Brussels: US-led NATO has asked India to shed
its non-aligned policy and called for a partnership with it to
tackle common security challenges such as terror threats,
cyber security and piracy.
"Even with regard to common missile threats, the ability
to defend could be the same," a top NATO official said.
The 28-member NATO has already reached out to New Delhi
asking it to co-opt as a "dialogue plus partner".
Stressing that India should shed its non-aligned policy
and assume a bigger role as a leader, the NATO official said
that even Australia which is far away has a relationship with
NATO and is today the 10th largest participant with NATO in
Making a strong pitch for joint efforts to combat cyber
threats, the official said, "cyber world does not recognise
alignments. It only understands switches."
Urging India to abandon Cold War mindset, the official
pointed out that even Russia is in a special partnership with
"The NATO-Russia Council determines cooperation on such
vital issues as theatre missile defence, military logistics
with respect to the US-led campaign in Afghanistan, terrorism,
narcotics and piracy."
He hinted at an understanding between India and US on the
military intervention in Libya.
Talking about the need for deeper relationship, NATO
officials said their Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen
has spoken to Indian officials while the deputy Secretary
General Claudio Bisogniero visited India to start a dialogue.
"I think it is important to have a dialogue and deepen
that dialogue at every level of society," said Ambassador Ivo
H Daalder, US Permanent Representative to the NATO.
He said, "It is important for India to have a dialogue at
every level - societal and official - to have a dailogue about
India`s concept of internal security and if its international
security fits with NATO`s concept of international security.
On how we can promote security together."
Daalder, however, said, "ultimately the decision on
India`s role with respect to NATO is going to be India`s
decision. On where that relationship will go, it will also
depend on where India will like it to go, he said.
He said, we do so already in places like Afghanistan,
where NATO and India are present. "We can think of other
places also - like the Indian Ocean to deal with piracy. NATO
has an operation there and Indian ships are part of the effort
to fight piracy. We can strengthen this relationship."
Assuming a different role in today`s world order, NATO
which was formed 62 years ago in the backdrop of the Cold War,
is today on an overdrive to reach out beyond its traditional
borders to secure its interests world-wide.
NATO officials said they considered NATO as a "Living
House", which stood on two pillars - the pillar of collective
defence and the pillar of cooperative security.