The New York Times has this hack of an opinion piece on the Indian nuclear deal. I felt like expressing my Indian viewpoint on some of the things it said, so here goes:
Article: IN the next day or so, an obscure organization will meet to decide the fate of an Indian nuclear deal that threatens to rapidly accelerate New Delhi’s arms race with Pakistan — a rivalry made all the more precarious by the resignation on Tuesday of the Pakistani president, Pervez Musharraf.
Response: The Pakistan angle is always used as a catch-all to explain why India shouldn't have nukes. This is hypocritical and specious. Hypocritical, because rivalries between the USA and Russia have always been closer to nuclear flashpoint level than those between India and Pakistan. Specious, because India and Pakistan are actively taking steps towards reconciliation and there's no clear reason to believe that nukes will play a role in any future conflict.
Article: If the president gets his way, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty — for 50 years, the bulwark against the spread of nuclear weapons — would be shredded and India’s yearly nuclear weapons production capability would likely increase from 7 bombs to 40 or 50.
Response: The NPT is no bulwark; all it does is allow for a veil of secrecy for certain nations to secretly proliferate with impunity. China has been giving nuke tech away to Pakistan for decades. The USA gave nuke tech to Israel. And Pakistan proliferated to Iran even as the US mollycoddled it and gave it military funds.
Article: India’s nuclear history is checkered at best
Response: Er, no. Now you're just lying. India has a perfect nonproliferation record.
Article: ... exploits foreign nuclear energy assistance to make a bomb, as India did. [India] misused civilian nuclear technology to produce its first nuclear weapon in 1974
Response: How was it better or more ethical to use Nazi war tech to create nuclear weapons, and then use those weapons to kill hundreds of thousands of people, than to use civilian nuke tech to explode a handful of proof-of-concept weapons? Does the former not count as misuse?
Article: Just last month, the Pakistani government darkly announced that waiving the nuclear rules for India “threatens to increase the chances of a nuclear arms race in the subcontinent.”
Response: Perhaps this is just a pressure tactic from a nation which had also demanded the same concessions that India did but never got them? That ever cross your mind?
Article: India must sign the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, a step already taken by 178 other countries and every member state of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. After all, why should the group’s members grant India a huge exemption from the rules that they themselves are supposed to follow?
Response: Perhaps this can wait until India achieves nuclear parity with the exclusive nuclear club and stockpiles a few thousand nukes. Why not ask why the nuclear weapon states aren't required to reduce their arsenal to the 5 or 6 bombs that India has? After all, the USA has thousands of nukes, enough to destroy the entire world. Why should a treaty designed specifically to protect the USA and other nuke countries' nuclear stockpiles be allowed to stand? Finally, this demand is ridiculously unrealistic in the face of the fact that India has consistently refused it for 5 decades and domestic public opinion is perhaps 90% opposed to it.
Article: India must agree to halt production of nuclear material for weapons.
Response: First, is India continuing to produce nuclear material for weapons? Then why aren't there any more than 5-7 nukes in India? Second, India should halt production when the existing nuke powers reduce their stockpiles to Indian levels, and not before that.
The world will be a better place when 60 year old, old-world, Nixon-era-educated India-haters like the authors of this article are all gone.
4 days ago