What is NATO Plus?

Now, a very significant development has drawn attention from people all around the world, especially when American Congressman Ro Khanna recently discussed the US's ambitions to include India as the sixth nation to NATO Plus.

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What is NATO Plus status given to India by USA?

Discussions around the NATO plus group of nations are increasingly important for India. At its summit in June 2022, NATO invited the NATO Plus countries to join for the first time. The US has a defence security alignment agreement with Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Israel, and South Korea in addition to the NATO members.

How a new concept proposed by USA will give India NATO membership?

Now, a very significant development has drawn attention from people all around the world, especially when American Congressman Ro Khanna recently discussed the US’s ambitions to include India as the sixth nation to NATO Plus.

What is NATO Plus nation?

The trickiest hurdle for India will actually be removed once it receives the designation of NATO plus nation. The main point of contention is CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries via Sanctions Act), which criticises countries doing business with Russia (and other countries) for defence purposes. 

What is NDAA amendment and CAASTA waiver?

According to Ro Khanna, the NDAA amendment would provide India a CAATSA waiver, a move that is best for the US as a whole and the US-India defence alliance. Before the amendment becomes a law, the Senate must still approve it and the US President must sign it. Only then would it be possible for India to continue to be free from US sanctions over its purchases of weapons equipment and interactions with Russia.

How US India relations history resemble with this NATO  Plus concept?

The action could have a similar effect to that which followed the signing of the India-US nuclear cooperation deal in 2008, which boosted relations between the two nations. 

The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) granted India a unique waiver as a result of this nuclear pact, enabling it to form cooperation agreements with a dozen nations. India was able to divide its civilian and military programmes thanks to this, and the IAEA was given oversight over its civilian nuclear plants.

Will it really be beneficial for India?

As it perceives India’s potential and willingness to be able to resist the expanding Chinese influence and Russian interference in the region, the United States wishes a strong alliance with India. Because of this, the US needs to have a strong alliance with India. 

The decision will create new opportunities for numerous Indian startups, the defence sector, manufacturing firms, the electronics sector, ammunition and missile system producers, engineering firms, etc. As a result, the self-reliance campaign will be fully mobilised throughout the nation, allowing Atmanirbhar Bharat to become an international success and genuine game-changer.

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