Can India really join the Five Eyes Network? The Five Eyes Network is an intelligence pact between five countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US.
Its (Five Eyes Network) objective includes joint cooperation in signals intelligence and the dossier comprises of investigation about the outbreak of COVID-19 from Wuhan, China.
Chinese state media – the Global Times quoting The Times of India says that India media house recently published an article suggesting measures that New Delhi should quickly counter the Chinese challenge.
In addition to the claim – “India has no choice but to expand and diversify the theatre of this conflict,” while also suggesting that India should “join the Five Eyes network” since “a network of intel sharing on China is crucial now.”
GT writes – similar analysis have been common in Indian media houses and shared by Indian strategic experts. It reflects the sentiment of Indian nationalists against China who want to restrain Beijing by taking assistance of external forces.
GT says that these ‘strategic experts’ are trying to seize the opportunity of the latest border clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers to forward their own cause.
But it is uncertain if the Modi government will approve their proposals. Given Indian foreign policies of the past, especially those of Indian PM Narendra Modi, we can see that Delhi is getting closer to the US.
However, GT acknowledges that India has kept a balance in terms of its ties with major powers such as China, the US, and Russia.
GT agrees that it won’t be in the interest of India if it joins the Five Eye intelligence alliance. New Delhi has been striving to become a major world power. Playing the role of a little brother of the US is not what India really wants. Therefore, this and similar proposals will find opposition by those in India who view joining the Five Eye network as a sacrifice of autonomy and sovereignty.
Even if the US enrols India into such an anti-China network, it will not assist India to protect its national interests because China will make corresponding policy adjustments writes the GT.
Besides, India’s current ties with Russia are very close. If India joins the Five Eyes network, it will be affirming that China-India relations have become unfriendly. This could also mean the end of special India-Russia historical ties. This will be hard for the Modi government to do, and it is not in line with India’s core national interests.
And even if the Indian government wants to join the network it is very unlikely that the Five Eyes alliance will permit India to join in. The members of the Five Eyes alliance are strictly selected nations that share Anglo-Saxon heritage.
To some extent, the proximity and traditional ties of the Five Eyes alliance have surpassed that of NATO. Even Japan and South Korea, the US’ core allies in Asia, are not permitted to join the network and India does not stand a chance.
Additionally, India and the US have serious differences in trade and ideology, especially more and more criticism from the US against Modi’s religious doctrine. GT says that proposal of joining the Five Eyes network is probably just wishful thinking by some Indian media outlets and political pundits.