Saturday, October 14, 2006

India and NATO?

Ivo Daalder and James Goldgeier have an article titled Global NATO in Foreign Affairs, September/October 2006 where they point to a growing role for NATO in complex problems like Afghanistan which are far removed from the original cold-war role of NATO, in locations which are far removed from the North Atlantic. In this, they say:
Clearly, NATO is changing. But is it changing enough? If the point of the alliance is no longer territorial defense but bringing together countries with similar values and interests to combat global problems, then NATO no longer needs to have an exclusively transatlantic character. Other democratic countries share NATO's values and many common interests -- including Australia, Brazil, Japan, India, New Zealand, South Africa, and South Korea -- and all of them can greatly contribute to NATO's efforts by providing additional military forces or logistical support to respond to global threats and needs. NATO operations in the Balkans and Afghanistan have benefited greatly from contributions made by non-NATO members. Australia, Japan, and South Korea have sent substantial numbers of troops to Iraq in support of efforts by NATO members to stabilize the country. Together with other non-NATO democracies, such as Brazil, India, and South Africa, they have also contributed significantly to peacekeeping operations around the globe.
It's something to ponder. The nuclear deal, where India has been accepted into the nuclear club, was once considered unthinkable. Is there a symbiotic relationship between India and NATO?

3 comments:

  1. Ajay,

    Daalder has previously proposed the idea of an "alliance of democracies" consisting of India, Japan and the West. While I think the interests of these countries coincide right now, it is unlikely that this is so because they are democracies. I write this as it provides a context to the NATO-India cooperation theme.

    Quite obviously, India must shake itself out of the "UN only" mentality and engage/co-operate with regional security groupings. I think the feeling in New Delhi is still one of a lack of confidence that such a venture will be labeled as India kow-towing to the United States. This need not be. The primary issue is one of self-confidence---can we believe that we can hold our own.

    NATO in particular is an organisation in search of a mission. I'd say it needs India more than India needs it. The onus should be on NATO to court Indian co-operation.

    (But wait! We've got to run this past Comrade Yechury once he's back from Beijing)

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  2. I am not aware of Daalder's writings on this - can you post URLs?

    I am fairly optimistic about the role of self-interest in Indian foreign policy, as opposed to the left wing rhetoric that used to dominate earlier. There is a learning curve, and there are small pockets of dissent like the lefties, but these are solvable.

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  3. i dont think that India needs NATO , its NATO who needs us to work in afghanistan , pakistan and to counter china too. coording to me NATO are noting but a bunch of goondaas (goons) the head being the united states. In many issues such as Kosovo , Iran etc Us had interest in but not the NATO , US uses NATO for its own purpose. and the main point is that India even if it wants to , it cant enter NATO because it does not fits into that criteria

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