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Novichok and NATO Article 5

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Steve3007
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Novichok and NATO Article 5

Post by Steve3007 » July 25th, 2018, 7:25 am

In March this year a former Russian spy and his daughter were poisoned by a Soviet-era nerve agent known as Novichok, in Salisbury England. More recently, in a nearby town, a woman has died after being poisoned by the same substance as a result of spraying herself with the contents of a perfume bottle. The perfume bottle was found, packaged and sealed, by her partner/boyfriend. It now seems feasible that more of these deadly packages could have been left around for people to find.

At what point should an attack like this be openly declared to be an act of aggression against a NATO member that requires the triggering of article 5 of the NATO treaty dealing with collective defence? Is there actually anything that could practically be done about an attack like this? Was it actually an attack sanctioned by the Russian government? Or was it a rogue action by a non-state actor or some kind of false flag operation, maybe even carried out by the British government?

If we will never know the answers to these kinds of questions, do we just accept that these kinds of things will continue to happen from time to time and cannot be deterred or prevented? Treat them like the weather?

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LuckyR
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Re: Novichok and NATO Article 5

Post by LuckyR » July 26th, 2018, 2:38 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
July 25th, 2018, 7:25 am
In March this year a former Russian spy and his daughter were poisoned by a Soviet-era nerve agent known as Novichok, in Salisbury England. More recently, in a nearby town, a woman has died after being poisoned by the same substance as a result of spraying herself with the contents of a perfume bottle. The perfume bottle was found, packaged and sealed, by her partner/boyfriend. It now seems feasible that more of these deadly packages could have been left around for people to find.

At what point should an attack like this be openly declared to be an act of aggression against a NATO member that requires the triggering of article 5 of the NATO treaty dealing with collective defence? Is there actually anything that could practically be done about an attack like this? Was it actually an attack sanctioned by the Russian government? Or was it a rogue action by a non-state actor or some kind of false flag operation, maybe even carried out by the British government?

If we will never know the answers to these kinds of questions, do we just accept that these kinds of things will continue to happen from time to time and cannot be deterred or prevented? Treat them like the weather?
Yes and no. It depends on who "we" are. If you're you, then yes you treat is like the weather: perfect for commenting on online but otherwise there is nothing for you to do. If you are the Intelligence community, you may have known it was going to happen, heck, you may have done it yourself to throw suspicion on the Russians. Even if you (as a member of the Intelligence community) were completely caught by surprise, figure out to the best of your ability who did it and decide what similar clandestine response you are going to do, if anything. Another day at the office, ho hum, move along, nothing to see here.
"As usual... it depends."

Steve3007
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Re: Novichok and NATO Article 5

Post by Steve3007 » July 27th, 2018, 5:09 am

In reality I'd say the probability that it was a false flag attack by British intelligence people, possibly sanctioned by the British government, is extremely small. Putin has explicitly stated in interviews that he thinks traitors to the motherland (spies who defect) are the worst kind of traitors and deserve death. It was shown beyond reasonable doubt that the Polonium radiation poisoning a few years ago was a another example of a hit on a traitor by the Russian intelligence services. These kinds of hits clearly send out a powerful message that if you betray the motherland then sooner or later they will get you for it. And choosing to do it now, when the UK is perceived to be in a particularly vulnerable state due to Brexit dissarray and a hostile US government, would make sense. It would be perceived as a point of minimum support from allies. Like a predator picking off a vulnerable individual prey who has strayed from the herd.

But I don't see how anything could be done to deter things like this happening in future. Doing something similar in Russia - spreading poison around some Russian town and maybe killing some innocent Russians - would obviously be pointless. So maybe ordinary citizens like us and people in positions of power all just have to treat it as weather.

Belindi
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Re: Novichok and NATO Article 5

Post by Belindi » July 27th, 2018, 7:59 am

Like many terrorist activities these are confined to cells that are difficult to attribute to a master mind such as Putin might be.

However the British intelligence people say that this particular activity using Novichok cannot be done by isolated cells but requires a master mind. The British intelligence people also say that Novichoc usage is Russian and only Russian. If my info is right.

Is your question "Need we make war on Putin and Russia?" Because that is the only alternative to treating it as weather. If Putin himself were to be assassinated some other ex -KGB autocrat could become his successor.

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LuckyR
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Re: Novichok and NATO Article 5

Post by LuckyR » July 27th, 2018, 3:17 pm

Well, without knowing what sort of clandestine affairs are happening all the time (without public knowledge) it is impossible for lay people to put possible retaliation options into proper perspective. For example if anti-Russian sabotage happens once every other year, then doing an extra one would be noticeable by Russia and might serve as a deterrent against future acts. If there are 50 such actions a year, making this year's total 51 would do neither, unless it was so over the top blatant such that everyone could tell it was related.

We're the wrong folks to comment on this topic.
"As usual... it depends."

Belindi
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Re: Novichok and NATO Article 5

Post by Belindi » July 27th, 2018, 3:35 pm

Lucky, I had not thought of the incidents that Steve mentioned as sabotage. What a good idea!

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LuckyR
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Re: Novichok and NATO Article 5

Post by LuckyR » July 27th, 2018, 3:37 pm

Belindi wrote:
July 27th, 2018, 3:35 pm
Lucky, I had not thought of the incidents that Steve mentioned as sabotage. What a good idea!
Well, folks in the West are a bit more squeamish about assassinations (vs sabotage), comparatively.
"As usual... it depends."

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