India Wants to Join the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a Weapon State

RPK

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India Wants to Join the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a Weapon State


By David P. Fidler, Sumit Ganguly
Thursday, 28 January 2010 00:48

Continued disturbing revelations about Iran's nuclear programs escalate the dangers the world faces from nuclear proliferation. The mounting peril threatens to overwhelm President Obama’s quest for a world free of nuclear weapons, a quest he will pursue at a summit on nuclear security in April and at a meeting in May to review the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). While NPT membership is nearly universal, the refusal of India, Pakistan, and Israel to join, North Korea’s proliferation and withdrawal from, and Iran’s violations of, the treaty have placed severe stress on the non-proliferation regime. Can the NPT, which is the centerpiece of the global non-proliferation effort, be righted such that the world can take steps towards Obama’s vision of a nuclear-free world?

Into this environment comes an unexpected development. On November 29, 2009, Manmohan Singh, India’s Prime Minister, stated on Fareed Zakaria’s GPS show that India wants to join the NPT as a nuclear-weapons state (NWS) and become the sixth NPT-recognized nuclear power. Although Indian diplomats have raised this idea in private in years past, Singh’s statement represents the first public announcement by a high-ranking official that India wants to be a NWS within the NPT. Indian press reports indicate that Singh is serious about this proposal, despite opposition within India.

Not only does this statement depart from India’s historic NPT opposition, but it also could agitate nuclear diplomacy in 2010. India’s willingness to join the NPT contains the potential to strengthen the NPT, which places a premium on how existing NPT members respond to India’s policy shift. Bringing India within the NPT as a NWS would be controversial, but to exclude a nuclear-armed but non-proliferating India when it is now willing to join would not strengthen efforts against nuclear proliferation.

India has long criticized the treaty and maintained it would not join because the NPT discriminated against states not possessing nuclear weapons on January 1, 1967; it increased the difficulties for states wishing to develop nuclear energy; and it did not contain serious disarmament obligations for existing nuclear powers. India presented its position as one of principle, but it had security interests in having nuclear weapons to deter perceived threats from China. India again caused consternation in 2008 when it concluded an accord with the US under which India could access nuclear technologies and materials in return for placing its civilian nuclear facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. Critics complained that the accord rewarded India’s NPT defiance and weakened efforts to strengthen non-proliferation.

By switching course, India forces the non-proliferation community to confront India’s criticisms of the treaty, which overlap with worries about the NPT’s weaknesses. By all accounts, India has been a responsible nuclear power. Its exclusion from the NPT would be a function of an arbitrary date rather than its behavior. India has not fostered proliferation, unlike China and Pakistan. It has a small nuclear arsenal for deterrence, unlike some recognized NWS that have massive stockpiles despite NPT obligations to engage in disarmament. Through the US-Indian nuclear accord, India has accepted IAEA oversight of its civilian nuclear facilities, and India has performed better in this regard than Libya, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and Syria, which joined the treaty as non-nuclear weapon states but violated, or are suspected of violating, the NPT.

In short, India is not undermining the non-proliferation system, rather, the NPT system has been undermined by its own flaws and the countries that agreed to abide by, but flouted, its rules. India is now willing to join the NPT and bring its legitimacy as a democratic nuclear power and its growing influence to bear on shoring up the NPT’s objectives. All that is required is an amendment to the treaty’s cutoff date for recognition as a NWS. Existing NPT members can accept India’s desire to help strengthen the NPT, or they can reject India’s interest, which does not improve the NPT’s prospects. Which way will NPT members go?

If NPT members follow the UN Security Council, they will reject India’s overture. As part of President Obama’s effort to advance the cause of a nuclear-free world, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1887 on September 24, 2009, which “[c]alls upon all States that are not Parties to the NPT to accede...as non-nuclear-weapon States....” NPT members could hide behind this resolution and avoid addressing India’s new position. However, such a response simply avoids a policy question that deserves attention on its merits.

The key states will be the NPT’s existing NWS, especially China, Russia, and the US because all NWS must approve the amendment needed to permit India to join as a NWS. Neither China nor Russia faces additional strategic risks from allowing India to join the NPT because India is already a nuclear-armed power, and supporting Indian accession could be a way to improve relations with the country as its regional and global influence grows.

The US is caught between recognizing India as a democratic, responsible nuclear power (e.g., the US-India nuclear accord) and the policy of the Obama administration that non-parties to the NPT should join only as non-nuclear-weapons states (e.g., Resolution 1887). Given India’s NPT shift, the US cannot reconcile these positions, meaning it must make a choice that contains no room for dissembling. The US choice will likely determine how European nations and Japan respond, as happened with the US-India nuclear accord.

Importantly, opposing India’s desire to join the NPT as a NWS on the basis of Resolution 1887 or narrow national interests will do nothing to strengthen the NPT. If a more robust NPT is vital for making progress towards a nuclear-free world, then bringing India into the treaty, especially when it is emerging as a great power, makes more sense than believing that India will disarm unilaterally simply to join the NPT. Indian participation in the NPT will not, by itself, eliminate the problems the NPT now confronts, especially those caused by North Korea, Iran, and the potential of nuclear terrorism. But, with India supporting the regime, the world would finally have all nuclear-armed great powers committed to the same rules – an unprecedented convergence that could reinvigorate non-proliferation politics in a manner more meaningful than the distant vision of a world without nuclear weapons.

India’s NPT move adds complexity to the nuclear diplomacy that will unfold in 2010, and, shrewdly, it elevates Indian interests, influence, and ideas. Whether India succeeds or fails, its maneuver highlights problems with the NPT, creates challenges for India’s allies and rivals, and forces non-proliferation advocates to re-think how to strengthen their efforts.

Global Arab Network

David P. Fidler is the James Louis Calamaras Professor of Law and Director of the Center on American and Global Security (CAGS), and Sumit Ganguly is the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations, Professor of Political Science, Director of the India Studies Program, and Director of Research for CAGS at Indiana University, Bloomington. Reprinted with permission from YaleGlobal Online (www.yaleglobal.yale.edu). Copyright © 2010, Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, Yale University

http://www.english.globalarabnetwor...n-proliferation-treaty-as-a-weapon-state.html
 
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This may not be the right time yet?? have we tested enough?? do we have the supercomputers ready to test??
 

Agantrope

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LF, soon in another 10 years when we have a government with balls may go for another test atleast in the simulations.
 

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Joining the NPT as a NWS doesn't mean india can't test. only CTBT puts a plug which india will not sign.

Its a good thing to join the NPT as a nuke state. It takes care of all the restrictions and threats under the nuke agreement.
 

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Singh is not a stupid as some think, the main gain for India is that it will cement its position as a responsible NWS with a clean track record and will also call pakistans bluff
 
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Joining the NPT as a NWS doesn't mean india can't test. only CTBT puts a plug which india will not sign.

Its a good thing to join the NPT as a nuke state. It takes care of all the restrictions and threats under the nuke agreement.
Yusuf this is a very good point you have made but let me ask you joining as a nuclear weapon state and being able to test is more or less reserved for the P5 members will it be a given that just because we have been accepted; this privelege will also be given? wouldn't it make more sense to be in a P6 and then be given this privelege??
 
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Yusuf

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India will join the NPT as an NWS. under the rules of it, the NWS can test. To look at it the other way, being a NWS in the NPT can pave the way to join the P5 as the P6. Yes there will be pressure on India to sign the CTBT if we are taken into the nuke club, but then we can legally test and then sign.
 
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Very interesting Yusuf with the right time and political manuevering this can be a very positive development.
 

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As indias economic and military clout grows and it is a major part of major world decisions, it is going to be inevitable. Just like we were given a deal on Nukes in spite of all the odds stacked against us, we will slowly be accommodated on all the high tables in world affairs. As it is the climate deal is stuck as the west can't get india on board. WTO is another. India has to be considered for all major bodies sooner or later.
 

amoy

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the Non-Proliferation Treaty is to prevent more states from getting nuke.

Has India got ready for below?
the Treaty establishes a safeguards system under the responsibility of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Safeguards are used to verify compliance with the Treaty through inspections conducted by the IAEA.
 
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This is all included and much more, the Bush nuke deal even included elements of CTBT, thru the nuke deal we are already pseudo NPT members.
 

F-14

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India staying beyond the NPT has exercised great constrains and have not done anything against the essence of the NPT even with out the so called safeguards what did china north Korea and Iran do ?
 

Yusuf

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the Non-Proliferation Treaty is to prevent more states from getting nuke.

Has India got ready for below?
IAEA inspection is no big deal at all. In fact we would be more than happy to do so. That gets us foreign uranium for our power plants and frees up our small domestic production of uranium goes into the weapons program. Smart isn't it. That's why we made the nuke deal with the US.
 

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surely by now we recognise that the npt should be renamed " (in) name (only) pretend treaty" , it just fall s short of being a joke , that is to say a name-sake game of pretense. North Korea , iran , pakistan israel , taiwan and basically any tom **** and harry including al queda can getg their hands on the material . It is better to re-name it non-testing traty because the issue is no longer ( for a long time since ) who can haev the bomb but rather who is allowed to test N weapons : COntinuing with th old name prolongs the hypocracy . Words do matter !

There are 10 nuclear states 5 NPT members and 5 non NPT members (India,Pakistan,Israel,N korea,Iran soon) the document allows the NPT members to test. If non members test they get sanctions and vilified. The document has in no way prevented what it was created for preventing countries from acquiring or becoming nuclear states since the 5 non NPT nuclear states all became nuclear states after NPT was created.
 
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roma

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the Non-Proliferation Treaty is to prevent more states from getting nuke.
partial quote

yes and in tht , it's main aspect it has FAILED MISERABLY !

TIME for a rename, a rethink , the entire concept need an overhaul - but our tardy global organisational systems such as the UNSC , do they allow for that , or are they continually playing catch-up to the glee of the pakisitnise, alqueda , north koreasn and their friends ??

and speaking of the UNSC even a basic matter such as permanent membership, long looong since overdue , they are so taaarrrdy in reformig that , then what about the more sophisticated matters ? we the global community are trying to use and elephant to chase a more nimble animal ( the alquedas ) and it's so clumsy
 
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amoy

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TIME for a rename, a rethink , the entire concept need an overhaul - but our tardy global organisational systems such as the UNSC , do they allow for that , or are they continually playing catch-up to the glee of the pakisitnise, alqueda , north koreasn and their friends ??
NPT at least provides a venue to talk to monitor and and to pinpoint those 'bad pupils'. And it even gives a 'exclusive moral height' to members vs non-members. As for UNSC it's another talking forum.
 
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NPT at least provides a venue to talk to monitor and and to pinpoint those 'bad pupils'. And it even gives a 'exclusive moral height' to members vs non-members. As for UNSC it's another talking forum.
It provides a venue to monitor the bad pupils but how about the bad members?? and it has not prevented new bad pupils, soon there will be more bad pupils then members thanks to one bad member.
 

VayuSena1

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I agree with you. This government isn't strong enough to play the role of a regional power. Especially with its current "welcome" policy to strategic rivals. It is regrettable.
 

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