Prelims level : International Mains level : Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and / or affecting India’s interests.
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  • Context: Recently U.S. Senate has passed a legislative provision (under The National Defense Authorization Act or NDAA) that brings India at par with America’s NATO allies.

About NATO:

  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries.
  • The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed in April 1949.
  • NATO constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.
  • NATO’s Headquarters are located in Haren, Brussels, Belgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near Mons, Belgium.
    Montenegro is the latest country to join the alliance in 2017.

What Is Non-NATO Ally Status?

  • It is a designation given by the United States government to close allies that have strategic working relationships with the US Armed Forces but are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
  • While the status does not automatically include a mutual defense pact with the United States, it still confers a variety of military and financial advantages that otherwise are not obtainable by non-NATO countries.

Significance for India:

  • The move brings India on par with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies and countries such as Israel and South Korea for increasing defence cooperation.
  • Increased cooperation between the United States and India in the areas of humanitarian assistance, counter-terrorism, counter-piracy and maritime security in the Indian Ocean.

Prior Moves by USA:

  • Trump administration had granted Strategic Trade Authorization Tier 1 status to India, which is largely accorded to NATO allies. The move identified India’s growing status as a US defence partner.
  • In 2016, India was recognised as a “Major Defence Partner” by the United States. This allowed India to buy more advanced and sensitive technologies that is on par with that of US’ closest allies and partners.
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