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Should India join North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) – Defence Current Affairs for UPSC exam

Should India join North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) – Defence Current Affairs for UPSC exam


  • GS 2 || International Relations || International Organizations || Miscellaneous

Why in the news?

India maintains a strategic distance from NATO for a variety of reasons. Continuing in the current situation, however, is not the best plan. The India-NATO alliance will reflect India’s current policy.

About NATO:

  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), sometimes known as the North Atlantic Alliance, is a military alliance comprised of 30 European and North American nations. The Washington Treaty on April 4, 1949, established it.
  • During the Cold War, India maintained a policy of non-alignment by refusing to affiliate with either NATO or the Soviet Union.
  • China’s rapid ascent and hostile measures in the Galwan Valley, at the Line of Actual Control, and other border areas have heightened India’s need for tighter security ties with politically stable and like-minded countries.
  • Some members of India’s strategic community, as well as many western countries, see NATO as a trustworthy partner.

Why India should join NATO- Argument in favour of it?

  • Broader alliance:Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has formed alliances with a number of neutral and non-aligned countries.
  • Strong support from alliance member:Article 5 stipulates that if a NATO ally is attacked, each and every other member of the alliance will consider the assault against all members and will take whatever steps it considers necessary to support the ally.
  • Dissuade attack: It would dissuade Pakistan and China from attacking India.
  • Russia & China: Despite rising tensions with Russia and China in recent years, NATO holds frequent meetings with both countries. Reluctance on the part of India makes no logic.
  • Military alliance: Having frequent communication with a military alliance, the majority of whose members are long-time allies of India, would constitute an India-NATO conversation.
  • India collaborating with global power:In the long run, a collaboration with the world’s most powerful alliance will enhance India’s military-strategic interests.
  • Indo-Pacific negotiations: India is keen to lure a hesitant Russia into Indo-Pacific negotiations, whilst shunning contact with NATO, which is currently debating a role in Asia’s water, makes little sense.
  • Maintaining a meaningful communication with NATO on terrorism, changing geopolitics, the shifting nature of armed conflict, military technology, and new military doctrines might be facilitated.
  • Military relations with numerous NATO countries: India has bilateral and multilateral military relations with numerous NATO countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. Then there should be no difficulty with a group effort.
  • India & China at same platform:It is the era of multilateralism. Even in the SCO and WTO, India and China are linked. In the WTO, both nations oppose the United States, while militarily, the United States and India fight China.

Why India should not join NATO- arguments against it:

  • India overdependence on Russian military:India continues to rely significantly on Russian military hardware. Russia will be irked by NATO membership.
  • Difference in opinion:NATO nations have differing views on how to share the military burden and how to conduct military missions.
  • India’s developing strategic affinities:Russia has expressed unhappiness with India’s developing strategic affinities with the United States.
  • Strong ties between China and Russia: India’s closeness to NATO might bolster the already strong ties between China and Russia, as well as Pakistan and Russia.
  • A violation of national sovereignty: The establishment of NATO bases on Indian soil might spark significant demonstrations in the country, and it may even be viewed as a violation of national sovereignty.
  • Conflicts:India would be drawn into a number of conflicts. This would result in a large number of Indian soldiers dying in battles in which we have no interest.

What are the present issues in the NATO alliance?

  • There is disagreement about how to share the military burden and how to strike a balance between NATO and the EU’s desire to play an autonomous military role.
  • In problems relating to Russia, the Middle East, and China, there is no consensus in decision-making.
  • There had been an upsurge in conflicts among NATO members. Greece and Turkey, for instance.
  • NATO’s recent missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya have failed miserably.

Way forward:

  • There is a pressing need for both sides to work together.
  • Because Russia has demonstrated no aversion to the Quad and Delhi’s involvement with the US, adding NATO to the mix is unlikely to make a significant impact. India and Russia, as mature governments, recognize the need to shield their bilateral relationship from the wider structural trends that are affecting the globe today.
  • At this point of time, even NAM is of little importance. India should make sensible judgments based on geopolitical reality without ignoring the colonial legacy.
  • It will be simpler for Delhi to deal with the military institutions of NATO’s 30 member nations if the alliance is institutionalized.
  • Since treaties are signed only for the benefit of the country, India should consider joining NATO.

Mains oriented question:

India’s unwillingness to interact with a major European entity such as NATO will be a spectacular example of strategic self-denial. Comment. (200 words)