Subscribe to never miss an important update!
- Context (TH): The U.S. has expressed openness to greater engagement with India within NATO, with discussions of including India in the NATO-Plus framework.
- India rejects the idea because joining this NATO framework, which primarily aims to contain China, can potentially undermine India’s autonomy.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
- NATO is a political and military alliance created in the aftermath of World War II by 12 countries from Europe and North America in 1949.
- The headquarters of NATO is in Brussels, Belgium, while the Allied Command Operations headquarters is near Mons, Belgium.
- During the Cold War, NATO operated as a check on the threat posed by the Soviet Union.
- The alliance remained in place after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact.
- North Atlantic Council is NATO’s principal political decision-making body.
- The principle of collective defence is enshrined in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which commits NATO members to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.
- Currently, NATO comprises 31 countries (29 European + 2 North American).
- NATO makes its decisions by consensus. Hence, if a new country wants to join NATO, it must be supported by all other members. Any of its member countries can veto a new member.
- For example, Turkey opposes Sweden’s wish to join NATO due to its alleged support of Kurdish militants.
Post-Cold War Era
- When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, questions were raised about NATO’s relevance and future.
- NATO succeeded in refashioning from collective defence to collective security.
- It has been a mutually beneficial arrangement, offering security to Europe at a low price.
- For the U.S., NATO has been an ideal vehicle for power projection worldwide.
- NATO has been involved in military operations in the Balkans, the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa.
- Nato Plus is a grouping of NATO and five countries — Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Israel, and South Korea. The group works toward boosting global defence cooperation.
Advantages for India if it joins the NATO Plus
- India would gain access to seamless intelligence sharing between these countries.
- India would get access to the latest military technology without much of a time lag.
- It would further strengthen India’s defence partnership with the United States.
Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)