Coming Soon
It's been a while, but as they say, better late than never. We finally made some time to redesign our blog and soon we will have our own independent website. The blog helped us reach a huge audience and generate a lot of interest in this area. As a result, the format and (utility) of the blog seems overwhelmed, hence the transittion to the dedicated site. The URL for the new site and content will be disclosed soon. Till then, enjoy the blog and continue to contribute to our posts.
India must sit at the nuclear table
For most of the world, the timeline of India's nuclear development stops rather abruptly in May 1998. At that time, a nuclear India could not exist according to the rules governing the world's nuclear-capable countries; after its nuclear tests, ironically, most of the world regarded India as if it never became a nuclear power. Relative peace on the South Asian subcontinent, awareness of a clandestine nuclear bazaar, and tectonic shifts in the global security paradigm create a unique convergence of politics, technology, and history.

The genesis of the current dilemma stretches back to the signing of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1968. Its framers envisaged only two categories of nations - nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear-weapon states. This simple, inelegant distinction lacked the ability to manage countries' nuclear aspirations. One hundred and eighty-eight countries subscribed to this dichotomous regime.

But a handful of holdouts, among them India, questioned the provisions on which the NPT rested. In particular, India objected to the treaty's discriminatory nature - dividing the world between the "nuclear-haves" and "nuclear-have-nots" - and the tradeoff between the civilian versus military uses of nuclear energy. India's protest protected its own nuclear potential. When the "nuclear-not-yets" became "nuclear-haves", they challenged the NPT's classification system.

The declared nuclear countries of the world hoped and, heretofore, assumed that India's program might be reversed - quietly but eventually. India never has nor had any intention of turning the stub of its self-issued ticket into the nuclear club, which views India's program as "counterfeit" and thus inadmissible. Simply, those within the NPT will not accept the "outliers" as nuclear-weapon states but only as non-nuclear-weapon states, while those outside the NPT will not roll back their nuclear arsenals.

Because the nonproliferation regime ignored the outliers' existence, the NPT has weakened. According to the treaty, these outliers fit neither of the two prescribed categories of signatories. What to do with the "new" nuclear powers? Neither nuclear nor non-nuclear weapons states considered this question "urgent", even if it was "important". The attacks of September 11, 2001, and the discovery of Abdul Qadeer Khan's nuclear salesmanship in Pakistan transformed national priorities. Both of these events seemed to affect Pakistan more than India, which is why India must pay attention to them.

Pakistan and India can but will not be hyphenated. Pakistan counterbalances India as a nuclear outlier. India maintains that it has behaved responsibly - "as if" it were a signatory to the NPT. Unlike Pakistan, India's nuclear technology has remained within its borders, as a non-transferable commodity. Further, India's nuclear infrastructure has a different history and future than Pakistan's. India's commitment to nonproliferation is the key to its authorized admission to the nuclear club, despite the present structure of the nonproliferation regime.

This dilemma underlies US-India relations on the nuclear issue and redraws the India-US-Pakistan triangle. Specifically, India must reconcile its approach to nonproliferation with noncompliance with the nuclear policy of US President George W Bush. In addition to strengthening the relevance of nuclear arsenals to foreign policy formulation, the Bush administration celebrates nuclear technology while urging other countries, particularly India, to dismantle its nuclear program. One might actually fall for the hypocrisy if one believed that India-US cooperation in the civilian nuclear sector would come to fruition, despite the two countries differing on their nuclear identities and disagreeing on their commitments to nonproliferation and disarmament. The resolution of this dilemma does not lie with India joining the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), a US-led counter-proliferation policy aimed at curtailing the illicit trafficking of weapons of mass destruction and delivery systems. The PSI abounds with questions of legality and disintegrates under matters of implementation.

The month-long NPT review conference, which began on May 2, provides an opportunity to release the "trapped" discussion about India's nuclear program, though this window will only open briefly. A relevant dialogue must consider an inclusive international system that respects the bargains negotiated during the NPT - a lofty goal, no doubt. The United Nations enveloped the foundering League of Nations, and in the same way, a new nonproliferation structure must subsume the NPT. Though not a member of the NPT, India must communicate its desire to facilitate the discussion beyond the review conference.

Further, India must return to its non-aligned roots, developing a common agenda with countries on the nuclear periphery, such as Iran, while counterbalancing the US's dismissive posture toward nonproliferation. Unless India initiates multilateral discussion on new nonproliferation efforts, it will remain in nuclear purgatory. India cannot wait for another catastrophe or country to create space at the nuclear table - instead, it must pull up a chair.

Munish Puri is a visiting researcher at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.
(Copyright 2005 Munish Puri.)


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:08 AM


The global defense industry is constantly shaping how borders are protected, wars are fought, terrorists are tracked and caught, and global security maintained. We aim to track news, policy, military exercises and strategic affairs between the world's largest democracies - India and the United States.

Given the vast interest and passion we have in this field, we decided to launch this blog to give visitors the ability to track these developments, exchange ideas and link to other sources of Information. Our primary sources and links can be found on the main page. Some of the pieces published herein our ours, otherwise it is reproduced from other sources (news, think-tanks or publications) to provide our readers the ability to interact and respond. The link to the original source can always be found under the article. Articles and op-ed pieces written by us include thoughts and opinions that are ours, not those of any government or political party. Last but not least, this blog is not-for-profit, nor is it financially supported by any corporation, entity or organization. It is purely to be used for informational purposes and not commercial and/or profit motives.

Thank you, Nik Khanna & Jango Unwalla

About The Blog
This blog focuses on current issues concerning defense and national security for the world's largest democracy - India. It is updated regularly providing readers with in-depth information on technology transfer, acquisitions, counter-terrorism, security and military collaboration and strategic dialogue between India and the United States. The site includes links to top defense policy & research institutes, think-tanks, military sites and research organizations.
Cooperative Cope Thunder
Nikhil and Jehangir wrote an exhaustive article about the Cooperative Cope Thunder joint event. Their article was publihed in Vayu magazine. Click on the link below to read the in-depth article with amazing pictures courtesy of mark Farmer at
Guard members are ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
If you're looking for a way to serve your community and country while maintaining your full-time civilian career, the National Guard is for you. Click below to learn more about the proud history of the Army National Guard.
Copyright © USIndiadefense, 2006.
All Rights Reserved