A top Pentagon Commander has told U.S. legislators that the possibilities of NATO partnership with India and Brazil are “worth exploring”, as the two nations have great capabilities.
“Just to really push a little further out there, two nations that I think are worth exploring possibilities with are India and Brazil. They both have great capability. They could operate with us, for example, in the piracy mission should they choose to do so,” said Admiral James Stavridis, Commander of U.S. European Command (EUCOM), and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe.
This is for the first time possibly that a top Pentagon commander is making such a statement on partnership between NATO and India. The Pentagon official was quick to inform legislators that this idea of his could be a little bit far-fetched.
Adm. Stavridis, who was responding to a question from Congressman Loretta Sanchez at a Congressional hearing on Thursday, said that exploring the possibilities of NATO building partnership with India was last on his list of four priorities of NATO’s expansion and partnership with other countries.
“I would look first and foremost at building on the coalition in Afghanistan. Twenty eight NATO nations, but we have 22 other nations who are partnering with NATO in Afghanistan. This is many Pacific nations, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Tonga. So I think that that coalition base gives us one set of potential partners looking forward,” he said.
“Secondly, we have two organisations that reach beyond NATO. Today, the Mediterranean dialogue, we’re in the process of talking, for example, with Libya. Already many of the other nations in General Ham’s region are part of this. The nations around the Mediterranean are natural NATO partners,” he said.
The commander said that the partnership with Istanbul Cooperative Initiative, consisting of the Gulf states, had helped the U.S. in anti-piracy operations.
Adm. Stavridis said during the upcoming NATO Summit in Chicago, the leaders would review its policies and will present the alliance’s path forward in total on nuclear weapons.
“In terms of NATO continuing to finance the infrastructure and what are the costs, the costs are relatively significant in protecting these weapons; and thus, we have to, as an alliance, make decisions about whether we want to maintain them or not,” he said, adding that the decision on the issue would be taken soon.