Nuclear Weapons

US-India nuclear deal opens Pandora’s box

The Senate seriously undermined global nonproliferation efforts last week when it followed in the House’s footsteps and passed the US-India nuclear deal by a vote of 86 to 13. As negotiations with North Korea stall and tensions mount over Iran’s nuclear program, the ramifications of making an exception to the rules for India are already showing. Just one day after the Senate approved the deal, Pakistan’s Prime Minister demanded a nuclear deal of their own.

"Now Pakistan also has the right to demand a civilian nuclear agreement with America," Mr. Gilani said.

"We want there to be no discrimination. Pakistan will also strive for a nuclear deal and we think they will have to accommodate us."

Pakistan developed its atomic weapons programme to counter the alleged nuclear threat from India, its regional rival.

Despite the India nuclear deal passing, our work highlighting the dangers of the deal helped generate an important debate in Congress over nuclear nonproliferation. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) addressed a major discrepancy between the 2006 Hyde Act, which stipulated the agreement would be terminated if India tests nuclear weapons, and Bush’s current version of the deal, which did not have these important restrictions. He offered an amendment prohibiting nuclear trade if India tests another nuclear weapon. Unfortunately, the amendment was defeated by a voice vote. Dorgan said that the deal,

"will almost certainly expand the production of nuclear weapons by India" and help dismantle the architecture of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the global agreement that provides civilian nuclear trade in exchange for a pledge from nations not to pursue nuclear weapons….

Dorgan said the U.S. is telling the world that, like India, "you can misuse American nuclear technology and secretly develop nuclear weapons; you can test those weapons; you can build a nuclear arsenal in defiance of the United Nations resolutions, and you will be welcomed as someone exhibiting good behavior with an agreement with the United States of America."

Categories: Nuclear Weapons