Sunday, March 12, 2006

Dr. Strangedeal

The Economist [sub req'd] has some serious concerns about Bush's India nuke deal:

...This week America and others were insisting at the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran not be allowed to bend the anti-nuclear rules out of shape to further what are assumed to be its weapons ambitions. So why does Mr Bush propose doing just that for already nuclear-armed India?...

But it is one thing to have as broad and close a friendship with a nuclear India as the anti-nuclear rules allow. That is already in both countries' interests. It is quite another to knock aside the rules for India's sake. To be sure, Mr Bush is not proposing that other nuclear dabblers be given a welcome if they are persistent enough to succeed-though that will be the message Iran prefers to hear this week. Rather, he wants democratic, friendly, law-abiding India to be treated as an exception by Congress, which must first amend America's own laws if the deal is to go through, and by others in the NSG.

The problem here is that India could instead prove the exception that fatally weakens the rules. The devil is both in the deal's troubling detail, and in its likely knock-on effects.

India may not have signed the NPT, but America has. In doing so, it promised not to help other countries with their nuclear-weapons tinkering. It also pioneered the reinforcing principle that only countries that have all their nuclear facilities under international safeguards (India doesn't now and won't in future) should benefit from trade in civilian nuclear technology. If countries were going to sign the NPT and renounce nuclear weapons themselves, they needed assurance that as many others as possible would follow suit. To encourage them, treaty rights-help in enjoying the benefits of civilian nuclear power-were withheld from those that shrugged off or ignored its obligations.


This will come back to bite us in the ass, just as most of the Chimp's 'leadership decisions' have. With this deal, we're beginning a whole new arms race. One, with the instability in the world today, that will surely end in tragedy.

In addition, the beautiful Katrina vanden Heuvel noticed a new move by DoD that will no doubt heighten tensions instead of diffusing them. Did Rummy put every moron in the world at DoD or do they all have to check their brains at the door when they walk into the Pentagon nowadays?

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