Changes in NATO’s plans and strategies towards China in the Indo-Pacific, after AUKUS


We note the existence of profound changes in the plans and strategies of NATO members towards China, and the repetition of the same violent American rhetoric towards Beijing, after the conclusion of the “New Aukus Defense Agreement led by Washington to confront China”, and despite the European allies themselves being harmed by the cancellation of the French submarine deal with Australia, and what  It had repercussions on European regional security itself. The statements of NATO members were clear, that:

  “Any Sino-American war will not be contained regionally, as happened in the previous American wars in Korea and Vietnam, but will extend to Europe, where NATO allies will find themselves facing the premise of activating the alliance’s “Article No. (5)” related to collective defense”

   From here, I can analyze the most prominent new defense plans and strategies of NATO after the signing of the “Aukus Defense Agreement” led by the United States of America, as follows:

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) stated in September 2021 that “it’s facing challenges in preserving the global order from “authoritarian powers, such as: Russia and China”, after the announcement of the (new Aukus Defense Agreement, as a framework for the US-British-Australian new security agreement), which resulted in the global crisis, known as: “Australia’s cancellation of the submarine deal with France”.

We find here “the clear contradiction in the statements of NATO military leaders before and after the signing of the Aukus agreement led by Washington”. Despite NATO’S previously asserting that confrontation between China and the alliance “is not desirable or inevitable”, a new document was issued to NATO after signing the agreement.  The Aukus Defense Agreement, which expressly stated:

  “We must adjust the alliance’s strategic concepts, defense planning and training, and capabilities development priorities in order to meet the growing Chinese dangers”

The apparent contradiction in the NATO statements appeared through new texts regarding the necessity of identifying and evaluating the Chinese threat to the security of the alliance, despite (confirming previous statements that there are dangers on the part of China), where a new NATO document was proposed that:

 “NATO members should share information among allies on assessing the risks of Chinese activities that may have direct security implications for NATO, such as: Sino-Russian military exercises in the Baltic Sea region”

The most dangerous and important matter, from my analytical point of view, comes about the NATO leaders’ proposal to establish an office for them in the “Indo-Pacific” region, which reflects the same American ambitions and agenda to encircle and contain China in its areas of influence, by stressing on:

  “Establishment of a military office in the Indo-Pacific region, to facilitate the exchange of information and the coordination of Allied exercises and activities in the region”

The new NATO documents, after the signing of the “Aukus Defense Agreement under American auspices”, called for the necessity of NATO’s military presence in the heart and periphery of the “Indo-Pacific” region of their area of ​​influence in the Atlantic Ocean, and this contradicts the new NATO statement, about:

  “NATO member states should establish a “coalition of the willing” to conduct military missions and exercises in the South China Sea to ensure freedom of navigation in the region, and to reassure NATO regional partners, with the need for the alliance to develop the necessary capabilities to monitor and, if necessary, respond to the Chinese threat”

The statements of NATO leaders, prior to a meeting of the chiefs of staff of the NATO member states in September 2021, in the Greek capital “Athens” are similar to “the same US White House statements regarding China”, and can be understood through the NATO statement issued, about:

  “NATO faces challenges in preserving the world order from “authoritarian powers” such as Russia and China, and that NATO has become in dire need of unity between the two sides of the Atlantic to stand together in the face of common security challenges”

The NATO’s military leaders are attempting to confirm the “American military partnership with NATO to confront China”, which confirms the theory of the alliance’s dependence on Washington and its loss of independence, through the statement of the “Military Committee of NATO Countries”, which includes the chiefs of staff of the countries of the alliance, about:

  “We are facing many “dangers coming from Russia and China, which affect the future of the alliance within the framework of its 2030 plan.” Therefore, the NATO Military Committee had to discuss the topic of “strengthening the partnership between European countries and North America”

The importance of the recent meetings of the NATO Military Committee comes in terms of “the sensitivity of the timing after the signing of the Aukus Agreement and NATO’s loss of impartiality in dealing with new security threats”, in which Washington and Australia are supposed to be involved after the “nuclear submarine deal in favor of Canberra”.

The most prominent new security topic on the global scene is (the discussions taking place within the European Union immediately after the signing of the Aukus Agreement under American auspices), embarrassing France and showing the extent of European security weakness, in order to (form a common European defense front away from NATO), and this came  Through separate European statements, they all confirm that:

  “There are growing attempts to show the European Union seeking to form a separate military force to operate independently after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the expected European announcement of a separate partnership with NATO before the end of 2021”

These European statements also coincided with (the Military Committee of NATO countries at its meeting in Athens led by Washington discussed the alliance’s defense plans, and the new military operations of the alliance around the world), which confirms “Washington’s growing attempts to weaken NATO in its favor after the signing of the Okos Agreement, which is what  He angered the Europeans”, while confirming the content of the speech of the Chairman of the Military Committee of NATO, saying:

  “The US Department of Defense (Pentagon) confirmed that the United States considers the agreements between Washington and Moscow on arms control, and negotiations with Russia on strategic stability important for the whole world”

We can also stop to analyze the new NATO strategy in an attempt to (penetrate the security issues of the Asian continent), such as: (North Korean missile program), whose scope can affect a large part of European territory before the United States, so the continent has placed  Asian is already on the main agenda of the alliance.

    Through my personal analysis of the recent developments of NATO, in particular “the impact of the Aukus Agreement on the strategies and plans of NATO”, the most dangerous point for me, and related to those security and military interactions at the Asian level, and the extent of their impact on the global balance in itself, and that brings me to the level  Analytical and intellectual related to the strategy (the clear American planning to make the North Atlantic Treaty Organization “NATO” deploy medium-range nuclear missiles around China), and perhaps this is the deep meaning of the explanation (the reasons for the American withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia).

    In my personal opinion, this previous point is the real problem, which perhaps many analysts and researchers around the world did not pay attention to in the midst of their clinging to the attack on the American policy of withdrawing from the INF Treaty in the face of Russia, without bothering to search for the real reasons and motives for that, and its relationship (with the balance of Asian and global powers, and the extent of NATO’s relationship with it in the first place). These are all problems that need to be discussed in depth and global solutions worthy of them, (in order to prevent imbalance and global security stability, affecting all regions around the world, including the Middle East).

Dr.Nadia Helmy
Dr.Nadia Helmy
Associate Professor of Political Science, Faculty of Politics and Economics / Beni Suef University- Egypt. An Expert in Chinese Politics, Sino-Israeli relationships, and Asian affairs- Visiting Senior Researcher at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES)/ Lund University, Sweden- Director of the South and East Asia Studies Unit