NATO Globally

NATO seeks to globally expand its cooperation structures and also work more closely with Jordan, Indonesia and India – in addition to boost its Asia-Pacific presence.

BRUXELLES/AMMAN/JAKARTA/NEW DELHI (Own report) – NATO is seeking to expand its cooperation structures globally and also intensify its cooperation with Jordan, Indonesia and India. A “NATO-Indonesia meeting” was held yesterday (Wednesday) on the sidelines of the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels – a follow-up to talks between Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in mid-June 2022. Last week, a senior NATO official visited Jordan’s capital Amman to promote the establishment of a NATO liaison office. Already back in June, a US Congressional Committee focused on China, had advocated linking India more closely to NATO. India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, however, quickly rejected the suggestion. NATO diplomats are quoted saying that the Western military alliance could conceive of cooperating with South Africa or Brazil, for example. These plans would escalate the West’s power struggle against Russia and China, while non-Western alliances such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) are expanding their membership.

NATO at the Pacific

Already since some time, NATO has been seeking to expand its cooperation structures into the Asia-Pacific region, for example to include Japan. Early this year, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was in Tokyo, among other things, to sign a joint declaration with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.[1] In addition, it is strengthening its cooperation with South Korea, whose armed forces are participating in NATO cyber defense and are to be involved more intensively in future conventional NATO maneuvers.[2] Japan’s prime minster and South Korea’s president have already regularly attended NATO summits. The Western military alliance is also extending its cooperation with Australia and New Zealand. This development is not without its contradictions. France, for example, opposes the plan to establish a NATO liaison office in Japan, because it considers itself an important Pacific power and does not want NATO’s influence to excessively expand in the Pacific. Nevertheless, the Western military alliance is strengthening its presence in the Asia-Pacific region – with maneuvers conducted by its member states, including Germany ( reported.[3]).

Liaison Office in Jordan

Since some time, Western military allies have been considering tightening their ties to third countries beyond the Asia-Pacific region – initially to countries to the south and southeast of the territory of the NATO alliance, particularly to regions, where Russia is expanding its influence. This is the case in Northern Africa, where Moscow has been present with private military companies such as Wagner (in Mali, Libya, Central African Republic), abut also in the Middle East, where Russian regular troops have been deployed since 2015 in Syria. NATO has been cooperating with several Mediterranean countries since 1994 within the framework of its Mediterranean Dialogue and also since 1994, with several Arab Gulf countries as part of its Istanbul Cooperation Initiative.[4] However, the cooperation is not considered very intensive. At the beginning of this week, NATO diplomats have been quoted saying “we remain acutely aware of developments on our southern flank,” and are planning appropriate measures. The possibility of establishing a Liaison Office in Jordan is being explored “as a move to get closer to the ground and develop the relationship in the Middle East.[5] Last week, a senior NATO official visited Jordan’s capital Amman to promote such a liaison office.[6]

NATO-Indonesia Meeting

The plans are not limited to activities in Northern Africa and the Middle East, i. e., regions bordering the alliance. NATO diplomats informed the online platform “Euractiv” that “many members of the Western military alliance believe that political dialogue does not have to be limited to the southern neighborhood. One can also seek cooperation with states further away. Brazil, South Africa, India, and Indonesia are mentioned as examples.[7] It was suggested that one could initiate closer cooperation by first entering into dialogue. This can be achieved through forging better relationships at ministerial or ambassadors’ level or inviting representatives from those countries “to joint meetings” on current security threats. One such exchange took place yesterday (Wednesday) on the sidelines of the NATO foreign ministers meeting. Within the framework of a “NATO-Indonesia meeting” NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană met with the high-ranking envoy of the Indonesian government, Andri Hadi. NATO Secretary Stoltenberg had already personally received Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on June 14, 2022, in Brussels.

Cooperation with India

Another move was already made back in June by a US Congressional Committee – House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the US and the Chinese Communist Party.  In a paper containing strategic proposals for the U.S. power struggle against China, the Committee also advocated strengthening NATO’s cooperation with India.[8] The proposal caused a stir in the run-up to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington on June 22. He was able to draw on the fact that India is cooperating militarily in the Quad format with the USA as well as NATO partners Japan and Australia in order to gain leverage against China. Close NATO ties could also facilitate intelligence sharing, allowing New Delhi to access advanced military technology.[9] India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, however, rejected Washington’s proposal, stating that the “NATO template does not apply to India”.[10] Indian media explained that New Delhi was still not prepared to be pitted against Russia and to limit its independence.[11] Both would be entailed in close ties to NATO.


The efforts to link third countries around the world more closely to NATO are being undertaken at a time when not only western countries are escalating their power struggles against Russia and above all against China and are therefore tightening their alliance structures. They are also taking place when non-Western alliances are gaining ground. This is true not only for the BRICS, which decided, in August, to admit six new members on January 1, 2024 ( reported [12]). This is also true for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a security alliance centered around Moscow and Beijing that has grown from its original six to currently nine members, including India, Pakistan and Iran, and continues to attract new interested countries. In addition to several countries in Southern Asia and the South Caucasus, SCO “dialogue partners” now include Turkey, Egypt and five Arabian Peninsula states, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Iin light of the BRICS expansion, the admission of additional countries as full SCO members is considered quite conceivable. Western dominance will thus be progressively weakened.[13]


[1] See also Militarization of the First Island Chain.

[2] See also NATO at the Pacific (II).

[3] See also Deutschland im Pazifik-Militärblock.

[4] NATO partners.

[5] Aurélie Pugnet: NATO eyes firmer foothold in its Southern neighbourhood. 09.10.2023.

[6] Ica Wahbeh: Jordan-NATO – ‘an enduring partnership that should be even stronger in the future’. 05.10.2023.

[7] Aurélie Pugnet: NATO eyes firmer foothold in its Southern neighbourhood. 09.10.2023.

[8] The Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party: Ten for Taiwan. Policy Recommendations to Preserve Peace and Stability in the Taiwan Strait. Washington, June 2023.

[9] Joe Saballa: US Pushes for India’s Inclusion in NATO Plus. 06.06.2023.

[10] Fareha Naaz: ‘India capable of countering Chinese aggression’, refuses to join NATO, says S Jaishankar. 09.06.2023.

[11] Shivan Chanana: India, a NATO state? Whose gain, whose loss? 05.06.2023.

[12] See also Strategies Against BRICS.

[13] See also Pyrrhic Sanctions.