FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The U.S.-India Nuclear Proliferation Deal

by DAVID KRIEGER

When geopolitics comes up against principle in the US Congress, it is generally principle that is forced to give way.  In the case of the US-India nuclear deal, originally proposed by President Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2005, the deal would involve transferring nuclear technology and material from the US to India.  Geopolitically, it would strengthen the relationship between the two countries, but it would do so at the expense of the principle of preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

India is not a party to the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  It never joined because its leaders believed that the Non-Proliferation Treaty promoted nuclear apartheid with its two classes of states: nuclear “haves” and “have-nots.”  By not signing the treaty, India, like Pakistan and Israel, held open the possibility of developing nuclear weapons.  In 1974, India tested its first nuclear device, what it called a “peaceful nuclear device.”  In 1998, India conducted multiple tests of nuclear weapons, and was followed almost immediately by a series of Pakistani nuclear tests.

The United States, unlike India, is a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.  Like all other parties to the treaty, it promised in Article I of the treaty “not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce any non-nuclear-weapon State to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, or control over such weapons or explosive devices.”  India is a “non-nuclear-weapon State” by the treaty’s definition.  By providing nuclear materials and technology to India, the US will be assisting India to develop a larger nuclear arsenal than it already has developed.  Thus, the US will be in violation of its treaty obligations.

India has agreed to allow its civilian nuclear reactors to be inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency, but not its military reactors.  By supplying nuclear material and technology to India, it will allow India to use all of the uranium and plutonium from its military reactors, which are not subject to inspection, to be used for increasing the size of its nuclear weapons arsenal.  This will, in turn, promote nuclear arms races with Pakistan and China.

Earlier this month, the US applied pressure to the 45 member states of the Nuclear Suppliers Group to waive their rules and allow nuclear material and technology transfers to India.  Many of the members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group were as eager as the United States at the opportunity for their big corporations to cash in on selling nuclear reactors to India.

With the Nuclear Suppliers Group having signed off on the deal, it left only the US Congress to reconsider the matter before giving the green light to the deal.  The first step in getting the deal through Congress was gaining the approval of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  In this Committee, Senator Russ Feingold introduced an amendment to the bill calling on the administration to reach an agreement with the Nuclear Suppliers Group that there will be no transfers of uranium enrichment or plutonium separation technologies to a country that is not party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Since India is not party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Feingold amendment would have prohibited transfers of these technologies for producing weapons-grade nuclear materials to India.  It is an amendment that upholds the principle that transfers of nuclear technology should not assist in the development of nuclear weapons.  The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in its eagerness to see the US reap perceived geopolitical and financial advantages, threw principle to the wayside and voted 15 to 4 against the amendment.  The four principled Senators voting for the amendment were Feingold, along with Barbara Boxer, Robert Casey and Jim Webb.

Following the defeat of the amendment, the Committee, in its embarrassing rush to line up behind a Bush policy that substantially undermines the current nuclear non-proliferation regime, voted 19 to 2 in favor of the deal.  The only two Senators on the Committee to stand on principle and vote against the deal were Russ Feingold and Barbara Boxer.

If the House Foreign Affairs Committee follows its colleagues in the Senate, it is almost assured that the Congress of the United States will vote in favor of this ill-conceived deal, and the prospects of preventing further proliferation of nuclear weapons will have been dealt a near fatal blow.  The US will have demonstrated that perceived short-term geopolitical gain, with an unhealthy dose of potential financial profit thrown in, is more than enough to defeat even the most important of security-related principles.  The Bush administration will have succeeded in making the Congress complicit in blowing a hole the size of a nuclear explosion through the principle of safeguarding the country and the world against the spread of nuclear weapons.

DAVID KRIEGER is the president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (www.wagingpeace.org) and a councilor of the World Future Council.

 

Your Ad Here
 

 

 

 

David Krieger is President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (www.wagingpeace.org). 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

February 20, 2017
Jordan Flaherty
Best Films of 2016: Black Excellence Versus White Mediocrity
Weekend Edition
February 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
David Price
Rogue Elephant Rising: The CIA as Kingslayer
Matthew Stevenson
Is Trump the Worst President Ever?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Flynn?
John Wight
Brexit and Trump: Why Right is Not the New Left
Diana Johnstone
France: Another Ghastly Presidential Election Campaign; the Deep State Rises to the Surface
Neve Gordon
Trump’s One-State Option
Roger Harris
Emperor Trump Has No Clothes: Time to Organize!
Joan Roelofs
What Else is Wrong with Globalization
Andrew Levine
Why Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban?
Mike Whitney
Blood in the Water: the Trump Revolution Ends in a Whimper
Vijay Prashad
Trump, Turmoil and Resistance
Ron Jacobs
U.S. Imperial War Personified
David Swanson
Can the Climate Survive Adherence to War and Partisanship?
Andre Vltchek
Governor of Jakarta: Get Re-elected or Die!
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Destruction of Mosul
Norman Pollack
Self-Devouring Reaction: Governmental Impasse
Steve Horn
What Do a Louisiana Pipeline Explosion and Dakota Access Pipeline Have in Common? Phillips 66
Brian Saady
Why Corporations are Too Big to Jail in the Drug War
Graham Peebles
Ethiopia: Peaceful Protest to Armed Uprising
Luke Meyer
The Case of Tony: Inside a Lifer Hearing
Binoy Kampmark
Adolf, The Donald and History
Robert Koehler
The Great American Awakening
Murray Dobbin
Canadians at Odds With Their Government on Israel
Fariborz Saremi
A Whole New World?
Joyce Nelson
Japan’s Abe, Trump & Illegal Leaks
Christopher Brauchli
Trump 1, Tillerson 0
Yves Engler
Is This Hate Speech?
Dan Bacher
Trump Administration Exempts Three CA Oil Fields From Water Protection Rule at Jerry Brown’s Request
Richard Klin
Solid Gold
Melissa Garriga
Anti-Abortion and Anti-Fascist Movements: More in Common Than Meets the Eye
Thomas Knapp
The Absurd Consequences of a “Right to Privacy”
W. T. Whitney
The Fate of Prisoner Simón Trinidad, as Seen by His U. S. Lawyer
Brian Platt
Don’t Just Oppose ICE Raids, Tear Down the Whole Racist Immigration Enforcement Regime
Paul Cantor
Refugee: the Compassionate Mind of Egon Schwartz
Norman Richmond
The Black Radical Tradition in Canada
Barton Kunstler
Rallying Against the Totalitarian Specter
Judith Deutsch
Militarism:  Revolutionary Mothering and Rosie the Riveter
Nyla Ali Khan
Kashmir Evoked a Lot More International Attention in the 1950s Than It Does Now
Adam Phillips
There Isn’t Any There There
Louis Proyect
Steinbeck’s Red Devils
Randy Shields
Left Coast Date: the Dating Site for the ORWACA Tribe
Charles R. Larson
Review: Bill Hayes’ “Insomniac City”
David Yearsley
White Supremacy and Music Theory
February 16, 2017
Peter Gaffney
The Rage of Caliban: Identity Politics, the Travel Ban, and the Shifting Ideological Framework of the Resistance
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail