July 10, 2024

Senator Schmitt, Senator Schatz Lead Bipartisan Letter Pushing NATO to Extend Article 5 Protections to Hawaii

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Eric Schmitt and Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) led a bipartisan letter to Secretary Blinken to clarify explicit NATO Article 5 protections to Hawaii – as Hawaii is the only U.S. State that does not have full protections by NATO:

“The United States is the largest contributor to NATO and with this alliance, we have a steadfast promise to our allies – a promise that is reciprocated to all U.S. States except Hawaii. As a United States Senator, I have an obligation to protect Americans, and protecting Hawaii under NATO is a part of that promise. I am proud to work across the aisle with Senator Schatz and my colleagues to ensure the state of Hawaii is fully protected under Article 5 of NATO,” said Senator Eric Schmitt.

In addition to Senator Schmitt and Senator Schatz, Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Van Hollen (D-MD), Todd Young (R-IN), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Tim Scott (R-SC), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), and Chris Murphy (D-CT) joined the letter.


  • Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty provides for collective self-defense in the event of an attack on any NATO member state.
  • Article 6 states that this agreement only applies to island territories of member nations in the North Atlantic and north of the Tropic of Cancer. Hawaii is south of the Tropic of Cancer. 
  • Given the increasingly bellicose actions of adversaries in the Indo-Pacific, making this change is necessary to deter enemies and protect Americans. 
  • NATO’s explicit inclusion of Hawaii will send a strong message that will promote further deterrence in the Indo-Pacific.   
  • Citizens of Hawaii deserve the same protections as every other state in the United States. There should be no distinction between Hawaii and other states, especially given the significant military equities in the state.
  • Read the full letter here.