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Impact of US Recognition of India’s Nuclear Status

The Senate has passed legislation implementing the agreement reached by the Bush administration to legitimize India’s nuclear program and allow nuclear cooperation. One the political side, it helps align India with US policy vis-a-vis China and possibly Iran One the non-proliferation side, it abandons the principles of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which should penalize countries that develop nuclear weapons capability outside the international framework. The BBC reports that while there is strong bipartisan support for the agreement, there is also strong opposition from the non-proliferation community.

In related developments, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that Israel may follow India’s lead and have its nuclear program legitimized by making one of its facilities open to inspectors while retaining the secrecy of another as a military facility. Meanwhile, China and Pakistan are negotiating Chinese assistance to Pakistan’s nuclear program, according to the Financial Times. This would be China’s balance of power move to offset America’s nuclear alliance with India.

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