Investigative Journalism that is as
Radical as Reality Itself.

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

 

 

 


July 07, 2015
ANDRE VLTCHEK
In Ecuador, Fight for Mankind; In Greece, Fight for Greece!
Binoy Kampmark
Warrior Economist: the Varoufakis Legacy
Shamus Cooke
Unions Must Act Now to Survive Supreme Court Deathblow
Dave Lindorff
The Greek People Have Voted ‘No!’ to Austerity and Economic Blackmail
Mateo Pimentel
The Pope’s Letter: Neoliberalism and Fukushima
Raouf Halaby
Beware Those Who Speak With Forked Tongues
Ron Jacobs
The Grateful Dead: The Ship of the Sun Bids Farewell
Jonathan Cook
Hasbara Industry: Why Israel’s Army of Spin-Doctors is Doomed to Defeat
Rev. William Alberts
Charleston: a Reality Check on Racism in America
Ellen Brown
A Franciscan Alternative: the People’s Pope and a People’s Bank?
Colin Todhunter
The Warped World of the GMO Lobbyist
John Wight
Who Will Join With Greece?
W. T. Whitney
Colombia’s Fensuagro Union is Revolutionary, Persecuted, and Undaunted
Mel Gurtov
Keep It in the Ground, Obama
July 06, 2015
MICHAEL HUDSON
Greece Rejects the Troika
Steve Hendricks
Will FIFA’s World Cup Sexism Ever Die?
Binoy Kampmark
Oxi in Greece
Gareth Porter
How US Spin on Access to Iranian Sites has Distorted the Issue
Peter Bach
ISIL and Ramadan in the Rag
Paul Craig Roberts
A Rebuke to EU-Imposed Austerity
Robert Hunziker
Looking Inside Fukushima Prefecture
Quincy Saul
The View from Mount Olympus
ADRIENNE PINE, RICHARD JOHNSTON, FIONA WILMOT, et al.
Seven Reasons to Scrap the USA’s $1 Billion Aid Package to Central America
Norman Pollack
Capitalism’s Self-Revealing Practices
David Macaray
Could Justice Scalia Be the One to Rescue Labor?
Linn Washington Jr.
Storm Smashes Chris Christie’s Presidential Candidacy
Benjamin Willis
US and Cuba: What Remains to be Done?
Robert David Steele
The National Military Strategy: Dishonest Platitudes
Joan Roelofs
Whatever Happened to Eastern European Communism?
Weekend Edition
July 3-5, 2015
Mike Whitney
The Pentagon’s “2015 Strategy” For Ruling the World
Jason Hirthler
Going Off-Script in St. Petersburg
Rob Urie
Greece and Global Class War
DIMITRIS KONSTANTAKOPOULOS
The Future of Greece Without Illusions
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Ecuador Fights for Survival – Against its Elites
David Rosen
White Skin Crisis
Jerry Lembcke
Nobody Spat on American GIs!
Stavros Mavroudeas
The Greek Referendum and the Tasks of the Left
Andrew Levine
Dumping on Dixie Again
Richard Pithouse
Charleston (It’s Not Over)
Arun Gupta
What Does It Mean to Call Dylann Roof a “Terrorist”?
Michael Welton
The Tragedy of Harper’s Canada
Brendan McQuade
The Right Wing Resurgence and the Problem of Terrorism
Chris Floyd
Heritage and Hokum in Rebel Banner Row
Victor Rodriguez
Puerto Rico’s Economic and Fiscal Crisis: Made in the U.S.A.
John Halle
Four Thoughts on the Sanders Insurgency