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Neo
28 Oct 05,, 13:51
Friday, October 28, 2005

Indo-US nuclear deal comes under sharp criticism in Congress

By Khalid Hasan

WASHINGTON: A taste of what awaits the Indo-US nuclear agreement on Capitol Hill was provided on Wednesday when expert after expert appearing before the House International Relations Committee expressed serious concern about its implications and impact.

The hearing was presided over by Rep Henry J Hyde, the committee chairman. Testifying before the panel were Robert J Einhorn of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Neil Joeck of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Henry Sokolski of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Centre, Leonard S Spector of the Monterey Institute of International Studies and David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security.

Chairman Hyde, opening the hearing declared that while the US attempts at forging a global partnership with India were to be welcomed, the administration had shared little if any information with the Congress regarding its ongoing discussions with India. It is a strange situation where India knows more about the proposal than the Congress. He said he was troubled by a number of statements by officials that the agreement had broad support and that the house’s consent was guaranteed.” He said he could not understand how these statements could be made without consulting the Congress. The chairman said it was the province of the Congress to make or amend laws and that responsibilities to the American people and to posterity would not permit any course other than full and complete consideration of the decision’s many consequences, both obvious and those not readily revealed to impatient eyes.

State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack, asked at the daily briefing to comment on Hyde’s statement, said the process of consultation with the Congress had not even begun, adding that before such a process, India needed to take several steps, including the separation of their civilian and military nuclear programs. He said this was a good agreement for the United States and a good agreement for India and the world, if India takes the right steps.

Tom Lantos, a democrat, said it was a matter of delight that the world’s oldest democracy was developing a permanent political-strategic alliance with the world’s largest. He said he strongly agreed with the chairman that there should be no hurry in reaching a decision as this is a “matter of utmost gravity and importance and it must be dealt with with extreme care and caution.” He called the agreement historic breakthrough and expressed hope that India would continue to abide by its commitment to refrain from testing, because if that happened, Pakistan would follow suit. He pointed out that Islamabad did not test its nuclear weapons before India had done so.” He expressed satisfaction at India’s vote against Iran at the IAEA.

Robert Einhorn told the Committee that several of the steps India had promised to take are simply affirmations of existing positions, while in view of the unsuccessful efforts for over a decade to get negotiations underway on a fissile material cut-off treaty and no near-term prospect of removing obstacle to beginning negotiations, India’s pledge to work towards the conclusion of a multilateral fissile cut-off treaty is unlikely in the foreseeable future to have any effect on its ongoing programme to produce more fissile materials for nuclear weapons. He pointed out that India’s commitment to the separation of the civilian and military components of its nuclear programme and to place the civilian facilities open to IAEA inspection had been criticised domestically. While India had said that it would decide what facilities were to be placed under safeguards, the US wanted the list to be complete. This would not affect India’ ability to produce fissile material for its military programme from unguarded facilities, he said adding that the non-proliferation gains of the treaty were meagre compared with the major damage to non-proliferation goals that would result if the deal went forward without amendment. “If the deal goes through, it will lead others to believe that the US stance on non-proliferation is selective self-serving, inconsistent and principled,” he warned.

David Albright said the agreement could “pose serious risks to the security of the United States. If fully implemented, it could catapult India into a position as a major supplier of both nuclear and nuclear-related materials, equipment and technology.” India could become a major supplier to America’s adversaries. It could encourage China and Russia to seek their own exceptions to the long-standing non-proliferation rules. He said the agreement had diminished the value of the NPT sending “dangerous signals” to North Korea and Iran. He expressed scepticism about India’s pledge to separate its military and civilian nuclear programme. The “additional steps” that such a separation required were absent from the US-India July18 agreement, he said. While India’s “illicit” efforts are not as extensive as Pakistan’s, India seeks a variety of dual-use items from overseas suppliers “without revealing fully and honestly that the end users are unsafeguarded nuclear facilities,” he added. He said India’s extensive military and civilian nuclear programmes are often connected, sharing personnel and infrastructure, with some facilities serving both purposes. He said the Congress would need to ask the administration many questions before it can consider changing long-standing nonproliferation laws.

Leonard Spector said by offering the deal to India, President George Bush had reversed a quarter century of carefully wrought US policy. He said India did not meet the standards required of states that could buy equipment from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). He said India did not have an “unambiguous record of compliance with its nuclear transfer programme” adding that “all of us in this room” know that India did not meet this test. “Indeed, at this very moment, I consider India to be violating a core international commitment applying to civilian nuclear transfers it has received, by using restricted plutonium for its nuclear weapons programme. In fact, it may be disregarding more than one such commitment.” He asked why the US should consider civil nuclear cooperation with a state that has a “clear history of abusing agreements covering such transfers. How could it be confident that India would abide by its agreements in the future?” He described US ambassador to the UN John Bolton’s suggestion that India was not a proliferator as “only part of the story.” He quoted a Canadian government statement that said, “India chose to totally disregard its commitments to Canada and in 1974 detonated a nuclear device using plutonium reprocessed from spent fuel form the CIRUS reactor.”

Henry Sokolski advised Congress not to rush but to authorise implementation of the agreement only after India commits to the limits other responsible, advanced nuclear states have. India should forswear producing fissile materials for military purposes, identify all reactors supplying electricity to the distribution grid and all research reactors claimed to be for peaceful purposes should be open to routine, compulsory IAEA inspections. India should uphold all previous bilateral nuclear non-proliferation obligations with the US and other countries. He said Congress must get a briefing on India’s nuclear programme from US intelligence, which he promised would be found “interesting.” He called the inspections agreement being negotiated between the two governments as loose and if the Congress went ahead and approved the deal, it would help India expand its nuclear weapons arsenal, lend technical support to India’s ICBM project and undermine the international efforts to restrict nuclear and missile technology. He said it was a folly to have India compete against China with nuclear arms. India was no match for China.

Neil Joeck warned the Committee that the civilian nuclear element of the new partnership with India requires that “we keep two balls in the air at the same time.” Bilateral partnership with India and a strong US non-proliferation policy must not come at the expense of the other. He said in the eyes of many, this new relationship “rewards India for its recalcitrance regarding the NPT” and it undercuts countries that accepted nuclear constraints, compromising long-standing US non-proliferation policy and the global non-roliferation regime.

Thoughtful answers to these concerns were needed before the agreement is implemented, he added. However, he also identified several positive aspects of the deal. He said the agreement recognised that international security was achieved through a “layered approach.” He said the agreement recognised the reality of India’s nuclear weapons programme and would supplement efforts to enhance global security as India had been on the margins of the global non-proliferation regime for years. He said, “US nonproliferation policy has changed over the years to meet new challenges to security. The new partnership with India provides an opportunity to increase global security while adopting our nonproliferation policy to new conditions.”

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2005\10\28\story_28-10-2005_pg7_45

Neo
28 Oct 05,, 13:52
This could be a long and interesting debate in the Congress ;)

Monk
28 Oct 05,, 14:36
I don't want this deal to go through. I want India to concentrate on utilising its thorium reserves of which we have about 25% global reserves. We need to continue R&D in this sector.

I am against splitting civlian and military nuclear facilities, if we do that it will be a strategic blunder. We are marking military facilities with Big "X" marks as future military targets for the US.

Neo
28 Oct 05,, 14:50
Is that also the general opinion?
What I've been reading in the media is that India is very keen on this deal to go thru.

Sameer
28 Oct 05,, 15:16
India needs this deal because it needs more efficient reactors for the power shortfall asap.

This rangling in the COngress is more because of the low poll numbers for Bush and his weakness after Katrina, cia leak investigation, supreme court nomenee withdrawal etc ie a cold war between Congress and the WHite House than with concearnes about India, it will pass beause the Congress will not want to shut down the WHite House for another deal because they have already done so in other issues. SOme give and take always occurs, India will pass in that loop.

Ray
28 Oct 05,, 16:03
Actually, the nuclear deal would go a long way to produce power required for India of the future and even present.

However, it is not that important that one should go berserk.

If it comes about, good.

If it doesn't, it doesn't matter.

That is how I feel.

Samudra
28 Oct 05,, 16:10
As a matter of fact, we do have alternatives in the form of FBR.

And its not 100% about the power issue either.
Indian nuclear weapons programme is a pain in US's posterior.

It appears that Bush administration is willing to change its policies towards 'learning to live' with a nuclear armed India.A very significant change if true.

667medic
28 Oct 05,, 20:03
I don't want this deal to go through. I want India to concentrate on utilising its thorium reserves of which we have about 25% global reserves. We need to continue R&D in this sector.

I am against splitting civlian and military nuclear facilities, if we do that it will be a strategic blunder. We are marking military facilities with Big "X" marks as future military targets for the US.

http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=77075
The above article is about thorium reactor designed by Bhaba Atomic Research center.

As a matter of fact, we do have alternatives in the form of FBR
Forgive my ignorance, but what is a FBR

Neo
28 Oct 05,, 20:11
He's talking about Fast Breeding Reactor. India is building one on experimental base.

Monk
28 Oct 05,, 21:24
He's talking about Fast Breeding Reactor. India is building one on experimental base.

India has already built one.
I feel this way about the Indo-US nuclear deal, I don't know about others.
I honestly don't want the deal to go through, it is a massive strategic blunder with a very short-sighted goal in mind.

Sameer
28 Oct 05,, 23:28
But Monk India already has enough plutonium and uranium for anther 300 weapons if need be and the current reactors will not come under surveillance, why do you feel the way you do, we need efficient nuke power plants for economic purposes.

667medic
29 Oct 05,, 13:13
India has already built one.
I feel this way about the Indo-US nuclear deal, I don't know about others.
I honestly don't want the deal to go through, it is a massive strategic blunder with a very short-sighted goal in mind.
If the deal doesn't go, do you realize how damaging it would be to PM Manmohan's gov. Both the Left and BJP would scream blood. All this will result in chilling of Indo-US relations.....

Monk
29 Oct 05,, 15:04
If the deal doesn't go, do you realize how damaging it would be to PM Manmohan's gov. Both the Left and BJP would scream blood. All this will result in chilling of Indo-US relations.....

I don't believe in sub-ordinating India's long term goals to any homilies of "relationship/friendship" etc. I don't believe in the "natural allies" bullcrap which the politicians are feeding us.

The Manmohan Singh govt can got to hell for all I care. Nothing is more important than India's interests.

Monk
29 Oct 05,, 15:07
But Monk India already has enough plutonium and uranium for anther 300 weapons if need be and the current reactors will not come under surveillance, why do you feel the way you do, we need efficient nuke power plants for economic purposes.

All your military nuclear installation will be strategic strike targets for the USAF once you point it out to them. I don't believe in this friends forever "natak". Indo-US relationships have never been that way. Our Independant foreign policy will also be held hostage to this "friendship". We have our own interests to pursue in Asia. At best we can have an economic relationship with the US. This nuclear deal is not based on sound long-term thinking but very short-sighted targets.

Neo
18 Nov 05,, 19:08
Thursday, November 17, 2005
By Khalid Hasan

WASHINGTON: Congressman Gary Ackerman has suggested that India should be required to declare a moratorium on further production of fissile material in exchange for Washington’s support for a permanent seat for New Delhi on the UN Security Council.

The congressman made the suggestion at yet another hearing on Wednesday on the Indo-US nuclear agreement signed between the two countries during Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Washington in July this year. The agreement that would require a change in existing US law has run into heavy opposition from the nonproliferation lobby and several important senators and congressmen. Congress is irritated because the White House did not consult it before signing the agreement, which is seen as having serious implications not only for the United States but other countries including Pakistan and China.

The full committee hearing held by the House Committee on International Relations heard testimony from a number of experts, including Stephen P Cohen of the Brookings Institution, Ashley J Tellis of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Prof Francine R Frankel of the University of Pennsylvania. The well-attended two-hour session was chaired by Henry Hyde, Republican member from Illinois.

Cohen, who was appearing before a congressional committee on the same issue for the second time, said the big question is how many nuclear weapons India needs. He also stressed the crucial importance of determining the size of India’s military programme in the nuclear sphere and some way of ensuring that the civilian and military components are kept separate and apart. He was of the view that if India continued to produce and pile up nuclear weapons, other states would feel threatened. He also disagreed with the view advocated by India and its supporters that New Delhi has been a responsible nuclear power. Cohen pointed out that while it was true that India had not been a “horizontal proliferator”, it had been a “vertical proliferator”.

“India’s record of horizontal proliferation - sharing nuclear technology with other states - is very good, but it showed other states how to proliferate vertically - upwards - in the face of international sanctions and export control regimes,” he said.

Tellis, whose testimony and answers to the committee were generally supportive of India, said India would never accept a cap on its nuclear production unless China accepts a cap as well. He called it an international security issue. Asked if there could be a trade-off, he replied in the negative. Ackerman wanted to know if Washington should proceed any further were India to refuse to limit the size of its nuclear arsenal. The majority of witnesses replied in the affirmative, but advised the adoption of a thorough approach. Cohen said the United States should encourage an arms control regime involving India, Pakistan and China. In any case, an indefinite arms buildup was not in the interest of any of these countries, he added.

In his opening remarks, chairman Hyde said that while the establishment of a “global partnership” between India and the United States would appear to be a momentous event, any prediction of its long-term and real-world impact cannot be cast with any confidence. “It may yet prove to be a profound initiative, but it may be destined to take its place as one more of the many routine agreements between the world’s countries.”

He pointed out that the agreement had been “hurriedly negotiated, so hurriedly that those involved in the negotiations have stated that there was no time to consult with Congress beforehand”. He recalled that the committee had already held two hearings on the “controversial provisions” on nuclear cooperation and would continue to devote its attention to the implications the agreement may have for “our security and that of the globe”. He said while “the talk of this city” was that the new alliance was aimed at offsetting the rise of China, Indian leaders had denied that there was any such goal. He said India’s role in world affairs since its independence has been a “fraction” of what it otherwise might have been. He said the assumption by India of a more active role is very much to be welcomed if it is accompanied by a commensurate expansion of responsibility for reinforcing security and stability in the Middle East, the Indian Ocean region and Central Asia, and even for the international system as a whole. Complacency, he warned, would be a mistake. “Giant India’s emergence also summons giant possibilities,” he added.

Cohen told the committee that many Indians remain leery of close cooperation with the United States and none would subordinate Indian interests to those of the United States. India would not be a dependent state and it is more likely to emerge as an “Asian France”, one that “sees the world through its own prism, not ours”. India, he said, is much reliant on Middle East oil and gas and must maintain cordial relations with most of the major suppliers, including Iran. Nor does India want to become dependent on Pakistan. The proposed gas pipeline from Iran through Pakistan is not likely to materialise soon, he predicted. While being a secular democracy, he pointed out, India is also a major Muslim state. In India, domestic issues are inevitably linked with those in the realm of foreign policy, he said. He told the committee that there was a huge demonstration in Lucknow condemning India’s vote against Iran in the IAEA.

Cohen advised the committee that India is “hyper-sensitive” to criticism of its Kashmir policy and wants to keep major Muslim states from either intervening in Kashmir or supporting Pakistan. “It thus conducts a sophisticated balance-of-power diplomacy, hoping to counter Pakistani influence in the Gulf and to keep Kashmir out of all discussions,” he added.

He pointed out that India’s new opening to Israel has brought New Delhi important technical, intelligence and military benefits and more influence in Washington “but some in India are uneasy with it”. India will have to continuously calculate the balance between its relations with Tel Aviv and Tehran. He said India does not want to run afoul of America’s nonproliferation policies in the Middle East but its strategists have strong reservations about American nonproliferation goals and tactics. He said India would rather not have found itself placed in a situation where it had to vote against Iran (at the IAEA) and would look for a way out in the future. He told the committee that both the US and India had miscalculated the complexity of the July 2005 nuclear deal and the likely opposition. He said “our own abysmal knowledge of India and its politics contributed to this situation”.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2005\11\17\story_17-11-2005_pg7_45

Monk
19 Nov 05,, 16:22
Thursday, November 17, 2005
By Khalid Hasan

WASHINGTON: Congressman Gary Ackerman has suggested that India should be required to declare a moratorium on further production of fissile material in exchange for Washington’s support for a permanent seat for New Delhi on the UN Security Council.

The congressman made the suggestion at yet another hearing on Wednesday on the Indo-US nuclear agreement signed between the two countries during Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Washington in July this year. The agreement that would require a change in existing US law has run into heavy opposition from the nonproliferation lobby and several important senators and congressmen. Congress is irritated because the White House did not consult it before signing the agreement, which is seen as having serious implications not only for the United States but other countries including Pakistan and China.

The full committee hearing held by the House Committee on International Relations heard testimony from a number of experts, including Stephen P Cohen of the Brookings Institution, Ashley J Tellis of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Prof Francine R Frankel of the University of Pennsylvania. The well-attended two-hour session was chaired by Henry Hyde, Republican member from Illinois.

Cohen, who was appearing before a congressional committee on the same issue for the second time, said the big question is how many nuclear weapons India needs. He also stressed the crucial importance of determining the size of India’s military programme in the nuclear sphere and some way of ensuring that the civilian and military components are kept separate and apart. He was of the view that if India continued to produce and pile up nuclear weapons, other states would feel threatened. He also disagreed with the view advocated by India and its supporters that New Delhi has been a responsible nuclear power. Cohen pointed out that while it was true that India had not been a “horizontal proliferator”, it had been a “vertical proliferator”.

“India’s record of horizontal proliferation - sharing nuclear technology with other states - is very good, but it showed other states how to proliferate vertically - upwards - in the face of international sanctions and export control regimes,” he said.

Tellis, whose testimony and answers to the committee were generally supportive of India, said India would never accept a cap on its nuclear production unless China accepts a cap as well. He called it an international security issue. Asked if there could be a trade-off, he replied in the negative. Ackerman wanted to know if Washington should proceed any further were India to refuse to limit the size of its nuclear arsenal. The majority of witnesses replied in the affirmative, but advised the adoption of a thorough approach. Cohen said the United States should encourage an arms control regime involving India, Pakistan and China. In any case, an indefinite arms buildup was not in the interest of any of these countries, he added.

In his opening remarks, chairman Hyde said that while the establishment of a “global partnership” between India and the United States would appear to be a momentous event, any prediction of its long-term and real-world impact cannot be cast with any confidence. “It may yet prove to be a profound initiative, but it may be destined to take its place as one more of the many routine agreements between the world’s countries.”

He pointed out that the agreement had been “hurriedly negotiated, so hurriedly that those involved in the negotiations have stated that there was no time to consult with Congress beforehand”. He recalled that the committee had already held two hearings on the “controversial provisions” on nuclear cooperation and would continue to devote its attention to the implications the agreement may have for “our security and that of the globe”. He said while “the talk of this city” was that the new alliance was aimed at offsetting the rise of China, Indian leaders had denied that there was any such goal. He said India’s role in world affairs since its independence has been a “fraction” of what it otherwise might have been. He said the assumption by India of a more active role is very much to be welcomed if it is accompanied by a commensurate expansion of responsibility for reinforcing security and stability in the Middle East, the Indian Ocean region and Central Asia, and even for the international system as a whole. Complacency, he warned, would be a mistake. “Giant India’s emergence also summons giant possibilities,” he added.

Cohen told the committee that many Indians remain leery of close cooperation with the United States and none would subordinate Indian interests to those of the United States. India would not be a dependent state and it is more likely to emerge as an “Asian France”, one that “sees the world through its own prism, not ours”. India, he said, is much reliant on Middle East oil and gas and must maintain cordial relations with most of the major suppliers, including Iran. Nor does India want to become dependent on Pakistan. The proposed gas pipeline from Iran through Pakistan is not likely to materialise soon, he predicted. While being a secular democracy, he pointed out, India is also a major Muslim state. In India, domestic issues are inevitably linked with those in the realm of foreign policy, he said. He told the committee that there was a huge demonstration in Lucknow condemning India’s vote against Iran in the IAEA.

Cohen advised the committee that India is “hyper-sensitive” to criticism of its Kashmir policy and wants to keep major Muslim states from either intervening in Kashmir or supporting Pakistan. “It thus conducts a sophisticated balance-of-power diplomacy, hoping to counter Pakistani influence in the Gulf and to keep Kashmir out of all discussions,” he added.

He pointed out that India’s new opening to Israel has brought New Delhi important technical, intelligence and military benefits and more influence in Washington “but some in India are uneasy with it”. India will have to continuously calculate the balance between its relations with Tel Aviv and Tehran. He said India does not want to run afoul of America’s nonproliferation policies in the Middle East but its strategists have strong reservations about American nonproliferation goals and tactics. He said India would rather not have found itself placed in a situation where it had to vote against Iran (at the IAEA) and would look for a way out in the future. He told the committee that both the US and India had miscalculated the complexity of the July 2005 nuclear deal and the likely opposition. He said “our own abysmal knowledge of India and its politics contributed to this situation”.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2005\11\17\story_17-11-2005_pg7_45

This article and the statements contained herein are the fundamental reasons to my opposition of the nuclear deal. The deal shouldn't and cannot go through. I would prefer India continuing production of fissile material to build a massive nuclear stock pile. We have already commenced the experimantation for converting thorium to U-233 and U-235, we also have the world's largest reserves of thorium. So screw the nuclear deal.
I only want economic co-op with the US.

Samudra
19 Nov 05,, 17:15
I would prefer India continuing production of fissile material to build a massive nuclear stock pile.

How much money would you commit?
As we know the expenses do not stop with the manufacture of fissile material and warheads.*Today* nobody is stopping us from reprocessing the spent fuel.Why are we not doing it ?

Is the country willing to commit itself for a nuclear arms race against China?

667medic
19 Nov 05,, 17:49
Is the country willing to commit itself for a nuclear arms race against China?
Think we lost that one some time ago.....

Monk
20 Nov 05,, 15:16
How much money would you commit?
As we know the expenses do not stop with the manufacture of fissile material and warheads
Is the country willing to commit itself for a nuclear arms race against China?

Whatever it takes for security.

India doesn't have to be in an arms race with China.


*Today* nobody is stopping us from reprocessing the spent fuel.Why are we not doing it ?

Can I see some link / material on this statement?

Samudra
20 Nov 05,, 17:39
Think we lost that one some time ago.....

The reality is we never wanted to enter a race in the first place.


India doesn't have to be in an arms race with China

The ramifications of a rapid Indian strategic arms build up will surely be felt in Beijing.PRC will react if it feels that the current 'balance'(or the lack of it) is threatened.

We know that India never has put up a number and said thats our MND.So how many weapons we want is our choice given the fact that it is we who will decide which reactors are for military applications,although the seperation has to make sense and should not be a token seperation.


Can I see some link / material on this statement?

The plethora of statements coming out of the DAE/PMO Authorities after the Indo-US nuclear deal indicates so.They have consistently maintained that the seperation of facilities is more or less present.

An agreement signed in 1963 by the US with India assured supply of fuel for Tarapur until 1993 provided India agreed for IAEA safegaurds(which means no reprocessing?).However the agreement was terminated in 1978.

The reactors are under IAEA safegaurds even today.( :confused: )
So we are just going to place a "Civillian Reactor" board before them I'd think.

Ray
20 Nov 05,, 19:15
Sunday, November 20, 2005 E-Mail this article to a friend Printer Friendly Version

VIEW: US-India nuclear agreement will strengthen NPT —Ashley J Tellis

There is a fear that the US-Indian agreement will open the door to other nuclear suppliers engaging in reckless transfers of nuclear technology to their own preferred partners. This is possible, but not inevitable. A great deal depends on whether the international community will join the United States in viewing India as the only country worthy of special treatment

The Indo-US bilateral agreement providing New Delhi access to the long-denied civilian nuclear technology has emerged as a contentious issue in the US Congress. But it need not be because the deal is good for both countries’ national security interests as well as for preventing nuclear proliferation.

The July 18, 2005 agreement, many critics assert, would undermine the global non-proliferation regime and ultimately American security. At the first hearing on this subject on September 8, 2005, Congressman Henry J Hyde correctly noted that among the critical questions surrounding this agreement was whether its “net impact on our non-proliferation policy is positive or negative”. On October 26, 2005, at the second hearing on this issue, four out of the five witnesses empanelled by the House Committee on International Relations affirmed the conventional wisdom that such a deal weakens non-proliferation rather than strengthening it.

Contrary to these gloomy prognostications, the president’s new agreement with India is actually a bold step that will strengthen the non-proliferation order for many decades to come. Far from being a freebie for New Delhi, it represents a considered American strategy for integrating India into the non-proliferation regime, which India has not been part of since the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was signed in 1968.

The NPT was intended to prevent global proliferation by compelling all non-nuclear weapon states to give up their nuclear weapons ambitions as the price for enjoying access to civilian nuclear technology. This trade-off worked for most countries and represents a profound diplomatic accomplishment. For a variety of political and philosophical reasons, however, India chose not to sign the NPT and went on to build both a large civilian nuclear infrastructure and a nuclear weapons stockpile based mainly on indigenous expertise. Thus, the restrictions on nuclear commerce that the United States orchestrated since 1974 progressively lost their relevance as far as India was concerned. In effect, India became an exceptional case regarding nuclear weapons and non-proliferation.

Nevertheless, New Delhi established through this entire period an exemplary record of controlling onward proliferation. India’s commendable non-proliferation history, however, is owed entirely to sovereign decisions made by its government, not to its adherence to international agreements. As a result, any unilateral change in the Indian government’s policy of strict non-proliferation could pose serious problems for American security.

This concern has acquired particular urgency in the post-9/11 era because of the incredibly sophisticated capabilities present in India today and because India remains at the cutting edge of research and development activities in new fuel cycle technologies. Bringing New Delhi into the global non-proliferation regime through a lasting bilateral agreement that defines clearly enforceable benefits and obligations, therefore, not only strengthens American efforts to stem further proliferation but also enhances US national security.

The president’s accord with India advances these objectives in a fair and direct way. It recognises that it is unreasonable to continue to ask India to bear the burdens of enforcing the global non-proliferation regime in perpetuity, while it suffers stiff and encompassing sanctions from that same regime. So the president proposes to give India access to nuclear fuel, technology, and knowledge in exchange for New Delhi institutionalising rigorous export controls, placing its civilian reactors under international safeguards, and actively assisting the United States in reducing proliferation worldwide.

In other words, he offers India the benefits of peaceful nuclear cooperation in exchange for transforming a unilateral Indian commitment to non-proliferation into a formally verifiable and permanent international responsibility.

This deal, obviously, does not imply less US commitment to maintain through intense diplomacy in the months and years ahead the vitality of the NPT regime, which remains critical to American national interests. Extraordinary problems justify extraordinary solutions. The international community has long recognised India’s anomalous position in the NPT framework. Consequently, three out of the five legitimate nuclear weapon states have welcomed the Bush-Singh agreement and even the exception thus far — China — has been silent rather than opposed. Despite this fact, many fear that the agreement could undercut the basic bargain of the NPT and lead several current non-nuclear weapon states to seek those same benefits now offered to India.

This concern must be taken seriously, but it is exaggerated. For starters, there is no international pressure to re-negotiate the NPT from either its nuclear or its non-nuclear signatories. Further, those non-nuclear weapon states that joined the regime and continue to remain members in good standing did so because the treaty emphatically serves their national interests.

If anything, these countries should join IAEA Director-General Mohammed El Baradei in applauding the Bush-Singh initiative, because an India that undertakes binding international non-proliferation obligations promotes the security of non-nuclear weapons states as much as it does that of the United States. Not surprisingly, then, many non-nuclear weapon states such as Canada and Australia have endorsed the agreement.

Finally, with regard to worries about other NPT non-signatories demanding similar deals to the one that Bush and Singh have just brokered, it is worth noting that India currently remains the only outlier worthy of such unique treatment. Although India, Pakistan, and Israel have not violated any NPT obligations by developing their nuclear deterrents, New Delhi alone meets the following criteria that justify international cooperation: It has proven mastery over various nuclear fuel cycles, which must now be safeguarded in the global interest.

It has an exceptional non-proliferation record, despite having been a target of the international non-proliferation regime. Most importantly, it has enormous energy needs that cannot be satisfied without access to nuclear fuel (and to nuclear power more generally), if it is simultaneously expected to help mitigate the problems of climate change and environmental degradation.

Two other arguments often surface in the debate over proposed US-Indian nuclear cooperation. The first is that it would exacerbate the problems posed by Iran and North Korea. This claim must be rejected since the only thing common to these three cases is the word “nuclear” — nothing more.

Iran and North Korea violated their NPT obligations; India did not. This simple fact ensures that whatever the issues relating to accommodating New Delhi may be, they ought not to be mixed up with those of managing regimes that have consistently cheated on their international obligations and then repeatedly lied about it.

The second argument contends that the US-Indian agreement will open the door to other nuclear suppliers engaging in reckless transfers of nuclear technology to their own preferred partners. This is possible, but not inevitable. A great deal depends on whether the international community will join the United States in viewing India as the only country worthy of special treatment.

At present, an emerging agreement on this issue is in the works and the prospects for a consensus are bright because India is a democratic state, has not violated international agreements and has exhibited responsible custodianship of its nuclear assets. In any event, the administration is committed to working with its international partners to reach closure on this issue and, hence, it ought not to be assumed that the understanding with New Delhi will automatically open doors to other nuclear suppliers engaging in emulative arrangements.

On balance, there are many reasons why Congress should support the president’s historic civil nuclear agreement with India. It would be unfortunate if the legislative branch overlooked the fact that strengthening the global non-proliferation regime is clearly one of them.

Ashley J Tellis is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and served in the US Department of State as senior adviser to the ambassador at the Embassy of the United States in India. He is author of India’s Emerging Nuclear Posture. This article appeared in YaleGlobal Online (www.yaleglobal.yale.edu), a publication of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, and is reprinted by permission. Copyright (c) 2003 Yale Center for the Study of Globalization

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2005\11\20\story_20-11-2005_pg3_7

Neo
20 Nov 05,, 19:38
This article and the statements contained herein are the fundamental reasons to my opposition of the nuclear deal. The deal shouldn't and cannot go through. I would prefer India continuing production of fissile material to build a massive nuclear stock pile. We have already commenced the experimantation for converting thorium to U-233 and U-235, we also have the world's largest reserves of thorium. So screw the nuclear deal.
I only want economic co-op with the US.
Please, excuse my ignorance but how feaseable is the use of thorium?
Why isn't India going ahead with this?

Monk
21 Nov 05,, 17:01
Please, excuse my ignorance but how feaseable is the use of thorium?
Why isn't India going ahead with this?

it is a technology which has to be mastered. India is in the learning curve and hence India has already begun. it is feasible when you happen to have the World's largest reserves of the substance. It is sort of like converting coal to oil, it costs around $42-$45 a barrel to do so. it is costly when a barrel of oil costs less than $30 but is definitely useful when the same commodity costs $70. India can develop the know-how on all these issues and also has the natural resources but lacks the most important thing "Political Will". The greatest failing of India is its governance.

Neo
21 Nov 05,, 19:05
it is a technology which has to be mastered. India is in the learning curve and hence India has already begun. it is feasible when you happen to have the World's largest reserves of the substance. It is sort of like converting coal to oil, it costs around $42-$45 a barrel to do so. it is costly when a barrel of oil costs less than $30 but is definitely useful when the same commodity costs $70. India can develop the know-how on all these issues and also has the natural resources but lacks the most important thing "Political Will". The greatest failing of India is its governance.
Where does India stand now in the long run of mastering the technology?
Which countries have converted thorium sofar to produce energy?

King
23 Nov 05,, 01:29
I don't want this deal to get approve, they want to inspect our weapons and other things which is a very wrong thing.