NEW DELHI: NATO is keen to extend a formal offer of partnership to India. The idea has been discussed earlier but India has always been averse to entanglement in rival geopolitical blocs. However, it’s high time for India to give up their rigid approach and overcome the obstacle to counter China by establishing closer security relationships with politically reliable, like-minded states. Becoming a NATO partner would be a natural extension of this evolution with several upsides and few risks.
NATO partnerships pave the way for regular defense dialogues, military-to-military planning, and joint exercises that improve promptness, interoperability, and predictability. In the event of a conflict, India would benefit from having prior planning and arrangements in place for cooperating with NATO and its Mediterranean partners (including Israel, with which India has a close strategic relationship) to secure its western flank and the approaches to the Red Sea.