The United States is not making India a member of the international military alliance the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), contrary to a viral post’s claims on Facebook.
Rather, the United States Congress has introduced legislation designating India as a ‘NATO-ally’ for purposes of arms exports, a classification that gives access to even better technological and cooperative avenues with the United States in the sphere of military and defence.
The post on Facebook claims that the United States will induct India into NATO as a full member.
This Facebook post was put up by an individual named ‘क्रांतिकारी हिन्दू’ (Revolutionary Hindu) in a Facebook group called ‘Rohit Sardana and Sudhir Chaudhary Fan Club.’
|Original Statement (Hindi)||Translation in English|
|अमेरिका भारत को “नाटो” का सदस्य बना रहा है, यदि भारत पर कोई भी देश हमला करेगा तो वो अमेरिका पर हमला समझा जाएगा||The United States will make India a member of “NATO”. If somebody attacks India, it will be as if an attack has been carried out on the United States|
At the time of writing, this post has been interacted with more than 1,000 times and shared more than 650 times.
An archived version of the post can be accessed here
This post is misleading, and BOOM tells you why.
NATO: An Introduction
NATO is an international military organisation that was established in 1949, now consisting of 29 members across Europe and North America.
The members include the United States, Canada, most members of the European Union and Turkey – the eastern most limit of the NATO alliance.
The backbone of the alliance is the North Atlantic Treaty (also known as the Washington Treaty) signed in 1949. The following is an excerpt from Article 5 of the treaty:
The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them … will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.
It states that an attack on one member country would be considered an attack on all of them – and that that they could retaliate as they wished to restore peace to the North Atlantic area.
India is not eligible to join NATO.
NATO is an alliance exclusively for North American and European members, as stated by the alliance themselves.
NATO membership is open to “any other European state in a position to further the principles of this treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area.”
Plus, the inclusion of of new members into NATO is a decision that the members must make by consensus, and is not one the United States can make alone.
Its membership criteria can be read here
India A ‘NATO-Ally’
On April 8, 2019 the US Congress introduced legislation to designate India as a ‘NATO-Ally’, with respect to their Arms Export Control Act, as reported by Livemint.
The Bill – HR 2123 – to advance the US-India strategic partnership, can be found the officially with the US Congress here.
Such a status would put India at par with:
- US allies within NATO
- Non-NATO strategic allies of the United States, such as Australia, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.
Such a designation would give India access to research and development opportunities, loans and closer arenas of defence cooperation otherwise not available to non-NATO members by the United States.
India is already a ‘Major Defence Partner’ of the United States, a designation is received in 2017.
This shows the difference between full-NATO membership and the United States’ plan to treat India at par with NATO allies.