N-deal: Deconstructing the Non-Proliferation Lobby
Kaushik Kapisthalam writing
in the Washington Times
has a brilliant analysis as to why the non-proliferation ayatollahs
(NPA) are still wrong when it comes to India.
On making an exception for India:
Another idea postulated against the nuclear deal is that such a carve out specifically for India would undermine the normative international nuclear set up. However, this argument is based on the wrong notion that the current NPT-based nuclear setup is totally rules-based without exceptions. In fact, the NPT-system by itself has been defined by different treatment for different nations, largely based on global geopolitical concerns. For example, when Iraq was found to be in violation of its NPT pledge to not develop nuclear weapons following the first Gulf war in 1991, the world community came down hard on Baghdad with a tough sanctions regime. However, when China was clearly in violation of its NPT obligations when it was caught selling weapons related "ring magnets" to Pakistan in 1995, the U.S. buried the violation in order not to jeopardize the Clinton administration's efforts to forge better U.S.-China relations. Even recently, when investigations pertaining to the A.Q.Khan nuclear scandal revealed that China may have leaked a nuclear warhead design that was found in Libya, the Bush administration refused to bring China to account and went ahead with proposed nuclear reactor sales to the Asian giant.
If Clinton administration made an exception China despite its blatant violation, India with its untarnished record should be treated better if the Americans are serious about forging a partnership. On asking India to halt its fissile material production:
Many nuclear deal detractors, such as Henry Sokolski of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, also insist that India should be asked to stop its production of fissile materials prior to any U.S. nuclear cooperation. Pointing out that the U.S. and three other NPT nuclear states (France, U.K. and Russia) have officially declared stopping their fissile material production, Sokolski argues that India should be asked to do the same.
However, such a precondition would be seen as a poison pill in New Delhi for the simple reason that the U.S. has initiated nuclear cooperation with China, when that country has refused to officially declare the status of its fissile material production. While Western intelligence analyses and informal Chinese communications indicate that China may have stopped producing fissile material, there is good reason to be dubious about the validity of such a conclusion given China's track record of going back on even its official word in the nuclear arena.
A good faith implementation of the July 18 accord by Washington would therefore represent a significant breakthrough in Indo-U.S. relations. Given that the world has already suffered a great deal due to off-the-books exceptions to the NPT-based nuclear system, a codified and verifiable exception that brings India into a club it deserves to be in is indeed a net plus for nonproliferation.
Indeed. We too enthusiastically support the July 18th - but sadly at this point the deal has been hijacked by the NPA lobby who are stuck with their anti-India stance. We hope that the U.S. foreign policy leadership under Dr. Condalezza Rice will take a bold stance and break this impasse.