A US Congressional Committee has recommended the inclusion of India in “NATO Plus” to further boost global defense cooperation.
The move comes ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit to Washington on June 22.
NATO Plus is a US-led, defense-oriented group consisting of all NATO members and five other nations: Australia, Japan, Israel, New Zealand, and South Korea.
It seeks to guarantee the territorial integrity of member states by supporting each other in the event of a direct attack.
The House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the US and the Chinese Communist Party stated that bringing New Delhi on board would facilitate seamless intelligence sharing among all members.
It would also help India access the latest technology for its military faster and more smoothly.
“Including India in NATO Plus security arrangements would build upon the US and India’s close partnership to strengthen global security and deter the aggression of the CCP across the Indo-Pacific region,” the committee explained.
A Message to China
Expanding NATO is seen as a strategic move to further ensure the security of nations under pressure from China, including Taiwan and India.
It also sends a message to Beijing about the strengthening alliance among its competitors.
India has been ramping up its military modernization to support troops deployed along its border with China.
Earlier this year, Chinese defense minister Li Shangfu warned against creating NATO-like alliances in the Asia-Pacific.
He claimed that such groups kidnap regional countries and exaggerate confrontations, plunging the region into “a whirlpool of disputes and conflicts.”
“Today’s Asia-Pacific needs open and inclusive cooperation, not buddying up into small cliques. We must not forget the severe disasters brought by the two world wars to peoples of all countries, and we must not allow such tragic history to repeat itself,” Li said.