Wednesday, February 15, 2006

brahma: Vaunted U.S.-India nuclear deal begins to fall apart

feb 15th

about time the indian govt realized this is a bad deal.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Brahma
Date: Feb 13, 2006 8:04 AM
Subject: Vaunted U.S.-India nuclear deal begins to fall apart
To: b@vsnl.net

Vaunted U.S.-India nuclear deal begins to fall apart

 

Brahma Chellaney International Herald Tribune

Tuesday, FEBRUARY 14, 2006

NEW DELHI With international attention focused on Iran's renegade nuclear program, a much-trumpeted nuclear deal that was to showcase the emerging global strategic partnership between the United States and India has begun to unravel virtually unnoticed.

 

Unless the United States rolls back its demands, it is almost certain that no formal nuclear agreement will be ready for signature when President George W. Bush arrives in New Delhi on March 2. A barren U.S. presidential visit would ensure a slow death for the accord.

 

That accord represented a statement of intent to promote civil nuclear-energy cooperation. Since it was announced last July, intense negotiations on a formal agreement have run into major hurdles over U.S. efforts to shift the goalpost, triggering an Indian backlash. The present and former chiefs of the Indian nuclear program have vented their fury in public against the U.S. negotiating goals.

 

The concern in Washington over the July deal coming loose has found expression in contradictory ways - first an undiplomatic outburst by the U.S. ambassador to India that resulted in him being summoned to the Indian foreign office for an admonition, and then the dangling of a new carrot.

 

To salvage the deal, the Bush administration is now offering to provide reactor fuel and take back the spent fuel afterward to prevent its use in weaponry. The dubious plan is to rely on a reactor technology that at present remains prone to catching fire and is not cost-effective. The U.S. Congress, moreover, is unlikely to change the law to allow the dumping of foreign-generated nuclear waste.

 

In any case, the invitation to India is contingent upon successful negotiations to implement last July's accord. Those negotiations, however, have been caught up in battles over U.S. demands that India bring much of its autonomous nuclear program under permanent international inspections.

 

New Delhi "reciprocally" agreed in July to accept a series of legally binding obligations that include the civil-military separation of its nuclear program. But no sooner had the accord had been signed than Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns repudiated the principle of reciprocity, declaring the accord "will have to be implemented by the Indian government and then we will have to seek these changes from the Congress."

 

While the accord merely states that India will begin "identifying and separating civilian and military nuclear facilities and programs in a phased manner," Washington has added specific conditionality - that such a separation plan be "credible," "transparent" and "defensible." Put simply, America has set itself up as the arbiter to whom India is answerable. In contrast, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has assured India's Parliament that, "It will be an autonomous Indian decision as to what is 'civilian' and what is 'military."'

 

Washington has also sought to renege on the accord's central plank - that India would "assume the same responsibilities and practices and acquire the same benefits and advantages as other leading countries with advanced nuclear technology." Washington now insists India cannot pursue the same "practices" as the five established nuclear powers, which offer nuclear materials and facilities for International Atomic Energy Agency inspections in return for token inspections by the agency.

 

U.S. negotiators are also insisting on a watertight civil-military separation in India, contrary to the practice in the other nuclear powers, most of which do not even pretend to have carried out any such segregation.

 

Furthermore, by seeking to apply international inspections to the Indian uranium-enrichment and beryllium facilities and to the dual-purpose fast-breeder program, U.S. negotiators are seeking to constrict India's nuclear military capability before New Delhi has built a credible minimal deterrent against its main rival, China.

 

America's goalpost-shifting approach shows it will accept India at most as a second-class nuclear power. India is unlikely to countenance that. The only way the deadlock can be broken is through political intervention at the highest level. And by a return to the principles enshrined in last July's accord.

 

(Brahma Chellaney is a professor of strategic studies at the Center for Policy Research, New Delhi.)

 

9 comments:

cyniclearner said...

Rajeev

I hope you have idea about what extent 'indian' government can go to destroy india's military strength....
anyway, here is a clue : UPA government has recently decided to get a count of muslims in indian military...such a move is opposed by not only opposition parties but also very strongly by military itself.. which is now facing the serious risk of quota stule secular destruction..but is expectedly supported by Imam of Jama Masjid of Delhi.

After 5% reservation to muslims in AP getting repeatedly struck down by judiciary, this move is not only treasonous but is truly arrogant.

I have brought this up because, nuclear establishment of India is also under attack from 'indian' government.

iamfordemocracy said...

One conclusion, that has never been highlighted, or perhaps even mentioned, about Manmohan Singh, is now unescapable. There seems to be a complete dishonesty and lack of integrity in his approach and his methods. Indeed, it is unfortunate that people accept him as a person of high integrity. He seems to be a person adept at working behind the curtains, ignoring general public and experts, and ignoring all sane voices. He may or may not be an economics expert, but his silence speaks volumes about his motivation. It is high time he is exposed as a shady dealer. Else, he will be able to do irreparable damage to our beloved country.

siva said...

This Manmoron Singh may be an intelligent person, but he surely is not a honest one. Intelligence and honesty are not necessarily mutually inclusive. I think lot of people get confused between intelligence and integrity. They are two different aspects and not necessarily be found in same person.

Kaunteya said...

Manmoron Singh is a classic example of the phrase - yeda ban kay pedha as is often used in bambiya language.

san said...

Well, I admit that the deal is no longer worth supporting, even though in its original form it looked pretty good to me. The US has shifted the goalposts away from what it originally committed to with India on July18, and that has proven to be fatal to the entire venture.

It appears that the Atlanticists combined with the so-called "anti-proliferation" lobby in the US are using this deal to apply an Eklavya solution on India, to cripple its nuclear capabilities.

Well, it looks like India is finally backing away from the deal, now that it's clear what's happening. Although the Americans have really pulled a fast one on us, and left us with egg on our face.

Well, this will only later down the road lead us to repay them by applying an Aswatthama solution on them.

KapiDhwaja said...

Good to know that you see the light finally, san. Of late I tend to agree with a lot of your comments at BR. Keep it up!

KapiDhwaja said...

yeda ban kay pedha

LOL...Good one Kaunteya!

Kalyani said...

San ,

Good one! Also heartening to see you after a long time!!

Ragz said...

Manmohan Singh and honesty? After Jarkhand, Goa, Bihar, Volker, Quttrochi.... honesty? Bullshit. Hey what can you say about a person whose 'source of strength' is Sonia Gandhi? God, save me from those whose agenda is 'enlightened national interest'.. I just want someone who has national interest in mind.