US giving NATO status to India
American lawmakers have moved a key legislation in the Senate which seeks to advance the US-India strategic relationship.
The legislation will amend the Arms Control Export Act to bring India at par with the US NATO allies – Israel, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea for purposes of selling military items under the ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) list.
This would remove current legislative barriers to export major high-tech defence equipment to India which is normally shared with only a few countries.
But, does India does actually need a NATO status.
We may not need it.
We already have QUAD to counter China’s growing belligerance. A NATO like formalization which leads tp deployment of US troops and giving bases would be a nonsense for India. US already has enough bases in the region, for example, Diego Garcia. But a formal defence agreement is needed in case of a looming armed conflict.
Moreover, a formal defence alliance may bring the hate quotient which US has inherited from West Asia which matters as India has a large Sunni population.
Keeping the Russian counterweight is a strategic rebalance option that also cannot be lost.
Isn’t not that, India has more leverage just dating US rather than getting stuck in wedlock.