Apropos your column in todays
Washington Post, it bears recalling that it took over 30 years but at last the
US administration and the American Press have recognized India for what she
truly always has been a responsible nation state and a responsible Nuclear
Power. Miracles do happen and finally the august Washington Post has seen fit
to see reality.. That India has never proliferated either through errors of
omission or by deliberate acts of commission, sets it apart from the 5 major
Nuclear Powers almost all of whom are guilty of selective proliferation. It
would not be an exercise in hyperbole to say that India' s behavior in this
regard has been exemplary.
I applaud you for finally
stating the truth namely that
The world is
ready to accept India as a nuclear power because its actions have given other
nations confidence that it seeks to play a stabilizing role.
I would like to reemphasize
that it always has been thus. It is just that it took your paper 30 years to
recognize reality. For this I give a lot of credit to President Bush, for his
part in extricating Indo-US relations from the swamp of the cold war morass into
which they had sunk.
Dear Kaushal Vepa:
Judging from the following LOS ANGELES
TIMES report, it looks like its going to be an uphill task for the passage of
House Bill HR 4974
and Senate Bill S 2429.
This is the time when friends of India, including the two-million
plus Indian American community, need to contact in MASSIVE NUMBERS by fax,
e-mail, phone and face-to-face meetings their House Representatives and
Senators, starting with the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
(SFRC) and the House International Relations Committee (HIRC).
In previous despatches, I had provided information on how to contact your
lawmakers. I had also provided sample template letters. If you need the
information to be repeated, please do not hesitate to e-mail me.
The next two-three weeks are going to be
crucial. PLEASE ACT NOW. Cheers,
please forward this message to all your colleagues, friends and relations living
in the United States. If you are connected to an organization, you are welcome
to forward this message to all your members.
The signature Bush effort has failed to find
champions on Capitol Hill. The left and right both fear proliferation of arms
By Paul Richter, Times Staff Writer
March 31, 2006
WASHINGTON The Bush administrations proposed nuclear deal with India is
meeting with a chilly reception from lawmakers, who are predicting that instead
of swift approval, the initiative faces revisions and delays, if not outright
The White House had hoped to win congressional approval by the end of May for
the deal, which would open the way for cooperation on Indias civil nuclear
program, and is also designed to begin a new strategic relationship between the
United States and a populous, economically vibrant democracy.
But the initiative has found few high-profile champions on Capitol Hill or
elsewhere, while becoming a target for criticism from the right and left that it
could further undermine international efforts to stem the spread of nuclear
Since the deal was announced March 2, key lawmakers such as Sen. Richard G.
Lugar (R-Ind.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Rep.
Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.), chairman of the House International Relations Committee,
have remained carefully neutral.
Meanwhile, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon), chairman of the House Armed Services
Committee, said this month that the president "is trying to ride a nuclear
tiger . Im skeptical."
Former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), a respected voice on security issues, also has
voiced concerns and urged lawmakers to remain skeptical.
"It may be going too far to say theres panic within the administration, but I
think theres deep concern that it hasnt been received nearly as well as
hoped," said a Republican House staff member, who spoke on condition of
anonymity because of the political sensitivity. "Theyre trying to create the
impression of momentum. Frankly, I dont think its there."
The legislation before Congress would lift rules barring the U.S. government
from providing nuclear technology to countries such as India that have declined
to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. In return for such help, India
would agree to allow international inspections of its civilian reactors, though
its military weapons program would remain unmonitored.
President Bush contends that by selling nuclear reactors to India, the program
would ease competition for oil, help the environment and provide important new
U.S. commercial ties. Administration officials also want to foster a better
relationship with India because they believe it can be a strategic counterweight
To provide India with nuclear knowledge, the United States must also win
approval from a group of nations, known as the Nuclear Suppliers Group, that
controls the international nuclear trade. But in a meeting last weekend, the
India proposal drew questions from representatives of many of the countries, and
the administration failed to win permission to put the deal on the agenda for
the groups May meeting, as it had hoped to do.
Administration officials, who have been intensively lobbying Congress this
month, have said that attempts to add conditions to the agreement could destroy
a carefully crafted deal. R. Nicholas Burns, undersecretary of State for
political affairs, said in an appearance this week before the Council on Foreign
Relations that the administration could accept conditions that would improve the
deal "as long as they dont require us to go back and break the agreement,
But legislators say theyre likely to add conditions anyway. Indian Foreign
Secretary Shyam Saran, in Washington this week to meet with lawmakers, seemed to
accept that some changes were likely. In a speech to the Heritage Foundation, a
conservative think tank, Saran said New Delhi could accept revisions as long as
they did not upset the "delicate balance" of the proposal.
Although it is not yet clear what kind of amendments Congress might seek, it
could demand assurances that India would vigorously enforce its export controls
on nuclear technology, or press to require New Delhi to put any new fast-breeder
reactors, which produce material for bombs, under international monitoring.
Congress also might try to insist that India halt production of nuclear
materials, as the United States and other leading atomic powers have done.
But India, which is building a nuclear arsenal in part as protection against
China, has signaled that an attempt to impose such limits "would be a deal
breaker," said the Republican staff member.
If Congress doesnt act before the summer recess, the administration could face
a tougher challenge because of the difficulty of pushing through such a
controversial agreement just before a midterm congressional election. Then the
deal, which aides consider one of the most important accomplishments of the Bush
presidency, could be put on hold until next year.
One State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity in keeping
with agency rules, insisted that the administration was finding support for the
deal on Capitol Hill and from countries such as Britain, Russia, France and
"But we realize we have some questions to address," he said.
r Policy Research, New Delhi
in EXPRESS INDIA of October 3, 2005.
**Most Asian countries on Chinas
periphery believe that their sa
percipient piece by BharatKarnad,
Professor at the Center foecurity
depends on the emergence of a militarily strong India as counterweight
because, notwithstanding its security commitments, in a crisis the United States
can always choose to withdraw behind the moat of the Pacific Ocean.
**The pillars of an obvious and enduring Indian security architecture,
if only the Indian government had the wit to envision it, are Israel and a
Trucial State, like Oman, in the west and, in the east, ASEAN and Vietnam in
Chinas soft underbelly, and Taiwan and Japan on the Chinese flank.
**Beijing may be apprehensive of a resurgent Japan but, of all the
states on its border, it is most respectful of a militarily scrappy Vietnam,
which prides itself on successfully fighting off the Chinese hegemon for a
thousand years. And most recently in 1979 gave the invading Chinese armies a
bloody nose, which compelled Deng Xiaoping to do the prudent thing speedily
declare victory and get the hell out! **By cultivating a resolute Vietnam as a close regional ally and
security partner in the manner China has done Pakistan, India can pay Beijing
back in the same coin.
**China has strategically discomfited India and sought to contain it
to south Asia by arming Pakistan with nuclear weapons and missiles. Militarily
to focus on Pakistan the Chinese cats paw as India has done is unwise. The
cat can be more effectively dealt with by enabling Vietnam a smaller but
spirited tomcat to rise militarily as a consequential state in Chinas
**In the short term, this should reasonably be the prime Indian
**An opportunity will arise on October 3, when a defence delegation led
by Lt General Nguyen Thinh, head of the Vietnamese Defence Research Centre the
counterpart of Indias Defence Research and Development Organisation begins
its Indian trip. General Thinh is expected to ask for Indian help and technical
assistance in acquiring a missile production capability.
**In exchange for the conventional warheaded Prithvi now and the promise
of more advanced missiles and other such strategic cooperation in the future,
Hanoi should be persuaded to allow the Indian Navy a basing option in Cam Ranh
Bay, unarguably the finest natural deep water harbour in Asia, to match the
planned Chinese naval presence in Gwadar on the Baluchistan coast. This, in
turn, can be bottled up by the IAF active out of the former RAF base at Gan,
leased from the Maldives government.
**BUT Cam Ranh Bay is a heady attraction for the United States and China
as well. Vietnam has turned down such approaches essentially because it
distrusts them. In the past, when the Indian Navy requested access to Cam Ranh
Bay, the Vietnamese pleaded this would upset the big powers. However, the offer
of missiles and other such strategic cooperation should prevail over Vietnams
**The crucial question is: has the MEA the imagination to push this
deal? See below for the complete articles.
critics in India should have realised that
the Indo-US nuclear deal is a good one for
India and that those negotiating it are not
about to keel over and play dead when
confronted with US pressure to do this or
that. US efforts to try to get a formal
commitment from India not to undertake
further nuclear testing on the pain of
terminating the putative cooperation under
the deal can only be seen as a somewhat
desultory ploy to calm the US
non-proliferation ayatollahs. The Americans
know very well that a country that stood
resolutely against the in perpetuity
extension of the NPT and virtually
single-handedly blocked the CTBT in the
mid-Nineties, is unlikely to give in on this
India has, of course, already agreed to
maintain a self-imposed moratorium on
further testing. New Delhis aversion to a
formal commitment was clearly spelt out by
its diplomats during the negotiations over
the CTBT in mid-1996. Its view was that the
nuclear weapons States had agreed on ending
explosive testing because they had garnered
enough knowledge from the hundreds of tests
they had already done. New Delhi also made
it clear that while it would not sign the
treaty, it would not oppose it either.
Despite this, provisions were incorporated
insisting that without the signature of New
Delhi and some other States capable of
making nuclear weapons, it would not come
into force. Arguably, this attempt to box in
India was the catalyst that led to the
Pokhran II tests. As is well-known, US
pressure prevented a test in December 1996,
as did political uncertainty in 1997. But in
1998, at the first opportunity, the tests
The current Indo-US nuclear deal has
benefits for both India and the US. As the
two sides move to a formal bilateral
agreement they need to keep the provisions
of the July 18, 2005 joint statement in
sharp focus. The proposed Indo-US nuclear
cooperation agreement is to be about
cooperation for civil nuclear technology. It
seeks to end a comprehensive US embargo of
the Indian nuclear programme. Its key
preconditions are that India separate its
civil and military programmes, and that the
US open up to the former and learn to live
with the latter.
Posted online: Wednesday, April 19, 2006 at
But on nuclear
issues India has always acted upon the
issue of India being entrapped into a
bilateral commitment in an agreement with
the US on nuclear cooperation not to carry
out nuclear tests has proved to be a flash
in the pan. The deal is very complex and the
exercise of exceptionalising India from a
treaty which the entire international
community excepting three out of the 191
nations, in its wisdom extended
unconditionally and indefinitely has no
precedent. Such negotiations would need more
than normal diplomatic confidentiality. It
is therefore no surprise that the issue of
Indias commitment not to carry out tests,
featuring in the American draft of the
Indo-US nuclear cooperation agreement, had
been addressed by the ministry of external
affairs two weeks before the preliminary
draft (no longer current) became public.
However, this is an appropriate time to
discuss the probability of the current,
somewhat tenuous test ban regime breaking
down and India being compelled to resort to
Out of the five recognised nuclear weapon
powers, three UK, France and Russia have
signed and ratified the Comprehensive Test
Ban Treaty. The US Senate has rejected the
ratification of the treaty while China,
presumably keeping a watch on the US, has
not yet ratified it. If either resumes
testing, then others are bound to follow.
This possibility will be weighing with the
US and China even though they have not
ratified the treaty. Every once in a while
reports emanate from the US about Congress
voting funds for further research on nuclear
weapons. A bunker-busting bomb is frequently
mentioned as a near-term possibility. But
resumption of tests would need congressional
approval. It is therefore very unlikely that
the world will be taken by surprise by an
American test. There will be some notice and
other nations will have time to react. One
cannot, however, assume that in spite of
these considerations the US would not dump
the CTBT into the dustbin and go ahead and
test. It may be recalled that the US
annulled the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
after 30 years, though the annulment was
preceded by negotiations with Russia and was
done with its reluctant acquiescence.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice wrote
in the Washington Post in December: For the
first time since the Peace of Westphalia in
1648, the prospect of violent conflict
between great powers is becoming ever more
unthinkable. Major states are increasingly
competing in peace, not preparing for war.
To advance this remarkable trend, the US is
transforming our partnerships with nations
such as Japan and Russia, with the European
Union and especially with China and India.
Together we are building a more lasting and
durable form of global stability, a balance
of power that favours freedom.
Unlike the National Missile Defence, which
could be justified as a defensive system,
new tests in nuclear weapons cannot be
advanced as a non-offensive effort to the
other major powers. The anti-missile system
of the US has led to Russia producing a
manoeuvrable warhead missile system, which
is unstoppable. This development has a
valuable lesson for the US in resuming
nuclear tests. Though in the next few years
the US will be incurring half of the worlds
military expenditure, the spending is mostly
focused on making the US armed forces
unbeatable by any other major power or
combination of major powers. As of now,
there are no signs of an arms race between
the US and China or Russia. Therefore, a
reasonable assessment can only be that
resumption of nuclear testing is of
extremely low probability.
The large-scale global revival of the
nuclear industry is going to engage the US
weapons laboratories on designing next
generation reactors and in keeping the US
ahead of other nations in civil nuclear
energy research. Till now the weapon
laboratories constituted very powerful
lobbies against the nuclear test ban. This
situation is likely to change. The issue of
retaining the freedom to test features
largely in the minds of those who are still
conditioned by Cold War logic. In March
President Bush explained the new US policy
towards India with the words, things
change, times change.
Indias own attitude towards nuclear testing
would illustrate the above axiom. Jawaharlal
Nehru proposed a complete test ban treaty as
far back as 1954. India was the first
non-nuclear country to enthusiastically sign
the Partial Test Ban Treaty in 1963. Because
of this stand, India termed the Pokhran test
of 1974 a peaceful nuclear explosion. Indira
Gandhi attempted to test in 1983, even as
she espoused the six nations, five
continents initiative, which urged
comprehensive test ban. Rajiv Gandhi
followed up this initiative and held a
conference of six nations in Delhi in 1986.
Comprehensive test ban figured in his
disarmament plan. In 1990 the bulk of
non-aligned nations used the relevant clause
of the Partial Test Ban Treaty to convene a
conference to urge comprehensive test ban.
This was vetoed by the nuclear weapons
powers. In 1994 the CTBT found a mention in
the joint statement of Narasimha Rao and
Bill Clinton. Even as India had been urging
a comprehensive test ban Rao attempted to
carry out a nuclear test in December 1995
and was thwarted by the Americans. All
through this period successive PMs denied
any intention to acquire nuclear weapons.
For the first time in June 1996, while Inder
Gujral was foreign minister, India declared
in the Conference on Disarmament that
nuclear testing was a matter of national
security concern for the country. When the
CTBT was to be adopted by the Conference on
Disarmament India blocked it and compelled
it to be taken to the UN General Assembly.
There it was passed with near unanimity,
with India opposing it.
This narrative is presented here to point
out that India could adopt a publicly
declared policy from 1954 to 1996 and when
compelled by national security
considerations could make a complete U-turn.
Sridhar Krishnaswami (PTI) in Washington, DC
| May 16, 2006 09:46 IST
Throwing its weight behind the Indo-US civil
nuclear energy agreement, the American
Jewish Committee has urged the US Congress
to approve enabling legislation currently
pending on Capitol Hill.
The committee said that the proposed
agreement is a pragmatic and forward-looking
response to the strategic requirements of
both nations and one that recognised the
nuclear capabilities of India, a vibrant
democracy, while preserving the essence of
the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which
is a bulwark of peace and stability in the
The benefit of the nuclear energy deal is
strategic and in Americas interest, the
AJC said in letters to the Chairman of the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Richard
Lugar, its Ranking Democrat Joseph Biden,
Chair of the House International Relations
Committee Henry Hyde, Ranking Democrat Tom
Lantos and to all members of the US
AJC strongly supports the proposed US-India
civil nuclear energy agreement and urges
approval of the enabling legislation," it
The committee noted that with a population
of more than one billion and an expanding
economy, India offers the US a stable,
democratic partner in Asia, as well as
significant trade and investment
US-India nuclear agreement will advance this
growing relationship, and is profoundly in
Americas national interest, the AJC said.
After almost 50 years of misunderstanding,
India and the US are on a path of rapidly
increasing cooperation that includes
counter-terrorism and regional security
efforts, and touches on many sectors
political, commercial, scientific and
educational, it added.
The Committee said that the nuclear deal had
the potential to lessen Indias reliance on
fossil fuels and meet the countrys growing
Enhancements in Indias civil nuclear power
capabilities made possible by this agreement
can be expected to lessen the countrys
historic reliance on Middle East fossil
fuels to meet accelerating energy needs and
offsetting electric generation from
indigenous high-sulphur coal, may yield
long-term environmental benefits as well,"
Our confidence in pluralistic and
democratic India, in the Administrations
care in crafting this agreement, and in the
natural alliance between India and the US,
underlies our support for this timely and
prudent step forward in US-India relations,
the AJC added.
the eager parents of an arranged marriage,
President Bush and Indian Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh have shaken hands, toasted
the future and agreed to a dowry long
coveted by New Delhi -- an historic civilian
nuclear agreement that tacitly recognizes
India as the worlds sixth nuclear state.
Both leaders must now convince reluctant
compatriots back home to go along with the
deal, raising the question that confronts
every arranged marriage -- will love follow?
Unlike nuptials of the past, when Indian
brides and grooms met for the first time at
the altar, the United States and India have
been getting to know one another since
President Clintons landmark visit in 2000.
By then, New Delhi had largely shed its
Nehruvian socialist past, and today
Washington sees India as the attractive
partner it is -- the worlds largest
democracy and second-fastest growing economy
and a reliable partner in the war on
terrorism and reconstruction in Afghanistan.
But standing in the way of a more perfect
union is Indias small arsenal of nuclear
weapons, which under U.S. law and the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty prevents
New Delhi from receiving nuclear assistance
for its civilian energy program. Intended as
the crowing jewel of a new U.S.-Indian
strategic partnership, the nuclear deal
unveiled in March has triggered grumbling on
American critics say Mr. Bush gave away too
much -- giving India sensitive nuclear
technology without capping New Delhis
production of fissile material for nuclear
weapons or opening its entire civilian
program to international inspection. It is
"nuclear hypocrisy," they cry, to embrace
Indian nuclear ambitions while condemning
those of Iran and North Korea.
Indian critics say just the opposite -- that
Mr. Singh gave away too much by agreeing to
separate the countrys civilian and military
nuclear programs, effectively limiting its
fissile supplies and undermining New Delhis
nuclear deterrent. The real "nuclear
hypocrisy," Indians say, is a
nonproliferation treaty that arbitrarily
recognized the "big five" nuclear states who
had arsenals in 1968, but not India, which
went nuclear later.
The new agreement perpetuates this
hypocrisy, Indians complain. If Washington
shares nuclear technology with Beijing, the
great nuclear proliferator, why not India,
with its solid record of preventing
Imperfect though it may be, the nuclear
agreement now before the U.S. Congress is
like any dowry -- turning it down risks
spoiling the larger relationship.
Indeed, overlooked in the current debate are
the dangerous consequences if Congress
rejects the agreement or imposes new
conditions that make it a deal-breaker for
Even more than about technology, Indians see
the deal as being about trust. Foreign
Secretary Shyam Saran, the chief Indian
negotiator on the agreement, tells me that
it "sends the political message that India
is no longer perceived as a target, but as a
partner." K. Subrahmanyam, a former member
of Indias National Security Council, says
failure would result in a "total loss of
trust" that could contaminate the entire
U.S.-Indian political, economic and military
relationship, including intelligence
cooperation in the war on terrorism.
Mr. Singh, whose fragile ruling coalition
survives with the support of leftist and
communist parties, could suffer a fatal
political blow for aligning India so closely
with Washington. A senior aide to the prime
minister tells me that the deals defeat
would limit Mr. Singhs ability to work with
Washington and embolden anti-American voices
in India, who could claim, "We told you so,
never trust the Americans."
Indeed, perhaps the greatest damage of
the deals demise would be to the broader
Asian power balance. Just as U.S. officials
implicitly acknowledge democratic Indias
potential role as counterweight to China,
the deals ruin could achieve the precise
opposite. New Delhi and Beijing pledged
themselves last year to a new strategic
partnership, and Moscow has pursued, without
much success, greater Russian-Indian-Chinese
cooperation. Failure of the U.S.-India
nuclear agreement would "breathe a fresh
dose of oxygen into the rapidly dying
Moscow-New Delhi-Beijing triangle," says
Krishna Rasgotra, the former Indian foreign
Given the consequences of failure, blocking
the agreement because of Indias limited
economic, political and military ties with
Iran -- as some U.S. lawmakers have
threatened -- would be an historic blunder.
Cooperation between Hindu India and Persian
Iran, two ancient civilizations with deep
cultural links, is natural and no threat to
the United States.
In fact, despite Iranian threats that doing
so could endanger negotiations on a new
pipeline to bring Iranian natural gas to
India, New Delhi has voted twice with the
United States at the International Atomic
Energy Agency against Irans nuclear
program. Its hard to imagine India taking
similar risks in the future if Capitol Hill
votes against Indias nukes today.
Three years ago, a young Indian bride
named Nisha Sharma became an international
celebrity when, at the altar, she called off
her wedding after the grooms family
suddenly demanded a larger dowry than had
been agreed upon.
American lawmakers take note: You go to the
altar with the dowry you have, not the dowry
you might want. Trying to renegotiate this
nuclear deal could poison the U.S.-Indian
relationship for years to come. And rather
than love, only mistrust and missed
opportunities will follow.
Stanley A. Weiss is founder and chairman of
Business Executives for National Security, a
nonpartisan organization based in
ironic that so much attention is vouchsafed on India and Iran , while
Pakistan gets away almost without any punitive action even after admitting
guilt in the proliferation of WMD. Contrast with the draconian actions
taken against India both in1974 and in 1998,especially in the later case
with a President in power who was not antipathic to India. Still, I give
credit to President Bush for redressing the tilt to the terrorist state to
it is not acceptable to allow Pakistan to get away with such actions without
any punitive measures, simply because it is a compliant ally.
A quiet burial of a scandal that will haunt
By BRAHMA CHELLANEY
NEW DELHI -- With global attention focused on the
U.S.-led face-off with Tehran over the nuclear
issue, Pakistan has ingeniously seized the
opportunity to give a quiet burial to the worst
proliferation scandal in world history, involving
the Pakistani transfer of nuclear knowhow and
equipment to three states -- Iran, Libya and North
On May 2, Pakistan announced the closure in the
scandal-related case, as it freed from jail the last
of the 11 nuclear scientists imprisoned more than
two years ago for suspected roles in the covert
transfers. The 12th figure, Abdul Qadeer Khan, the
ring's alleged mastermind, was granted immunity from
prosecution and has been made to stay at home under
tight security since his February 2004 televised
confession on illicit nuclear dealings.
Contrast the international crisis being contrived
over Iran -- a country that would take at least 10
years to acquire nuclear-weapons capability after
freeing itself from International Atomic Energy
Agency inspections -- with the lack of any response
to Pakistan's defiant statement that "as far we are
concerned this chapter is closed."
And notice the dramatic irony that at the very time
Tehran is under pressure to come clean on its
imports of Pakistani nuclear designs and items, the
exporting country has announced closure of the
probe. A full international investigation could
yield answers to several key unresolved Iran-related
issues cited by the IAEA in its report released
It was the Pakistani proliferation ring that gave
the Iranian nuclear program its start.
No one to date has been charged, let alone put on
trial, in Pakistan for involvement in a clandestine
proliferation ring whose international-security
ramifications thus far exceed Iran's enrichment of a
minute amount of uranium. None of the actors in the
scandal has been allowed by Pakistan to be
questioned by the IAEA or any other outside
investigators, although Pakistani President Gen.
Pervez Musharraf has acknowledged transfers of bomb
know-how, including complete uranium-enrichment
centrifuges, to Iran, North Korea and Libya from
1987 to 2003.
fact, the principal actors are not A.Q. Khan and his
fellow scientists but the Pakistan military and
intelligence. To ensure that the role of the
principal actors is not exposed, the entire blame
was pinned on a group of 12 "greedy" scientists led
by Khan, and then these very men have been
religiously kept away from international
What's more, the military -- which has always
controlled the nuclear program -- claimed that it
wasn't aware that nuclear secrets were being sold
until Libya and Iran began spilling the beans. As
part of Pakistan's nukes-for-missiles swap with
North Korea, a Pakistani C-130 military transport
aircraft, for example, was photographed loading
missile parts in Pyongyang in 2002. Yet Musharraf
claimed he was in the dark.
No country has concocted a more ridiculous tale than
Pakistan as an excuse for roguish conduct. The
uncovering of the proliferation ring should have
persuaded Islamabad's Western allies to distance
themselves from the military and invest in the only
real guarantee for Pakistan's future as a stable,
moderate state -- its civil society. Instead, the
Bush administration went along with Islamabad's
charade because it sees the Pakistan military as
central to U.S. strategic interests in that country.
It even lent a helping hand to the Musharraf regime
to dress up the pretense as reality.
Such is America's ability to shape international
perceptions that the world has been made to believe
that A.Q. Khan, on his own, set up and ran a nuclear
Wal-Mart. And that Khan's network of "private
entrepreneurs" had only less than a dozen Pakistani
scientists, including his right-hand man, Mohammad
Farooq, who has just been freed from incarceration.
It was Libya, seeking to re-enter the international
mainstream, that first disclosed the existence of
the Pakistani proliferation ring, but the United
States took the credit by stage-managing an event in
October 2003. With the help of documents Tripoli had
turned over to Washington, a German cargo ship was
intercepted en route to Libya with centrifuge
components routed through Dubai. The 21st-century
fable of a Khan-run nuclear supermarket busted by
the U.S. has now become part of American nuclear
Long before Khan turned from a national icon to a
national scapegoat, he had been a favorite of the
U.S. Central Intelligence Agency during the period
when Washington knew that Pakistan was developing
nuclear weapons. America turned a blind eye to the
underground Pakistani bomb program for the same
reason that China aided Islamabad's nuclear and
missile ambitions. Not only did the CIA twice shield
Khan from arrest in Europe, it also had a likely
hand in the disappearance of Khan's legal files from
the Amsterdam court that convicted him, according to
recent Dutch revelations.
As disclosed by former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud
Lubbers last August, the CIA protected Khan from
arrest and prosecution in Europe in 1975 and 1986.
The Dutch government did not take Khan into custody
at the request of the CIA, which pretended that it
wanted "to follow him."
Khan was sentenced in absentia by Judge Anita Leeser
in 1983 to four years in prison for stealing Dutch
enrichment secrets on the basis of which Pakistan's
Kahuta plant had by then been set up. After the
conviction was overturned on a technicality, U.S.
intelligence may have influenced the Dutch decision
not to bring new charges against Khan, whose case
files, according to Judge Leeser, disappeared "on
Now, karmic justice has caught up with Khan. After
having been assisted for years by the CIA, Khan has
become the butt of U.S. vilification.
More broadly, the U.S. should have foreseen the
consequences of its action in winking at Pakistan's
covert nuclear program. It is well documented how
the Pakistan military helped build nuclear weapons
with materials and equipment illegally procured from
overseas through intermediaries in Dubai and front
companies set up in Europe by its Inter-Services
Intelligence (ISI) agency. What could not be
procured from the West was imported covertly from
With the ISI spearheading operations and Khan as the
brain, the military ran the world's most successful
nuclear-smuggling ring. That success only bred
proliferation in the reverse direction -- out of
There is a long history to how Pakistani nuclear
mendacity has been aided by America's pursuit of
politically expedient foreign-policy goals. Now, by
whitewashing Islamabad's official complicity in the
sale of nuclear secrets, the U.S. can only spur more
rogue proliferation in the future.
Despite a military quagmire in Iraq and instability
in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Bush administration
is itching to fashion a continuous arc of volatility
between Israel and India by taking on Iran. The
White House openly seeks to foment regime change in
Tehran while it simultaneously pursues coercive
diplomacy, backed by the tacit threat of military
strikes, on the nuclear issue.
Compare the Bush team's leniency toward Pakistan
with its belligerence against Iran. America and its
allies want a U.N. Security Council resolution that
would strip Iran of its legal rights under the 1970
Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty by ordering it to
cease all IAEA-safeguarded enrichment and
reprocessing activities, including research and
development and the construction of a heavy-water
reactor. Yet, Washington and its three
Tehran-bashing friends -- Britain, France and
Germany -- have said nothing on the Musharraf
regime's use of the downward spiral on Iran to
release the last remaining Pakistani scientist from
preventive custody and cheekily announce that the
proliferation case is over, with no further
investigation planned or required.
America's indulgence toward Pakistan defies logic.
President George W. Bush invaded Iraq to eliminate
weapons of mass destruction that were not there but
has allowed Pakistan, with real WMD and al-Qaida
sanctuaries, to escape international censure for its
egregious nuclear transfers to three states.
The IAEA demands additional documentation or data
from Iran regarding its P-1 and P-2 centrifuges.
Consecutive IAEA reports have harped on the Iranian
refusal to hand over a 1987 document from the
Pakistani ring offering to supply "drawings,
specifications and calculations" for an enrichment
facility, along with "materials for 2,000 centrifuge
machines" and data on "uranium re-conversion and
casting capabilities." The IAEA, to "understand the
full scope of the offer made by the network in
1987," is also seeking a copy of a second 15-page
A good way to get around Tehran's reluctance to
share full information is for Washington and its
friends to facilitate IAEA investigations into the
Pakistani ring. Several key outstanding issues on
Iran could be readily settled if the IAEA were
permitted to do the obvious -- probe the front part
of the supply line in the country where it
originated. Yet the U.S.-backed Musharraf regime on
May 2 again rejected that idea, declaring, "There is
no question of direct access."
Even the task of containing the risks of further
Pakistani leakage in the future cannot be met
without verifiably unplugging the various links in
the elaborate Pakistani nuclear-supply chain. A
charade that hushes up the role of the military --
in the interest of Musharraf and the U.S. -- is
hardly the answer to those risks.
Brahma Chellaney, professor of strategic studies at
the privately funded Center for Policy Research, is
a regular contributor to The Japan Times.
The Japan Times: Saturday, May 13, 2006
In his landmark commencement speech delivered at U.S. Naval War College on
January 16, 2006 Senator Richard Lugar, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committeee, said that both Houses of Congress are satisfactorily working
through language that would guide our policy toward India. He said that a
Congressional rejection of the agreement or an open-ended delay risks
wasting a critical opportunity to begin to expand beyond our Cold War alliance
structures to include dynamic nations with whom our interests are converging.
It was the strongest statement Lugar has made to date regarding the India
agreement, which he called the most important strategic diplomatic initiative
undertaken by President Bush and a departure from the crisis management
mentality that has dominated foreign policy in recent years.
Let me discuss with you a current debate before the Congress and our country. I
believe it is critical that the U.S. Congress come to conclusions about
President Bushs proposed civilian nuclear agreement with India. The India
agreement represents the most important strategic diplomatic initiative
undertaken by President Bush, and it represents a fundamental departure from the
crisis management mentality that has dominated foreign policy in both the
executive and legislative branches in recent years. By concluding this pact and
the far-reaching set of cooperative agreements that accompany it, President Bush
has embraced a long-term outlook that seeks to enhance the core strength of our
foreign policy in a way that will give us new diplomatic options and improve
global stability. With this agreement, the President and Secretary Rice are
asking Congress to see the opportunities that lie beyond the horizon of the
current presidential term.
As such, a Congressional rejection of the agreement -- or an open-ended delay --
risks wasting a critical opportunity to begin to expand beyond our Cold War
alliance structures to include dynamic nations with whom our interests are
Many Members of Congress, including myself, have been studying the implications
of the nuclear pact on non-proliferation policy. India has not signed the
Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and it has developed and tested nuclear
weapons. The U.S.-India agreement would allow India to receive nuclear fuel,
technology, and reactors from the United States benefits that were previously
denied to it because of its status outside the treaty. We should be concerned
about the precedent set by this action, and we must ensure that this agreement
does not undercut our own responsibilities under the Nonproliferation Treaty.
But I believe that we can do that satisfactorily. Both Houses of Congress are
working through language that would guide our policy toward India. I believe
that we can help solidify New Delhis commitments to implement strong export
controls, separate its civilian nuclear infrastructure from its weapons program,
and place civilian facilities under IAEA safeguards. This agreement also would
be a powerful incentive for India to cooperate closely with the United States in
stopping proliferation and to abstain from further nuclear weapons tests. These
outcomes could represent important advancements for non-proliferation policy.
The Administrations declaration that we would welcome Indias advancement as a
major economic and political player on the world stage represents a strategic
decision to invest political capital in a country with a vibrant democracy,
rapidly growing economy, and increasing clout. With a well-educated middle class
that is larger than the entire U.S. population, India can be an anchor of
stability in Asia and an engine of global economic growth.
It can also be a key partner in countering global extremist trends. Both of our
countries understand the importance of opposing violent movements through the
promotion of religious pluralism, tolerance, and democratic freedoms. As a
country with well-entrenched democratic traditions and the worlds second
largest Muslim population, India can set an example of a multi-religious and
multi-cultural democracy in an otherwise volatile region.
Indias growing energy demand likely to double within 20 years makes global
energy security an integral part of our strategic dialogue and provides
important opportunities for cooperation. I introduced S. 1950 the U.S.-India
Energy Security Cooperation Act last November to take advantage of these
opportunities to cooperate with India on reducing global oil dependence. The
bill, which has been passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, promotes
and authorizes funding for joint research and development of alternative energy
sources and clean coal technologies. It is essential that we elevate our energy
dialogue with India and work together to increase the availability of clean
energy and help stabilize world energy markets.
We already are beginning to see strategic benefits from developing closer
relations with India. For instance, Indias votes at the IAEA on the Iran issue
last September and this past February demonstrate that New Delhi is able and
willing to adjust its traditional foreign policies and play a constructive role
on international issues. While acknowledging that India prizes its strategic
autonomy, it will have increasing incentives to use its influence to help sway
debates and events in other areas that serve stability and global economic
The full Lugar address can be read at:
Also worth reading is Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency
Mohamed ElBaradeis article in the Washington Post (see below).
US India Friendship
Rethinking Nuclear Safeguards
By Mohamed ElBaradei
Wednesday, June 14, 2006; Page A23
In regard to nuclear proliferation and arms control, the fundamental problem is
clear: Either we begin finding creative, outside-the-box solutions or the
international nuclear safeguards regime will become obsolete.
For this reason, I have been calling for new approaches in a number of areas.
First, a recommitment to disarmament -- a move away from national security
strategies that rely on nuclear weapons, which serve as a constant stimulus for
other nations to acquire them. Second, tightened controls on the
proliferation-sensitive parts of the nuclear fuel cycle. By bringing
multinational control to any operation that enriches uranium or separates
plutonium, we can lower the risk of these materials being diverted to weapons. A
parallel step would be to create a mechanism to ensure a reliable supply of
reactor fuel to bona fide users, including a fuel bank under control of the
International Atomic Energy Agency.
The third area has been more problematic: how to deal creatively with the three
countries that remain outside the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT):
Pakistan and India, both holders of nuclear arsenals, and Israel, which
maintains an official policy of ambiguity but is believed to be
nuclear-weapons-capable. However fervently we might wish it, none of these three
is likely to give up its nuclear weapons or the nuclear weapons option outside
of a global or regional arms control framework. Our traditional strategy -- of
treating such states as outsiders -- is no longer a realistic method of bringing
these last few countries into the fold.
Which brings us to a current controversy -- the recent agreement between
President Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh regarding the exchange of
nuclear technology between the United States and India.
Some insist that the deal will primarily enable India to divert more uranium to
produce more weapons -- that it rewards India for having developed nuclear
weapons and legitimizes its status as a nuclear weapons state. By contrast, some
in India argue that it will bring the downfall of Indias nuclear weapons
program, because of new restrictions on moving equipment and expertise between
civilian and military facilities.
Clearly, this is a complex issue on which intelligent people can disagree.
Ultimately, perhaps, it comes down to a balance of judgment. But to this array
of opinions, I would offer the following:
First, under the NPT, there is no such thing as a "legitimate" or "illegitimate"
nuclear weapons state. The fact that five states are recognized in the treaty as
holders of nuclear weapons was regarded as a matter of transition; the treaty
does not in any sense confer permanent status on those states as weapons
holders. Moreover, the U.S.-India deal is neutral on this point -- it does not
add to or detract from Indias nuclear weapons program, nor does it confer any
"status," legal or otherwise, on India as a possessor of nuclear weapons. India
has never joined the NPT; it has therefore not violated any legal commitment,
and it has never encouraged nuclear weapons proliferation.
Also, it is important to consider the implications of denying this exchange of
peaceful nuclear technology. As a country with one-sixth of the worlds
population, India has an enormous appetite for energy -- and the fastest-growing
civilian nuclear energy program in the world. With this anticipated growth, it
is important that India have access to the safest and most advanced technology.
India clearly enjoys close cooperation with the United States and many other
countries in a number of areas of technology and security. It is treated as a
valued partner, a trusted contributor to international peace and security. It is
difficult to understand the logic that would continue to carve out civil nuclear
energy as the single area for noncooperation.
Under the agreement, India commits to following the guidelines of the Nuclear
Suppliers Group, an organization of states that regulates access to nuclear
material and technology. India would bring its civilian nuclear facilities under
international safeguards. India has voiced its support for the conclusion of a
Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty. The strong support of both India and the United
States -- as well as all other nuclear weapons states -- is sorely needed to
make this treaty a reality.
The U.S.-India agreement is a creative break with the past that, handled
properly, will be a first step forward for both India and the international
community. India will get safe and modern technology to help lift more than 500
million people from poverty, and it will be part of the international effort to
combat nuclear terrorism and rid our world of nuclear weapons.
As we face the future, other strategies must be found to enlist Pakistan and
Israel as partners in nuclear arms control and nonproliferation. Whatever form
those solutions take, they will need to address not only nuclear weapons but
also the much broader range of security concerns facing each country. No one
ever said controlling nuclear weapons was going to be easy. It will take courage
and tenacity in large doses, a great deal more outside-of-the-box thinking, and
a sense of realism. And it will be worth the effort.
The writer is director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He and
the agency won the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.
The critics who have howled their disapproval
of the Indo-US nuclear deal have been small but loud. They formed packs in both
India and the US, they have included both right and left, war hawks and
peaceniks. That they have emerged from the extremes is as good evidence as any
that the deal is a win-win for India and the world.
Heres a checklist of the main arguments against the deal and why theyre
Myth 1: The deal
caps Indias fissile material production. Elements in the BJP argue that the
deal puts curbs on how much bomb-making fissile material India can make. The US
non-proliferation lobby argues the deal places no curbs on fissile material
production. They both cant be right.
The truth is closer to the latter stance. The deal gives India the option of
piling up fissile material: India can build as many military reactors as it
wants and continue developing its breeder reactor. The latter, when completed,
would leave the country knee-deep in plutonium.
The non-proliferation crowd is wrong to say India will go fissile crazy. There
may be a way, but theres no will. India didnt make a plutonium mountain before
the deal though it could have because New Delhi has no interest in a
mega-arsenal. Reasons: An emptied exchequer and an arms race with China.
Bottomline: The deal doesnt restrict Indias fissile material production,
Indias own strategic calculations do.
Myth 2: The deal stops India from more nuclear tests. Not even the fine
print says India cant test. What it says is that if India does test, the US
will break off all civil nuclear cooperation. This has been part of US law since
1978 and applies to all countries, including Israel and the UK.
The only reason India may test again is to maintain the stability of its nuclear
stockpile. But this can be done through subcritical tests which attract no
penalties. But just in case Pakistan and China suddenly start preparing to
mushroom-cloud the region and India feels it must follow suit, the deal allows
the US President to go to the US Congress and explain Indias reasons and try
for an exemption.
Assume the worst: India tests and the US says its The End. The only real
consequence for India would be a disrupted nuclear fuel supply. Which is why
India is negotiating an International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards agreement
that commits third parties to supply fuel if the US goes into a sulk.
Bottomline: The deal extracts a cost if India tests. But it has a reimbursement
Myth 3: The deal
forced India to sell out Iran. Assume the Indo-US nuclear deal never happened.
Would India be happy with Iran getting nuclear weapons? Not a chance. Tehran did
business with Pakistans atomic smuggler A. Q. Khan. New Delhi has long fretted
that Irans going nuclear would lead to a Saudi Arabia-Pakistan nuclear
alliance. Put it another way: a nuclear Iran rebounds in Pakistans favour.
Much is made of Indias special relationship with Iran. This is mythical. Yes,
the two worked together, notably in Afghanistan. But they have clashed on almost
everything else. Iran opposes Indias own nuclear ambitions, lobbies against
Indias attempts to get a UN Security Council seat, and supports human rights
resolutions and other irritants that have negative implications for Kashmir.
Iran is a fair-weather friend. On the nuclear issue, the bilateral sky is
Indians have rightly grimaced at heavy-handed attempts by US congressmen and
officials to link the Indo-US nuclear deal to Indias opposition to Irans
nuclear programme. The truth is that Indias policy on Iran wasnt different, it
was just never articulated out of political correctness.
Bottomline: India is and has been against a nuclear-armed Iran. But New Delhi
foolishly never made this clear to its public or to Tehran.
Myth 4: Safeguards in perpetuity are a
sellout. The idea that any safeguarded nuclear facility will remain civilian
forever has an ominously biblical ring. But its not new. India first accepted
the principle of perpetuity in 1978 when the Department of Atomic Energy let
Russia place the Rana Pratap Sagar reactors in Rajasthan under safeguards in
1978. India then agreed to the same for the Koodankulum reactors.
In other words, India has been accepting perpetuity clauses in return for
nothing in the past. Now its doing the same, but getting international
acceptance of its right to have both civilian and military nuclear programmes in
return. No country will provide India with nuclear fuel or technology without
perpetual safeguards. This is not a US bogey, its a global norm.
The only reasonable demand is that India not concede perpetuity without a
guarantee of perpetual nuclear fuel supplies. Otherwise, in some theoretical
global fluff-up, India could end up with a lot of idle nuclear power plants.
This perpetuity-for-perpetuity trade-off is exactly what is being embedded in
Indias IAEA safeguards agreement.
Bottomline: Perpetuity is fine, but it must be double-barrelled.
Myth 5: India is
not getting genuine nuclear power status. India cant get nuclear power status
as defined by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty unless it can get: a) a time
machine and detonate a nuclear bomb before 1967, or b) the support of all 151
NPT signatories. Its a toss-up as to which is more impossible.
What the nuclear deal gives India is the right to have both civilian and
military nukes and access to global nuclear knowhow the key benefits of
nuclear club membership. All else is just rhetoric. It helps to realize that
there is no standard bill of rights of a nuclear power, even among the five
NPT powers. Crudely speaking, the earlier you enter the nuclear club, the more
rights you get. Thus the US has the most, China the least. China, for example,
places many of its atomic installations under perpetual safeguards despite being
a recognised nuclear power.
Bottomline: India gets the wine in the bottle, minus the label.
Myth 6: India doesnt need nuclear power.
India needs power from any source that it can find. Critics of nuclear power
focus on the high start-up costs of reactors and projections that reactors will
at best provide 8 per cent of Indias future energy needs. Yes, reactors are
billion-dollar-babies. But thats why the private sector is being brought in.
Reliance, Tata and others are all lining up and they feel they have the funds.
The fact the critics sidestep is that after a reactor is up and running, the per
unit cost of its electricity is among the lowest and least volatile in the
Also, no one says nuclear power is the be all, end all of Indias power needs. A
nations energy security is also about being able to tap a variety of power
sources. In the long-term, it wouldnt help to be dependent solely on nuclear
power. But not having a lot more nuclear power cheap electricity that is
independent of sheikhs and price cycles is worse.
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