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Indian Says Bush Was Soft on Non-Proliferation

An article on Rediff.com says that India should support President Bush’s re-election because he has been so soft on India’s nuclear program. While this attitude may have been good for US-Indian relations, which have needed improvement, it has not been good for the global non-proliferation regime. The problem is that if India proliferates and gets away with it, then every other country will think that it has a right to do so, including Iran and North Korea.

After criticizing Kerry for his strong non-proliferation stand, the article by Colonel Dr Anil A Athale (retd) says, “President Bush on the other hand has been responsible for stalling and virtually killing the CTBT and stressed that he is concerned about the spread of WMD (weapons of mass destruction) to ‘terrorist’ groups. Bush also stressed his resolve to build the anti-missile defence shield.” In other words, Bush opposes some non-proliferation efforts (the CTBT, Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty), and has limited other non-proliferation efforts to terrorist groups only (not countries in general). Presumably, he thinks that the anti-missile shield means that the US can live with proliferation.

The writer says, “Thanks to President Bush’s pragmatic approach, the issue of Indian nuclear weapons got pushed to the background over the last four years and Indo-US relations flourished.”

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