NATO’s interests in a stable Indo-Pacific

NATO’s interests in a stable Indo-Pacific | The Strategist (

25 Jul 2023|Allan du Toit

Recent strident assertions by former Australian prime minister Paul Keating that NATO has no place in Asia and should limit itself to Europe and the Atlantic and not try to expand into the Asia–Pacific are misjudged and should not be allowed to pass unchallenged.

With global commerce and security interests more interconnected than ever, NATO, the world’s premier political-military alliance, and one of the most successful collective security enterprises in history, understands that developments in the Indo-Pacific region are highly relevant to global cooperative security.

Regional and collective defence commitments will always be paramount for NATO but cannot be its defining perspective in an increasingly globalised, interconnected and uncertain world. NATO’s interests do not stop at the Tropic of Cancer in the Atlantic. Contrary to the views of Keating, NATO has a vital interest in a stable Indo-Pacific region, including unhindered lines of communication on, under and above the region’s oceans and seas. This was reaffirmed at the recent NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, where the alliance’s 31 member states agreed that what happens in the Indo-Pacific matters for Europe and therefore for NATO. And, conversely, what happens in Europe matters for Indo-Pacific nations.

READ FULL ARTICLE : NATO’s interests in a stable Indo-Pacific | The Strategist (

AUTHOR : Allan du Toit is a retired flag officer in the Royal Australian Navy who served as Australia’s military representative to NATO from 2013 to 2016. Image: Jacques Witt/AFP via Getty Images.


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