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.
 
 
New Delhi faces a diplomatic balancing act ahead of Bush's state visit
By Jo Johnson and Caroline Daniel - FT
Published: January 27 2006 02:00 | Last updated: January 27 2006 02:00

When President George W. Bush makes his first visit to India in March, officials in New Delhi had hoped to be more than just tour guides.

Instead, they wanted to cement the strategic relationship by seeing the US move to lift restrictions on nuclear co-operation, a key step towards embracing India as a nuclear power.

Yet the trip threatens to be overshadowed by wrangling over how India will separate its civilian and military nuclear facilities and place the former under international safeguards.

A former US official said that US diplomats came to the conclusion earlier this month that nothing would happen by Mr Bush's trip in March.

He blamed the faulty origins of the deal, which was forged last July behind closed doors, late at night with no congressional consultation and few details.

"You reap what you sow," the official said.

While filling in those details is now proving problematic, the original ambition was simple: to end the anomalous situation created by India's refusal to sign what it regarded as a discriminatory Non-Proliferation Treaty and give up its option to become a nuclear weapons state.

It exercised this option in 1998, but could not be recognised as a nuclear weapons state by NPT signatories and attracted US sanctions.

Since the 1998 nuclear tests, it has been India's objective to circumvent the NPT by persuading a dominant power to recognise it as a nuclear weapons state and to use that endorsement to persuade other members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group to follow suit.

Even so, New Delhi faces difficulties on two fronts. First, its atomic energy establishment is not yet fully on board. The Department of Atomic Energy has presented a draft separation plan that was, in the words of C. Raja Mohan, a security expert and commentator, "rather meagre and hardly credible".

Its second difficulty lies in securing the support of Communist coalition partners, who accuse the US of linking the talks to India's vote to send Iran's nuclear programme to the United Nations Security Council and berate the government for its abandonment of India's traditional anti-imperialism and stance of non-alignment.

The US faces equally tough domestic politics. Many congressmen, such as Tom Lantos, have made it clear that their support is dependent on India voting the right way on Iran. Administration officials have also sparked unease by appearing to link the two issues.

"We mishandled the Iran connection from the beginning and there has been a screw-up. We have made it harder for the Indians," says George Perkovich, vice-president at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

The administration faces an articulate non-proliferation lobby concerned about the fate of the NPT, as well as bruised congressional feelings atthe lack of consultation when the deal was struck and a lack of strong advocates. Even Democrats who play a leading role in the US-India lobby have been reluctant to express clear support, waiting to see if they can deliver a blow to the administration by scotching a key policy.

On the plus side in the US, few congressmen want to offend Indian-Americans in an election year, and generally support closer engagement with India.

The US-India lobby is the largest on Capitol Hill, with nearly 200 members. "The US industry is supportive," says Ron Somers, of the US-India Business Council. "The business community wants the administration to take the lead, and we are waiting for word that the separation plan is in hand and credible, and then industry's voice will be heard on Capitol Hill."

Few believe India will miss the chance to do a deal that addresses its chronic energy shortage. If India does not secure a nuclear supply deal with the US, it will soon, for example, have no fuel to run its reactor at Tarapur in Maharashtra and is unlikely, in the absence of US consent, to be able to secure this fuel from anyone else.

"Even Russia has made it clear that it might not be able to supply fuel for Tarapur until India comes to an non-proliferation understanding with the international community," Mr Mohan wrote this week.

"If there is no progress before President Bush arrives here, India might as well forget about the nuclear deal."


Link

Posted by Nikhil Khanna @ 9:56 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

 
Search
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 topcover.com
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.
Archives
Links
 
Copyright © USIndiadefense, 2006.
All Rights Reserved