NATO Current Affairs - 2019
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The United States Senate (Upper Chamber of US Congress) has passed a legislative provision that brings India at par with America’s NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) allies and countries like South Korea, Australia, Japan and Israel for increasing defence cooperation.
This development to bring India at last with NATO ally comes amid a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump during G20 in Osaka, Japan and visit by US Secretary of State (SoS) Mike Pompeo to New Delhi.
What is National Defense Authorisation Act?
The legislative provision called National Defense Authorisation Act (or NDAA) for fiscal year 2020 was passed by Senate in late June.
Purpose: NDAA provides for increased US-India Defence cooperation in Indian Ocean in areas of counter-piracy, counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance and maritime security.
Significance: The move of elevating India to non-NATO status is vital towards advancement of US-India strategic partnership and will further boost collaboration between India and US in defence.
Way Ahead: The bill would be signed into law after both chambers of US Congress pass it. The House of Representatives is expected to take up its version of NDAA in July before legislators adjourn for August recess on July 29.
In 2016 United States recognised India as a Major Defence Partner, a designation that allows India to buy more advanced and sensitive technologies from US at par with that of US’ closest allies and partners.
In July 2018, US President Donald Trump-led administration granted India status of Strategic Trade Authorization-1 (STA-1) country. This made India the only South Asian nation to be given the said designation along with US’ NATO allies. This move would ease export controls for high technology product sales to India.
The increased engagement of US with India in multilateral frameworks seeks to promote regional security and defend shared values and common interests in rules-based order.
Tags: Major Defence Partner • National Defense Authorisation Act • NATO • NATO Ally-like status • North Atlantic Treaty Organization • Strategic Trade Authorization-1 Country • US President Donald Trump • US Secretary of State • US Senate • US-India
The United States Air Force General Tod D. Wolters was sworn in as top military officer of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), at NATO’s military headquarters in Mons, southern Belgium.
Tod D. Wolters
- Service: He is a former US pilot who has served as commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and U.S. Air Forces in Africa. He has also served in Afghanistan and Iraq.
- He will succeed U.S. Army General Curtis M. Scaparrotti to become new Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) for a term of two to three years.
- He will also be a commander of U.S. forces in Europe.
Supreme Allied Commander Europe
- A SACEUR is commander of NATO’s Allied Command Operations (ACO). He is based at SHAPE in Casteau, Belgium.
- He also heads Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). SHAPE is ACO’s headquarter.
- SACEUR is second highest military position within NATO. In terms of precedence It is only after Chairman of NATO Military Committee.
- Importance: NATO’s SACEUR post has always been held by an American military officer.
- A SACEUR position is dual-hatted i.e. one who serves as SACEUR also holds role of Commander of United States European Command.
- It is one of most challenging and most important military positions in world.
- It is an intergovernmental military and political alliance based on North Atlantic Treaty (also known as Washington Treaty) signed in 4 April 1949. It is also known as North Atlantic Alliance. It consists of 29 independent member countries across North America and Europe.
- It is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium and Headquarters of its Allied Command Operations in Mons, Belgium.
- Importance: It constitutes a system of collective defence by which its independent member states agrees for mutual defence in response to any attack on any member by any external party.
Tags: Allied Command Operations ( • Curtis M. Scaparrotti • Europe • NATO • North America • North Atlantic Treaty • SACEUR • SHAPE • Supreme Allied Commander Europe • Tod Wolters • upreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe • US • Washington Treaty