[Marxism] Indian Communists win the Fight against Indo-US Nuclear Deal?

Sukla Sen suklasenp at yahoo.co.uk
Sat Oct 13 23:18:08 MDT 2007


In order to make a realistic estimate of the effects
of the projected collapse of the 'deal', one has to go
back to issue of what the 'deal' essentially
signifies?

"The ‘Deal’, in its essence, is meant to enable India,
a non-signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty (NPT), henceforth to have ‘civilian’ nuclear
trade – in terms of nuclear fuel, technology, plants,
spares etc., with the US, and also other nations so
desirous, by making a unique exception in case of
India. India in return will have to designate, at its
own options, its nuclear reactors into two categories
– ‘civilian’ (for power production) and ‘strategic’
(for Bomb making), and ensure separation between the
two. The ‘civilian’ reactors/plants only will be
opened up for international inspection by the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The nuclear
trade will accordingly be limited to the ‘civilian’
reactors only. In case of the ‘strategic’ ones, there
will be neither any inspection nor any trade." (Ref:
<http://perso.orange.fr/sacw/saan/2007/Res032007.html>.)
The fact that India is not a signatory to the NPT,
like Pakistan and Israel, disentitles it, like
Pakistan and Israel, to engage in such international
trade. In fact, after the May 1974 nuclear explosion
carried out by India an international mechanism was
set in place to effectively monitor and execute this
denial. The denial regime was made even more stringent
after India declared itself as a nuclear weapon state
with five more blasts in May 1998.

The US, under Bush, has taken a unilateral initiative
in his regard and trying to foist its will on the rest
of the world. This is again another act of gross
unilateralism.
The motivation behind this radical initiative taken by
the Bush Administration has generally been identified
as its keenness to build up India as a counterpoint to
rising China and also also other actual or potential
challengers to the US in the region. In the process
the US would love to ensnare India as a junior ally in
its project for unilateral global domination, which
has suffered and is continuing suffer bloody blows in
Iraq, and Afghanistan. But even otherwise, the US
finds it worthwhile.
While commercial interests also act as a push factor,
the strategic game plan is apparently the principal
driver.
>From the Indian side, it gets to be granted the
quasi-recognition as a "legitimate" nuclear weapon
power in the process. This would also imply an act of
radical dehyphentation of India from Pakistan, its
immediate neighbour and traditional rival - even if
much smaller and weaker, within the framework of US
foreign policy - more so, in the context of the
brusque refusal by the US to grant the same deal to
Pakistan despite persistent clamour. It would
evidently boost India's attempt to emerge as regional
hegemon with the backup of the US. Its nuclear
programme, which is just limping along despite all
sorts of fantastically exaggerated projections, would
get a boost. Just not only the "civilian" component -
in terms of access to world market as regards fuel,
technology, plants, spares and all that, but also the
weapon progarmme in so far as it would remain outside
any international control and the indigenously
produced uranium would be freed up to be exclusively
deployed for production of fissile materials for the
Bomb as imported uranium would be available for power
production as and when the deal is operationalised.
The increased difficulties in carrying out further
explosive tests, considered essential to graduate from
the A-Bomb to H-Bomb, likely to crop up because of the
deal are of rather little practical significance. As
there is already a voluntary moratarium in place since
the last explosions and it'd, in any case be pretty
costly - deal or no deal, in terms of international
relations to carry out further explosive tests without
a radical worsening of the global scenario.

This deal evidently would further deepen the sense of
despondency on the part of Pakistan and thereby even
more aggravate the regional arms race - both
conventional and nuclear. Globally it would prod other
threshold states to cross the rubicon by setting an
extremely negative example of rewarding an aberrant
state on account of aberration, albeit with a time
gap. That would be a serious setback for the prospect
of global nuclear disarmament. 
The growing strategic ties between the US and India,
of which the projected deal is a manifestation, would
grow even stronger and thereby pose serious threat to
world peace in so far as the US poses a serious threat
to the world and India to South Asia in particular.

The collapse of the deal would have most serious
repercussions on India's nuclear programme -
particularly its civilian component. (Never mind all
sorts of fantastic, and of course bogus, claims on
behalf of the Indian nuclear establishment. The highly
unreal target of 20000 MWe from nuclear power plants
by 2020, as against the current level of around 4000
MW, would now look even more absurd. The projection
had, however, been made well before the 'deal'. But
never mind.)
The strategic ties between the US and India would
understandably grow at a slower pace because of the
upset.
It'd also hopefully come as a small booster for global
peace movement towards global nuclear disarmament. 
But India would also grow even more intransigent
towards any global move towards nuclear disarmament
despite hypocritical noises. (Vajpayee had declared
his full commitment to global nuclear disarmament even
as a part of his ugly chest thumping in the wake of
India publicly going nuclear!) 

Sukla


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