Championed by the United States, India is now allowed to engage in nuclear trade. This is despite India’s continued refusal to sign up to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Basically, they’ve been given a key to the back door. Condoleezza Rice is in Dehli at the moment to iron out the details of the arrangement which will be good for India, the USA and also Australia, who will likely begin to supply India with uranium.
The United States has obvious reasons to broker the deal. It will be their technology the Indians will be buying, and a number of companies will make a tidy profit. Added rationale in the White House is also the securing of a political and military ally to balance China’s influence in the region. The US isn’t particularly close to the other BRIC and nuclear power in the region either: Russia.
You’d think the Americans would have learned their lesson after selling Saddam Hussein weapons to fight Iran and equipping and training the Taliban to fight the Ruskies in Afghanistan – these things come back to bite you in the arse!! And, the relationship between India and China is drawing closer, the two countries signed a treaty over their disputed land border last year. Both countries also have bigger foreign policy headaches.
For India this is Pakistan (China has Taiwan & Tibet) and this is another reason this deal is dumb. Is Pakistan going to sit around while their nemesis and neighbour builds up nuclear capability enough to blow them back to 1975? Hmm… let me think about that for a second. Also, by allowing the rules of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons to be bent, if not broken, this encourages other naughty nations in the region (Pakistan, Iran and Israel for starters) to continue to develop their own nuclear programs. Generally, the logic behind getting and stockpiling nuclear weapons is deterrence – no one really wants to use them – but you need to have as many, if not more, than the bugger over the border. Arms-race in the Middle East / Central Asia, here we come.
If these reasons aren’t enough (and yes, I admit that I can be a little paranoid/doomsday at times when it comes to international politics. With good reason though – show me a year when there wasn’t a war going on somewhere in the world) here’s my best argument. Nuclear power is wrong – any way you look at it. The waste from the generation of nuclear power is toxic, so much so that it has to be stored a long long long way away from human habitation (Aboriginals aren’t people though, are they Mr Howard?). There is no way to return it to a non-toxic state, and there is no safe way of storing it. Absolutely none. Burying the barrels in concrete under the earth is like injecting yourself with HIV: extremely stupid.
From this blogger’s humble armchair, this deal is a massive mistake, and my prediction is that it will one day return to haunt the world. But what do I know?