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THE
                    INSTITUTE OF STRATEGIC STUDIES
                              ISLAMABAD
                           ...
First, it undermines the international nonproliferation regime. By asking
India to separate its nuclear facilities from it...
In fact, the Indo-US nuclear deal is the final nail in the coffin of the NPT. So
how can contravention of an international...
In the post-bipolar world, Indo-US collaboration began in 1992, when an
Indo-US Army Executive Steering Committee was set ...
common interest in the free flow of commerce, including through the vital
sea lanes of the Indian Ocean. Finally, we share...
prevailing international law – in this case the law of the sea – by attributing
to members of the coalition the right to s...
enrichment program and circumvent other countries’ export control efforts.”
Also, according to them, India leaked out sens...
1983, including the sending of nuclear scientists and engineers to Iran in
November 1982.v In 1991, despite US opposition,...
v
   Ibid.
vi
    Ibid.
vii
     Ibid.
viii
      Ibid.
ix
    S.Mazari & M.Sultan, Nuclear Safety and Terrorism: A Case S...
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Indo Us Nuclear

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Indo Us Nuclear

  1. 1. THE INSTITUTE OF STRATEGIC STUDIES ISLAMABAD *** PUBLIC TALK March 21, 2006 “The Indo-US nuclear deal” Dr. Shireen M Mazari It was on July 18, 2005 that President Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh issued a joint statement proposing the resumption of full US civilian nuclear trade with India. The deal was being negotiated since then and was finally signed, on March 2, by Bush and Singh when the former visited India. Under this US-India Agreement on Civilian Nuclear Cooperation – as the deal is formally known – the US has offered New Delhi nuclear fuel and technology provided it separates its civil and military nuclear facilities and places the former under international inspections. So far, India has pledged only to accept “voluntary” safeguards over nuclear facilities that it chooses to designate as civilian. That could allow India to withdraw any nuclear facility or nuclear weapons-usable material from international safeguards for national security reasons. The Indo-US deal, in its present form, provides no substantive guarantee that foreign nuclear technology or spent fuel might not be used for India’s nuclear weapons programme. India has agreed to put 14 of its 22 nuclear reactors on the civilian list and under full-scope International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards. According to the IAEA, India would work with the International Atomic Energy Agency to work out the India-specific safeguards for its civilian nuclear facilities. There are three main issues which arise out of this deal: 1
  2. 2. First, it undermines the international nonproliferation regime. By asking India to separate its nuclear facilities from its civilian ones, the US is de facto accepting India’s nuclear weapons’ status since it is allowing it unfettered development of its weapons programme. In fact, by providing nuclear fuel for civilian reactors, it will allow India to utilize all its unsafeguarded indigenous fissile material for its weapons production. Thus, the NPT stands undermined because the US is contravening its obligations under this Treaty, especially Article I and Article III:2 of the Treaty. Article I states: Each nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; and not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce any non-nuclear weapon State to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, or control over such weapons or explosive devices. Article III:2 states: Each State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to provide: (a) source or special fissionable material, or (b) equipment or material especially designed or prepared for the processing, use or production of special fissionable material, to any non-nuclear-weapon State for peaceful purposes, unless the source or special fissionable material shall be subject to the safeguards required by this article. Just as the US killed the CTBT, it has now challenged the validity of the NPT. That is why it is really bizarre to find the head of the IAEA, Dr Baradai, come out in support of this deal. quot;This agreement is an important step towards satisfying India´s growing need for energy, including nuclear technology and fuel, as an engine for development. It would also bring India closer as an important partner in the non-proliferation regime,quot; he said. quot;It would be a milestone, timely for ongoing efforts to consolidate the non- proliferation regime, combat nuclear terrorism and strengthen nuclear safety.quot; 2
  3. 3. In fact, the Indo-US nuclear deal is the final nail in the coffin of the NPT. So how can contravention of an international nonproliferation treaty consolidate the nonproliferation regime? An equally pertinent question now arises that if the US is itself contravening the NPT, how can it penalize Iran for any alleged violations of this Treaty – given that both the US and Iran are Parties to the Treaty? Of course, the US is trying to get India accepted as a nuclear weapon power within the context of the NPT through “the backdoor” – hence the provision that under the deal, India would “assume the same responsibilities and practices” as the five original nuclear-weapon states – but there is no legal provision for this, unless states like Pakistan are also brought in and the mechanism would have to be a formal Protocol which cannot only make an exception for one state. At present, this aspect of the deal contravenes Article IX of the NPT which only recognizes five nuclear weapon states – those that tested before 1967. Apart from the NPT, the deal also undermines the provisions of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group, which forbids the transfer of nuclear technology to non- NPT, nuclear weapon states. But of course the NSG is a suppliers’ cartel and the rules can be altered even if it means undermining the credibility of the Group as a whole – which is what will happen. In any event, the approval of the 45-member NSG will be required for the transfer of nuclear materials/technology to India – if the US still remains committed to any form of multilateralism! Also, one can already see a scramble to sell to India in the nuclear field with France and Britain making overtures to India, in this context. Second, the Indo-US deal contravenes American national laws – especially the 1978 Nuclear Nonproliferation Act which bars nuclear trade with states like India and Pakistan. But unlike the NPT, this is a national law, which can be amended by the Bush Administration if it can convince Congress. And the Amendments can be India-specific. Third, and perhaps most critical from Pakistan’s perspective, the Indo-US nuclear deal totally undermines the strategic stability that presently prevails in South Asia between Pakistan and India. In fact, we need to see the deal within the overall military cooperation between the US and India which directly impinges upon Pakistan’s security parameters. 3
  4. 4. In the post-bipolar world, Indo-US collaboration began in 1992, when an Indo-US Army Executive Steering Committee was set up. This was followed by the setting up of the Joint Steering Committee of the two Navies, which conducted joint naval exercises in 1992. In 1993, within the context of India, the US Congress sought to establish new categories for providing assistance, which would be in keeping with the new realities. This was intended to bring India closer to the US position. In 1995 the US and India signed their first agreement relating to defence relations, which provided for joint exercises and a trade programme. The bonding between Vajpayee and Clinton, in March 2000, reflected the coming together of the two states. The Vision document signed by Clinton and Vajpayee declared a “resolve to create a closer and qualitatively new relationship between the US and India” on the basis of “common interest in and complementary responsibility for ensuring regional and international security.”i This document declared that India and the US were partners in providing “strategic stability in Asia and beyond.”ii Since the Clinton visit to India, the military-strategic cooperation between the two countries has moved apace with the Bush Administration continuing and expanding the framework of this stragetic partnership. On April 17, 2002, in the first major US-Indian weapon deal in more than 10 years, India agreed to buy 8 Raytheon Co. long-range weapons locating radars. The radar system worth $146 million is designed to pinpoint enemy’s long-range mortars, artillery and rocket launchers. On May 22, 2003, the US approved the sale of Israel's Phalcon airborne early warning system worth $ 1.2 billion to India. The present thinking in the US, in terms of its relationship with India, was most clearly stated in the September 2002 National Security Strategy paper (NSSP) put out by the Bush Administration. “The Administration sees India’s potential to become one of the great democratic powers of the twenty first century and has worked hard to transform our relationship accordingly… “The United States has undertaken a transformation in its bilateral relationship with India based on the conviction that U.S. interests require a strong relationship with India. We are the two largest democracies, committed to political freedom protected by representative government. India is moving toward greater economic freedom as well. We have a 4
  5. 5. common interest in the free flow of commerce, including through the vital sea lanes of the Indian Ocean. Finally, we share an interest in fighting terrorism and in creating a strategically stable Asia.”iii Dismissing earlier concerns over the development of India’s nuclear and missile programmes, the NSSP stated that “while in the past these concerns may have dominated our thinking about India, today we start with a view of India as a growing world power with which we have common strategic interests.”iv It is in this context that we need to examine the 2005 strategic agreements that evolved as a result of the Manmohan Singh visit to the US in Summer 2005 – the 10-year Defence Pact and the Nuclear Agreement. Taking some of the central factors of the Indo-US defence agreement one by one, the fallout for Pakistan can be assessed more clearly. The most important, both in the short term and long term, is the Indo-US agreement to cooperate on missile defence (MD). This is not surprising given that India was the first state that welcomed the US decision to launch into a missile defence programme. Since then, India has set itself on the course for acquisition of a similar capability – beginning with acquiring Russian aerial platforms, the Phalcon radar system from Israel and a plan for the acquisition of the Arrow missile system from the US. Acquisition of missile defence capability by India directly destabilises the nuclear deterrence in South Asia as well as undermining Pakistan’s doctrine of minimum deterrence and nuclear restraint. To sustain a credible deterrence Pakistan will have to begin multiplying its missiles and warheads very soon – as well as deploying its nuclear arsenal in a scattered fashion into the interior of the country. While there is no need for a direct arms race, the “minimum” will be moved to a much higher level unless Pakistan is able to also acquire missile defence capability – which does not seem likely for quite some time. In this context, the successful testing by Pakistan of its first cruise missile, Babur (Hatf VII), on August 11, 2005, with an initial range of 500 kilometres, could be seen as Pakistan’s first response to the Indo-US MD cooperation. The instability is further heightened by another of the components of the Indo-US defence agreement – that of activating the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) in this region with India becoming a partner. The PSI is part of the US notion of “coalitions of the willing” which seek to undermine 5
  6. 6. prevailing international law – in this case the law of the sea – by attributing to members of the coalition the right to stop traffic on the high seas and in international airspace on a mere hint of suspicion of transportation of WMD material or components. One does not require too much wisdom to see how this pretext can be used to harass other states and their nationals – especially given that there is no provision of compensation for wrongful interventions! Beyond the MD and PSI aspects, there is the element of joint weapons production between the US and India which implies transfers of state-of-the- art technology to India and includes joint military research and development projects. This again will put pressure on Pakistan in terms of its nuclear and conventional weapon systems. The US has also committed to India for transformative systems in areas such as command and control and early warning. These will then become force multipliers for India and again put pressure on Pakistan’s weapon systems. It is in this context that the Indo-US nuclear deal is particularly threatening for Pakistan. Apart from allowing India a multiplier affect in its weapons production by liberating its unsafeguarded fissile material totally for military facilities, it separates the nuclear status of India form that of Pakistan. This could be a first step for renewing pressure against Pakistan’s nuclear programme in the future – at any time – now that the linkage has ended. Hence there is a need for Pakistan to gear up its lobbying not just in the US but also in other capitals of the world to undermine this agreement before the US Congress approves it. In any event, the full implications of the deal need to be reiterated over and over again to global audiences – both states and civil societies. Finally, the US rationale for the deal is truly absurd. The main one is the often heard statement that India has a record of responsible behaviour on nonproliferation matters. US Undersecretary of State, Nicholas Burns has made this claim and more recently his boss, Condoleezza Rice also felt compelled to state this in a column. But does this gel with reality? No. And this is coming out more and more as new information comes to light. Most recently (March 10), Albright and Basu of the Institute for Science and International Security wrote that the ISIS had “uncovered a well-developed,active, and secret Indian program to outfit its uranium 6
  7. 7. enrichment program and circumvent other countries’ export control efforts.” Also, according to them, India leaked out senszitive nuclear technology in order to procure material for its nuclear programme. But even before these revelations, India’s proliferation record was highly suspect. It had a strategic relationship with Iraq, which included nuclear cooperation going back to the first Indian nuclear test in 1974, as highlighted in a document of the Washington, D.C.- based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS). It was in 1974 that Saddam flew into India specifically to sign a nuclear cooperation agreement with the Indira Gandhi government. This agreement included exchange of scientists, training and technology transfers. Iraqi scientists were working in India's fuel reprocessing laboratories when India separated the plutonium for its first nuclear explosive device. Later, those same Iraqi scientists were in charge of the nuclear fuel reprocessing unit supplied to Iraq by the Italian company, CNEN. This was followed by an Indian scientist spending a year at the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission's computer centre training Iraqis in the use of nuclear computer codes. So it was hardly surprising to find Iraq supporting India’s nuclear tests. The Ba'ath Party's newspaper, Al-Thawra, declared, “We cannot see how anyone can ask India not to develop nuclear weapons and its long-range missiles at a time it is like any other big state with its human and scientific potential.” (ISIS brief, May 28, 1998) Also, in May 1998, a Baghdad weekly, owned by Saddam Hussein's eldest son Uday, announced that India had agreed to enroll several groups of Iraqi engineers “in advanced technological courses” scheduled for mid-July. The field of training was left unspecified. An Indian company, NEC Engineers Private Ltd., is believed to have helped Iraq to acquire equipment and materials “capable of being used for the production of chemicals for mass destruction,” according to a CNN report of January 26, 2003. The company also sent technical personnel to Iraq, including to the Fallujah II chemical plant. Between 1998 and 2001, NEC Engineers Private Ltd. shipped 10 consignments of highly sensitive equipment, including titanium vessels and centrifugal pumps to Iraq. India also had a nuclear cooperation agreement with Iran, signed in February 1975. It began helping in the completion of the Bushehr plant between 1980- 7
  8. 8. 1983, including the sending of nuclear scientists and engineers to Iran in November 1982.v In 1991, despite US opposition, India negotiated the sale of a 10 megawatt nuclear reactor to Iran and Dr Prasad worked in Bushehr after he retired in July 2000 as head of the Nuclear Corporation of India. That is why, in February 2004, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Hasan Rowhani, visited New Delhi for talks with the Indian Prime Minister.vi Nor is this all in terms of WMD proliferation. In 1992, India supplied thiodyglycol and other chemicals also to Iran and, in 1993, 30 tonnes of trimethyl-phosphite was supplied to Iran by United Phosporous of India.vii It is also known that an Indian company exported chemicals to Iraq for Saddam’s missile programme and a director of that company, Hans Raj Shiv was under arrest in New Delhi.viii As for a strong commitment to protection of fissile material, there is a record of nuclear thefts and missing fissile material in India, including an Institute of Strategic Studies, based primarily on Indian sources.ix Of course, when members of the Bush Administration declare that Pakistan and India have different nuclear histories and are at “different places”, they are correct. The Pakistani state did not sign any nuclear cooperation deals with suspect nuclear proliferators. Pakistan did not take the initiative to nuclearise South Asia. And Pakistan has no ambitious power projection role for its nuclear force – merely a defensive one. But it is the Indian state’s record on nuclear proliferation that is highly suspect. Finally, no one in Pakistan should be under any delusions in term of expecting the US to give Pakistan similar nuclear recognition or assistance. So we need to launch an all-out offensive against this Indo-US nuclear deal and link it to our own cooperation with the US – because the deal has direct implications – both short and long term for Pakistan’s security parameters. i “India-US Relations: A Vision for the 21st Century”. www.indianembassy.org/inews/2000- inews/september-2000.pdf ii Ibid. iii See The National Security Strategy of the United States of America, September 2002. The White House, Washington, September 17, 2002. iv Ibid. 8
  9. 9. v Ibid. vi Ibid. vii Ibid. viii Ibid. ix S.Mazari & M.Sultan, Nuclear Safety and Terrorism: A Case Study of India. Islamabad Papers. No. 19. The Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad: November 2001 9

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