of the United States to decide their who is going to be their next president,” Stoltenberg told a colleague. “We have proven by our decision today that we are as relevant as ever and that we are capable of adapting to changes in the security environment.”