Last week, we saw George W. Bush travel to Asia, stopping in India and Pakistan. While in India, he made a deal with India which would allow India to get U.S. nuclear technology to help advance their nuclear programs, some of which could be used for purposes other than energy. In exchange for increased nuclear development, India agreed to allow some inspections of some of its facilities.
This is a raw deal because this should be a time when the U.S. should be strengthening the NPT- The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This treaty was created over 3 decades ago and it was signed by most industrialized powers in the world at the time. It is the bedrock of the worlds nuclear security law, designed to ensure that countries that did not already have nuclear weapons capability would not seek it, and that the powers that already had such technology would eventually work to reduce their weapons and would work to get rid of them altogether. The U.S., Russia, and a few others have not lived up to their promises and obligations regarding the NPT. India was not a part of the NPT. But it still sends the wrong message to do this now, at a time when we are trying to convince the Iranians and the North Koreans to end their nuclear programs. This will make any negotiations that much harder- nearly impossible. But this falls in line with the pattern that the U.S. has shown all along.... that it really does not seem interested in a peaceful settlement with Iran or N. Korea. This would be another way to hinder negotiations so that RepubliCrats can have an excuse to start another war. Wars help their friends who control the Military Industrial Complex in this country. This is why the defense industry is the biggest deal in the country right now in terms of the economy.
But this is a sensitive time in terms of nuclear proliferation in the world. In the last 8 years or so, India and Pakistan completed development of their first working nuclear weapons and demonstrated the existence of these weapons with dramatic tests of nuclear devices that caught the world by surprise. Now N. Korea is attempting or threatening to obtain nuclear weapons technology. And Iran is indicating (although not admitting) that it is attempting to go in the same direction.
By making this deal with India, it tells other countries that the U.S. is not serious about non-proliferation. It also tells these countries that there is a reward for obtaining nuclear weapons technology. It tells members of the treaty that they got a bad deal by signing it. They may believe that if they would have done like India and not supported signing the treaty, perhaps they would be in a stronger position. At the same time, it tells countries that are becoming strong developing nations and who are not yet part of the treaty that it is not in their interest to sign it.
This is one of those cases that will become more clear in the next 3, 5, or 10 years. Yet another blunder by the Bush administration IMO. One of many.
Here is a washington post story on the U.S. nuclear deal with India.