Some countries are in the western bloc and some are in the east but everyone wants India in their bloc. The growing stature of India in the world in deciding the weight it carries in the global order. Its economic rise, military might, and democratic functioning is providing the space for India to play its smart diplomacy. When an uncertain world is forcing countries to regroup and make alliances according to the new world order, India with about 130 crore population and a USD 3 trillion (nominal) GDP value will create a significant impact on any grouping and every country is aspiring to take India on their side.
India brings stability to the world
Spanish Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Albares in a conversation with the Indian Express has highlighted India’s importance to the World and advocated for the coordination of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and India in light of global uncertainty. Speaking on the 360 degrees agenda of NATO he said that “NATO traditionally looked towards the eastern flank, must also look to the southern flank, and reach out to all those countries that like India, might be good partners, and interested in keeping stability in the world.”
The Minister’s statement aligns with India’s own understanding of the world. It sees itself as the balancing force in the global order. In his book, The India Way (Strategies for an Uncertain World), Foreign Minister S Jaishankar highlighting India’s diplomatic stand states that “India of the Mahabharata era was also multipolar, with its leading powers balancing each other. But once the competition between its two major poles could not be contained, other forces had to take sides.”
A Global NATO
NATO is a security pact mainly involving the western countries to provide a security umbrella to its members to safeguard the allies’ freedom and security by political and military means. Although they consider it a defensive organization there are multiple instances where they have engaged in an offensive strike.
Most of the NATO countries are developed and democratic, they aspire to secure the very nature of the world. Recently, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss had pitched for ‘a global NATO’ in Berlin. She argued that “ while protecting Euro-Atlantic security, we also need to watch out for Indo-Pacific security too.”
Further, in a major policy speech, She said, “The world order created after the Second World War and the Cold War had become dysfunctional and that the west needs a global NATO to pursue geopolitics in the new scenario.”
Further, Spain’s foreign minister’s argument that NATO needs a stable country like India also reflects NATO’s focus on the Indo-Pacific region. Although leaving the US, NATO does not have any significant presence in the Indo-Pacific region. But growing aggressiveness of China and its relation with Russia is pushing NATO’s countries toward India. They hope to create a powerful balancer force against Russia and China in the Indo-Pacific region.
Although India is making security (the QUAD) as well as economic pact (Indo-Pacific Economic Framework) in the Indo Pacific with the US. But it will be distant for the country to join an organization like NATO which has been made to contain Russia.
Former foreign secretary speaking on the 2019 Raisina Dialogue had declared that “India has moved on from its non-aligned past. India is today an aligned state- but based on issues”. The statement should be a way forward for Indian diplomacy. Maintaining its independence, India should be wary of joining any committed security architecture. Neither with Communist nor with Liberalism, India should be careful in falling into the trap of ideological alignment. Indians should always be the balancing force maintaining the idea of a multilateral world.
The Foreign Minister of Spain may be in favor of the fact that NATO should form a partnership with India considering the country’s stature as a balancer force. But India can not be the partner of a security architecture that on one hand is against Russia and on the other proposes the common security doctrine which had engulfed the whole world in world war.
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