Proliferation Press

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

The Economist Slams the China-Pakistan Nuclear Deal

Posted by K.E. White on June 30, 2010

While dated, the Economist’s editorial on the China-Pakistan nuclear deal remains a must-read.

But I’ll ring one optimistic tone:  with the US and China now both active nuclear patrons to non-NPT parties–not to mention others–there may be more support among the nuclear powers to tighten safeguards in the future.

Why?  They’ll all want cover in the event of a nuclear crisis.  This has particular resonance in Pakistan.

Perhaps the US offering their own deal is just the cross-cutting engagement that can secure Pakistan’s nuclear infrastructure?

To key parts from The Economist’s editorial:

America argued that India had a spotless non-proliferation record (it doesn’t) and that bringing it into the non-proliferation “mainstream” could only bolster global anti-proliferation efforts (it didn’t). The deal incensed not just China and Pakistan but many others, inside and outside the NSG. An immediate casualty was the effort to get all members of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), who have already promised not to seek the bomb, to sign up to an additional protocol on toughened safeguards. Many have, but on hearing of the America-India deal Brazil’s president is reputed to have flatly ruled that out. And where Brazil has put its foot down, others have also hesitated.

What particularly riles outsiders is that America did not get anything much out of India in return. It did not win backing for new anti-proliferation obligations, such as a legally binding test ban or for an end to the further production of fissile uranium or plutonium for bombs. India has since designated some of its reactors as civilian, and open to inspection, but others still churn out spent fuel richly laden with weapons-usable plutonium. India can potentially make even more of the stuff. Now that it can import uranium fuel for its civilian reactors, it can devote more of its scarce domestic supplies to bomb-making.

If Pakistan really is worried about India’s growing nuclear arsenal, diplomacy might work better than an arms race. George Perkovich of the Carnegie Endowment, a think tank, says Pakistan should lift its veto on a ban on the production of fissile materials for bombs. That would put India (which claims to support a ban) on the spot. Like enriched uranium, hypocrisy can be costlier than it seems.

Advertisements

One Response to “The Economist Slams the China-Pakistan Nuclear Deal”

  1. neel123 said

    The NSG was formed, following India’s 1974 nuke tests, specifically aiming at India. This was followed by more than three decades of sanctions of all kinds, that miserably failed to stop India from developing indigenous capabilities in nuclear sciences.

    But the most surprising part of the whole issue is, why are the Americans, after helping Pakistan, their accomplice, to have nuclear parity with India, not having a nuclear deal with them ?

    What is the point in this hypocrisy …. ?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: