Why would Ukraine joining NATO at the present time not result in an immediate state of war between NATO members and Russia because of Article 5 obligations to defend a member state under attack? I always assumed that peace between Russia and Ukraine was an implicit precondition of Ukrainian membership for this reason. Yet proponents and opponents of NATO membership for Ukraine don’t seem to assume it would necessarily bring the US and most of Europe into the war right away. What understanding of Article 5 leads to this assumption?
Or is there a provision to prevent this scenario? I’m thinking specifically in terms of the treaty obligations, not other geopolitical considerations.
What inspired the question: this editorial https://www.wsj.com/articles/ukrainians-die-as-america-dawdles-russia-putin-nato-kgb-war-aid-weapons-europe-membership-b76f010 where Garry Kasparov advocates that Ukraine should be a NATO member. There is no mention of Article 5 being triggered or not. Any counter views like “this is unwise because it would provoke Russia” also seem to imply that Article 5 doesn’t simply decide the issue in favor of war.