A report on the Chinese Communist Party in the United States Congress stated that “The United States should strengthen the NATO Plus arrangement to include India”. The US wants India to join NATO Plus, a military alliance with “Western” states. It is urged that India join NATO Plus to discourage China and strengthen Taiwan’s deterrent.
A military alliance of 31 countries, mostly the US and some European states, makes up the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Australia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, and Israel are five additional NATO Plus members that are regarded as US friends. And now the US is pushing India to join this wider coalition that stands against its enemies.
If you attack one member of NATO, you will be subject to their collective fury. In a perfect world, this would entail increased military support for India if it decides to join NATO Plus.
Additionally, India would likely have access to military technological breakthroughs and information exchanges among NATO members.
But all of this will come at a heavy cost. The US has been working relentlessly to sever Russia’s links to its allies. New Delhi and Moscow have a historic relationship which will suffer if we decide to join US-led NATO.
NATO membership also comes at a price of autonomy. EU can jeopardize our nuclear program and its development. A European Parliament report on EU strategic autonomy 2013-2023 mentioned how European nations fear that increasing their strategic autonomy may lead to constraints in free trade.
NATO had proposed setting up a liaison office in Japan, but France had other ideas. French authorities, according to media reports, believe that NATO’s presence in the East Asian region will divert attention away from its primary zone of concentration.
An office in Japan will help the military alliance address the growing security challenges from China, according to a prior hint from NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. However, Paris has no interest in pursuing any scheme that may jeopardize relations between Europe and China.
This could also mean that EU countries will reject the American proposal for India in NATO as it will not serve their vested interests.
Indian EAM, DR. Jaishankar famously said ‘Europe has to grow out of the mindset that its problems are the world’s problems but the world’s problems are not Europe’s problems’.