Hello defence lovers! Recently India has conducted its first 2+2 dialogue with Australia. Australia is the third country to participate in a 2+2 dialogue after the USA and Japan, all being the QUAD members. Indian external affairs minister S Jaishankar after the 2+2 dialogue in a press statement said that NATO was a “looking back term” while Quad is the “way forward.” In This article, we are going to analyse the importance of this statement and try to decode the message it gives to the USA and China. But before that let us discuss NATO and Quad, in brief.
NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
The North Atlantic Treaty organisation or commonly known as the NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance between Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States. Under article 5 of the NATO, an attack on any NATO member will be interpreted as an attack on all the members. Thus NATO constitutes a system of collective security, whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.
NATO’s primary focus was to stop the expansion of the Soviet Union during the Cold war Era. It was initially signed by Frace and United Kingdom as a Treaty of Alliance and Mutual Assistance in the event of a possible attack by Germany or the Soviet Union in the aftermath of the Second World War. Gradually it expanded and finally included the United States who eventually became the most important member of NATO. After the second world war, entire Europe was devasted by the decades of fighting. US was the sole power in the entire NATO who had the economic capability to defend other nations.
NATO saw action first in the Korean War followed by many other conflicts such as the Kosovo war, the Gulf War, the invasion of Afghanistan, and so on.
Why NATO Is Becoming Obsolete?
The primary objective of NATO was to protect European countries from the Soviet invasion. But the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. Thus NATO’s primary objective does not exist anymore. Moreover, countries like France, UK, Germany are strong enough to defend themselves. France and UK are even armed with a nuclear arsenal. The US every year spends billions of dollars on NATO which has become an aimless organization. Former President Donald Trump realized this very well and thus reduced American funding to NATO during his tenure. He even planned a complete pull-out from NATO if required. Farsighted Trump realized that China is America’s prime adversary, not Russia, hence he focused on building strong military ties with the quad countries.
Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad)
The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or simply Quad is a strategic dialogue between the four countries- India, US, Japan, and Australia. It was formed by the initiative of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe with the support of the counterparts of all three countries in 2007. The main objective was to tackle the Chinese threat in the Indo Pacific region. All the quad countries started participating in the Malabar exercise which was focused on dealing with the Chinese Navy. Under President Donald Trumph Quad became even more stronger.
The biggest problem with American foreign policy is that it completely changes with each new president. The American foreign policy witnessed a 180 degree U-turn when Joe Biden assumed power. According to him, Russia is still America’s number one adversary, not China. But Russia’s depleting power and economy are evident. It is not as strong as it used to be in the Soviet Era.
Why Quad Should Be America’s Top Priority
EAM S Jaishankar has conveyed his silent message to the American administration that India is not very happy with the American foreign policy. It is expected that after pullout from Afghanistan (though it was Joe Biden’s biggest blunder) President Joe Biden will focus more on dealing with China in the Indo Pacific region. After such irresponsible pullout, the trust for America among its allies is depleting. America needs to re-assure its allies especially Taiwan, who is facing a constant threat from the Chinese Invasion.
If America wants to be the sole superpower in the world for at least the coming few decades, America must increase its military engagement with the Quad countries, especially India because these countries will play the key role in containing China. If the US remains silent now, it will portray itself as a declining super power accepting the Chinese hegemony.
China’s expansionist policy is a threat to world peace and stability. It aspires to annex Taiwan, portions of India, Japan, Mongolia, Vietnam, the Philipines, and even Russia. Moreover the Chinese do not adhere by any ideals or principles which makes them an even bigger threat. China has become the new sponsor of terrorism in the region by funding the Taliban. If the USA wants China to be contained Quad is the only option.