Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

The US-India Nuclear Deal: Believable or Not, On Track For September Passage

Posted by proliferationpresswm on September 13, 2008

A deal some pronounced dead months ago is predicted to become law this month. The landmark nuclear cooperation deal allows India—a non-recognized nuclear-weapons country—to engage in nuclear commerce with other nuclear powers. While proliferation concerns have nagged the precedent-shattering for years, another concern now faces Washington: will the deal actually bring India closer to China and Russia. 

The last obstacle for the deal resides in the United States, will the US Congress is expected to take up and pass the bill. 

President George Bush’s landmark foreign policy achievement may not only cripple non-proliferation efforts, but tilt global influence away from America. 

The Bush administration’s aggressive push for a US-Indian nuclear partnership was premised on two large assumptions: 1) international inertia on recognizing India’s nuclear status was hampering non-proliferation efforts, and 2) if America led the nuclear effort, it would be the foundation of a strategic partnership with India. While only time will tell on the deal’s impact of nuclear nonproliferation, the second assumption now seems deeply flawed.   

Even if American-specific constraints are placed on the deal during Congressional review this month in Washington, other countries are now free to provide nuclear fuel to India. 

From The Times of India

But if the US intends to redraw its own lines on agreements, India feels it will only be the US that will be the loser. Moreover, India will balk at buying either fuel or reactors from US sources. It might affect the US which wants a “level playing field” for its companies. “They’re undermining their own playing field,” said sources. 

In any case, India’s best suppliers for fuel will be countries like Russia and France, both traditional sources, and not hampered by such constraints. French envoy to India, Jerome Bonnafont told journalists today that the “NSG exemption was wise and appropriate… It opens a new chapter in which France desires to be a key partner.”  

For some, a nuclear deal with India was unavoidable. A growing presence on the world stage with nuclear arms since 1999, it was only a matter of time before the globe’s major powers had to incorporate India’s nuclear status. 

But the details of the deal trouble some nonproliferation experts. India flouted international law and norms by denoting nuclear weapons in 1998. But India now stands to receive the benefits of a responsible world-power—with no real constraints its future nuclear weapons testing or development. 

From Dr. William Potter of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies

What is especially disheartening about the nuclear agreement — and bodes poorly for future nonproliferation efforts — is the extent to which economic considerations and power politics overrode those involving nuclear arms control — even among states typically regarded as international nonproliferation leaders. Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, South Africa, and Sweden were largely missing in action — or worse — during the prolonged struggle to impose consensus on the deeply divided 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Did these states, and others, simply forget the commitments they undertook at prior Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conferences to foreswear nuclear cooperation with states lacking comprehensive safeguards? What credibility will they have now to hold the feet of the nuclear weapons states to the fire on other NPT commitments such as nuclear disarmament, the creation of nuclear-weapon-free zones, and the provision of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes? Having rewarded India, a nuclear weapons possessor, with nuclear trade benefits previously reserved to states in compliance with the NPT, what incentives remain for other states to join the Treaty? How can one tighten controls on nuclear exports to NPT members of sensitive uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing technology having just created a giant loophole for such exports to a non-NPT state? Which countries retain the moral authority to speak credibly about other states’ nuclear disarmament and arms control shortcomings in light of the collective nonproliferation amnesia on display in Vienna this past week? Certainly, the tiny group of white knights no longer includes Canada, Germany, South Africa, and Sweden — nations who pride themselves as models of nonproliferation propriety.

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One Response to “The US-India Nuclear Deal: Believable or Not, On Track For September Passage”

  1. Renjith Nair said

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh just got a weapon “A CAMOUFLAGE NUCLEAR DEAL” to distract the public from the fallout of his Government.He and His Boss Sonia bluffs India Remain poorest country since independence because we didn’t have this nuclear deal!!! and it will solve the entire problem we are facing!!!! Like Indira Gandhi…Sonia believes as long as India remain illeterate Congress can SOW and HARVEST.In the coming election the SEED IS THIS CAMOUFLAGE NUCLEAR DEAL!!!.

    USA will lick as long as one being obedient to them otherwise they will suck.Their legacy proves that.The immediate evidence is BUSH gradually started kicking back in the form of secret letters and confusing comments as the ball is in their court now!.They armed BIN LADEN against USSR and now they fights Laden.They armed IRAN in 80’s and today IRAN is a rogue nation for them! They armed SADDAM and what was the fate of SADDAM?? Look at Pakistan what is happening now,they prospered Islamic terrorism against USSR in Afghanistan and Now they fight Pakistan in Afghan Border. Remember what had happened in KOSOVO.what had happened in Vietnam.What will be the fate of their Indian connexion??? only USA knows!!

    REALITY BITES!!! BEWARE!!!

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