Wednesday, October 12, 2005

brahma chellaney: more on the us india nuclear pact

oct 12th

brahma as usual is on the money. this is not exactly a great deal for india.

in a display of escalating commitment, india is now willing to give more and more to make the deal work, forgetting the original reason for getting into the deal. it shows utter lack of preparation. india's negotiators have been shown to be babes-in-the-woods taken for a ride by americans!

and the americans cannot negotiate their way out of a paper bag with most others because of their ignorance. this would imply india's diplomats and politicians are dumb, untrained and probably also purchased with small amounts of money, mitrokhin-style.

fortunately, the us congress will not ratify this thing. that much is guaranteed.

the trick is for india to not do too many things and give up its leverage hoping some manna will fall into its lap. it won't.,00120001.htm


san said...

Here's an article from K Subrahmanyam, in favour of the deal:

I liked what he said, but perhaps the optimal position is somewhere between what both men are saying.

We need to be wary of the Americans taking us for granted, but I still want to emphasize that dialogue between Indian and American conservatives holds out promise for meeting the needs of both nations.

I feel that the emerging prospect of regime-change in Iran is what would be required to break out of the logjam. Otherwise, the Americans will be forever propping up the Pakistanis, to our detriment.

I wonder if all the timely help Musharraf is getting from the US will require him to commit Pakistani troops to Iraq. Consider that if Musharraf does this, then Iraq could become a Kashmir situation for Pak Army. We all remember the ugly scenes of Pak troops firing on Somalis during their tour of duty there. So much for Islamic solidarity.

indianpatriot said...

Hi San,
I saw a TV Program in CSPAN regarding nuclear agreement between India and US. I would be definitely happy if this agreement is junked since it is so bad for India. I believe events are moving in the directions what general Padmanabhan had written in his book. I belive Smiling Buddha version 3 is an event waiting to happen in couple of years.(Hopefully after a fresh election with an young nationalistic BJP leader who is not enamoured of USA in the mold of Jashwant Singh). I donot think Supreme Evangelist Bush will be waiting to spend political capital on this deal. I saw the pathetic use of religion to defend his nominee for supreme court. With a 38% approval rating, an economy showing Japan symptoms of 1990s (Donot get me wrong. It took Japan 15 years to come out of slow growth after its market peak in 1989 and US is entering that phase. However Japan did not have the need to fight an undesirabe war like Iraq.) I think the nuclear deal is in deathbed. On Vijaya dashami day it is a bit of good news for me. On unrelated note it was so pathetic of Mirwaiz to cry about neglect by rest of Indians. I think he is an agent of US state department(His wife is American). May be you may not like what I may say. But your attitude is Americans are some angels who will drive away Indias problems only if there is a regime change in Iran. I think if by some miracle that event happens their next target will be definitely India. For me the best event to happen to India's security would be American withdrawl in Iraq like Vietnam. A Sunni Soudi Arabia and mostly Shia Iraq fighting a civil war.

san said...

Indianpatriot, both Brahma Chellaney and K Subrahmanyam are patriotic guys with strong credentials, despite their differing points of view. What I'll say in regards to Brahma's arguments is that these "constraints" imposed on India by the US deal are more distant in their timeframe. By the time we start to bump up against these constraints, we'll be strong enough not to be impeded by them. It would be like binding an elephant with ribbons -- symbolic, but quite useless on a real-world level.

If we choose to discard that deal after a couple of decades when we find it no longer suits us, what penalty would we suffer?? Is someone going to tell us to stand in the corner, like an errant schoolboy?? Nonsense. Look at the Iranians and North Koreans -- they actually signed the NPT, but yet they are on the verge of the A-bomb.

Forget this by-the-books crap. So we have to maintain some squeaky-clean distance from the bandwagon, even as others join it to reap the benefits while still maintaining their independent interests on the side? Nah, sounds like a sucker's choice.

Our ore deposits aren't going to evaporate in the meantime -- this isn't "use it or lose it". If we revive the US nuclear industry, that doesn't mean we get harmed by that. On the contrary, we will both benefit, and the reciprocal benefit to them will keep the supplies flowing. We can't get them to become our lobbyists unless they get our business. Same as BPO.

Again, rather than looking at things from the perspective of ethics, and on whether the US can be trusted to behave ethically, one has to see the physics of the situation.

Chellaney tends towards maximalist policy positions that aren't attainable. That's why even though he was Indira's national security advisor, we didn't pull off all these incredible coups against our adversaries. The bird in the hand is worth 2 of his birds in the bush.

Anonymous said...

Another aspect to having a nuclear industry in India is the growth of peripheral businesses - another big avenue for employment and research. Like the semiconductor manufacturing industry, I guess there are stringent requirements on quality in the nuclear industry, which would lead to the spawning of many small scale establishments. This would be the bright side of the deal. But yeah, the leadership should not chicken out of pursuing the thorium based technology - even if it means clandestine pursual.

DarkStorm said...

San, in the link you posted, to the interview of K. Subrahmanyam, it is written in the first para,
"The man who wanted India to make bombs is now, surprisingly, ready to cap its weapons programme. He says his change of heart comes from the fact that 'we have made bombs.'

Why should we cap our weapons programme when Pakistan is ready to use it, given the first chance, and China is maintaining a big nuclear arsenal, though it claims no-first-use(i doubt it!). I think Brahma Chellaney is right in saying that we need to maintain our nuke arsenal, while Subrahmanyam is right in talking about cooperation with US in the nuclear front.

san said...

There is no advantage in building more bombs than we need. You can only kill someone so many times. Needless overproduction will only attract arms race with other powers we're not currently in a race with. This would adversely affect our security. India's minimum deterrence is right for our economic needs.

We will benefit from cooperation with the US because it will help us to catch up with China, and it will also creative competition between US and Russian sources for India as a customer.