NATO chief issues appeal to India to join global anti-Chinese, anti-Russian alliance
Two days ago an opinion piece by North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg appeared in the influential Times of India, the title of which is Deepening Nato’s dialogue with India: To protect international rules-based order and address shared challenges to our security.
The NATO 2030: United for a New Era document released last year in preparation for this June’s summit of the military bloc, and the new strategic concept that will issue from it, contains a paragraph on NATO partnerships focusing on India which anticipated much of what Stoltenberg said:
“NATO should begin internal discussions about a possible future partnership with India, as the world’s largest democracy and a country that shares fundamental interests and values with the Alliance, assuming India’s willingness to engage in such a dialogue. It should begin a similar internal discussion about NATO’s future relationship with the countries of Central Asia, some of whom are already NATO partners.”
The world’s oldest and history’s largest military alliance already has seventy members and partners on all populated continents, including one member and nineteen partners in the Asia-Pacific region. The population of India is substantially more than that of all thirty NATO member states combined.
India would be the ultimate geostrategic acquisition for the U.S.-led military monolith.
Stoltenberg, above, suggested that India could be brought into the NATO orbit in conjunction with the five former Soviet Central Asian nations – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – which, as he noted, are already NATO partners. Not some, as he said, but all are members of the bloc’s first military partnership, the Partnership for Peace. The latter was employed to prepare the fourteen Eastern European nations that have joined NATO since 1999 for their accession. Kazakhstan, which borders both China and Russia, has been granted a NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan, the intermediate step between the Partnership for Peace and the Membership Action Plan which is the final step toward full membership.
Afghanistan and Pakistan are founding members of NATO’s Partners Across the Globe (with fellow Asia-Pacific nations Australia, Iraq, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand and South Korea), so that by pulling India into and the five Central Asian states yet further into its net NATO will have won the grand geopolitical Great Game for control of the Eurasian landmass, with only China, Russia, Iran and North Korea as renegade or pariah states. Those four countries have been effectively branded by NATO and the U.S. a new Axis of Evil. The next move would be to consolidate the initiative by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to recruit the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian States (ASEAN) – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – into the Western-led anti-China/Russia alliance (here and here), with states like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka to follow suit.
Such moves if successful would completely isolate Russia, China, Iran and North Korea on the Eurasian landmass.
Stoltenberg’s appeal to India is one that could have been anticipated down to the punctuation marks for anyone who has been attending to NATO and American foreign policy statements this year: “The international rules-based order is facing unprecedented pressure from increasing geopolitical competition and mounting authoritarianism, led by countries like Russia and China, who do not share our values.”
No subtlety there. India is being courted to join an international – military – alliance to isolate, contain and confront the four nations listed above. The NATO document quoted from contains a section entitled Threats and Challenges from Every Direction, which begins with the global threats supposedly presented by Russia and China, respectively. Russia is depicted posing far-ranging dangers indeed: “Russia’s aggression against Georgia and Ukraine, followed by its ongoing military build-ups and assertive activity in the Baltic and Black Sea regions, in the Eastern Mediterranean, Baltic, and in the High North, have led to a sharp deterioration in the relationship and negatively impacted the security of the Euro-Atlantic area.” With the exception of the Mediterranean Sea every area mentioned has a land or sea border with Russia.
The document goes on to add to Russia’s alleged threats to its neighbors a danger to the thirty members of NATO: “Russia routinely engages in intimidatory military operations in the immediate vicinity of NATO and has enhanced its reach and capabilities for threatening airspace and freedom of navigation in the Atlantic. It has violated a number of major international commitments and developed an array of conventional and non-conventional capabilities that threaten both the security of individual NATO Allies and the stability and cohesion of the Alliance as a whole. Russia has amply demonstrated its ability and willingness to use military force, and continues to attempt to exploit fissures between Allies, and inside NATO societies. It has also employed chemical weapons on Allied soil, costing civilian lives.”
The last accusation was also leveled by Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his March 24 press conference at NATO headquarters.
Immediately following the indictment of Russia for posing a threat to world peace, indeed to the world in most every manner, as surely as night follows day the NATO document moves on to China with a writ of indictment that is, as always, connected with that against Russia but, if possible, of an even more all-inclusive nature. Recall that this is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization speaking:
“The scale of Chinese power and global reach poses acute challenges to open and democratic societies, particularly because of that country’s trajectory to greater authoritarianism and an expansion of its territorial ambitions. For most Allies, China is both an economic competitor and significant trade partner. China is therefore best understood as a full-spectrum systemic rival, rather than a purely economic player or an only Asia-focused security actor. While China does not pose an immediate military threat to the Euro-Atlantic area on the scale of Russia, it is expanding its military reach into the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Arctic, deepening defence ties with Russia, and developing long-range missiles and aircraft, aircraft carriers, and nuclear-attack submarines with global reach, extensive space-based capabilities, and a larger nuclear arsenal. NATO Allies feel China’s influence more and more in every domain. Its Belt and Road, Polar Silk Road, and Cyber Silk Road have extended rapidly, and it is acquiring infrastructure across Europe with a potential bearing upon communications and interoperability….”
The accusations go on further to include supposed intellectual property theft, disinformation efforts (“especially in the period since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic”) and China’s “ambition” to become a world leader in artificial intelligence and technology.
NATO 2030: United for a New Era was written by the NATO 2030 Reflection Process group which is co-chaired by A. Wess Mitchell. On March 22 an article of his titled NATO: India’s next geopolitical destination appeared in the Hindustan Times, which begins with: “When the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) leaders meet later this spring, they will debate the recommendations from a group of experts (which I co-chaired) that advocates, among other things, extending a formal offer of partnership to India.”
In his Times of India feature NATO’s Stoltenberg wrote that “Today, our Alliance represents 30 nations, one billion people, and half of the world’s economic and military might.” He and those he serves now covet the other half. In their strategic plans, recruiting India to their international anti-China/Russia coalition will be the penultimate step to accomplishing that goal.