US nuclear summit-12th-13th April.


Tihar Jail
Oct 2, 2009
Briefing by Foreign Secretary on Prime Minister’s Visit to Washington for the Nuclear Security Summit


Official Spokesperson (Shri Vishnu Prakash): Good evening and very good to see you in numbers. Foreign Secretary is here to brief you on Prime Minister’s visit to Washington for the Nuclear Security Summit. She is joined by my colleague Joint Secretary (Disarmament) Mr. Gaddam Dharmendra. Ma’am, may I invite you to make your opening statement?

Foreign Secretary (Smt Nirupama Rao): Thank You Vishnu. Thank you for coming here on a Sunday. The Prime Minister will visit Washington on April 12 and 13 for a Summit on Nuclear Security. The Summit is an initiative of President Obama who has invited Prime Minister and 42 other leaders to attend. We have welcomed this initiative and have contributed substantively to the Summit preparations.

You are aware of our concerns on terrorism and the possible acquisition of nuclear devices and material by terrorist groups. Since 2002, we have been piloting a resolution at the UN on preventing terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. We are also active in the works of IAEA on setting and enforcing standards on physical protection of nuclear material and facilities as well as on combating illicit trafficking in nuclear material. India is a party to the key instruments of the global architecture of nuclear security such as the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its 2005 amendment. We are also participating in the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism of 2006.

As regards the Summit programme, PM will arrive in Washington in the afternoon of April 12. President Obama will host a dinner that evening for the visiting leaders. The discussion at the dinner will focus on the threat of nuclear terrorism, the primary reason why the Summit has been convened. There will be two plenary sessions on April 13, focused respectively on national measures and on international cooperation to enhance nuclear security. There will be a working lunch that would be addressed by the Director General of IAEA, which plays the primary role internationally in the promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The Summit will conclude with the issue of an outcome document on April 13. The outcome has been negotiated over the past six months by Sherpas from 44 countries and representatives of the EU and the IAEA. I have led a team of DAE and MEA officials in discussions on the Summit outcome at meetings of the Sherpas in Tokyo and The Hague. The Sherpas will also meet in Washington on the eve of the Summit.

To sum up, nuclear terrorism is a global challenge and we see the Summit and its associated preparatory process as important elements in strengthening international resolve to cooperate on nuclear security and supporting the expanded use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. This will be to India’s benefit given our concerns on terrorism as well as our interest in the expansion of civil nuclear energy. I am happy to take your questions.

Question: Two quick developments have happened. One is the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between Russia and the United States. And President Obama has recently said that he will reintroduce the CTBT in the Senate for ratification. Has the Obama Administration been in touch with you regarding CTBT and is India considering signing it?

Foreign Secretary: As partners, as close friends, India and the United States discuss a number of issues. As far as the CTBT is concerned, our position is very well-known. It has been reiterated on a number of occasions. We are committed to a voluntary moratorium on nuclear explosive testing. That remains our position. That has been very clearly articulated to all our friends and partners.

Question: Madam, this Summit is going to be on nuclear security and you just talked about nuclear terrorism. What are our apprehensions so far as Pakistan is concerned? It has been in the news for a long time that by this time the transfer of …(Inaudible)… there for over a lot of years. What are our apprehensions about Pakistan on this particular topic of nuclear terrorism?

Foreign Secretary: I am here to discuss the subject of the Nuclear Security Summit and I mentioned our concerns about nuclear terrorism. The Summit will focus on the issue of nuclear terrorism and nuclear security as a whole. We are not going to get into country-specific situations.

Question: What exactly is nuclear terrorism? Is it the yellowcake? Is it the material that comes out from processing? What exactly is it?

Foreign Secretary: The Summit, as we have prepared for it, focuses on the threat of nuclear terrorism rising from clandestine proliferation, from the illicit trafficking of nuclear weapons and diversion of nuclear materials. That is really the focus when you talk of nuclear terrorism.

Question: What are we taking to the Nuclear Security Summit in terms of ideas? There is also talk of India planning to set up an International Nuclear Security Centre. Basically what are the ideas we are taking to the Summit?

Foreign Secretary: The last issue that you have referred to is a good idea. We need to develop it further. You have to wait for the outcome of the Summit.

Question: I was going to ask the same question. What is our contribution to the outcome?

Foreign Secretary: You have to wait for the outcome of the Summit. I am not going to discuss it at the moment.

Question: Madam, how much focus do you expect the American Administration to give to Iran during the Summit?

Foreign Secretary: I told you this is not about country-specific situations. We are discussing the issue of nuclear security in the global context.

Question: Madam, you spoke about illicit trafficking. Are we ready for joining some kind of a PSI initiative?

Foreign Secretary: The Summit is not about the PSI, let me say that. And let me go back a little just to give you a little sense of the context in which we are meeting. President Obama made his speech at Prague in April 2009 when he described nuclear terrorism as the most immediate and extreme threat to global security. Now what the Summit focuses on, and what our discussions and the outcome document will in all likelihood focus on, is the national responsibility to secure nuclear materials while strengthening the international framework of such cooperation by adhering to multilateral instruments and norms. The multilateral instruments and norms, you are aware of. You have the Global Initiative to combat Nuclear Terrorism. You have UN Security Council Resolution 1540 of 2004, which we can share with you if you need copies of. These are some of the instruments, inter alia, already in place.

Question: Madam, this conference you are going to is not country-specific you say. And yet you say that nuclear terrorism is posing a very real danger. Can you share with us what is the genesis of this fear? Can you explain to us how this nuclear terrorism is going to strike the world?

Foreign Secretary: I think that would be the subject of another press conference really. I am here to discuss the Nuclear Security Summit, our participation in the Nuclear Security Summit. I referred to the preparations that we have made. They have gone very smoothly and India has participated very positively and very substantively in these preparations. The discussions leading up to the drafting of the outcome document have been open, have been transparent. I referred to the fact that 43 countries are participating. So, I think you have to look at this as a very significant and substantive development. The outcomes you will be able to see within a week from now. I think you will be able to judge what the Summit has achieved when that happens.

Question: Madam Foreign Secretary, two countries that are not part of the 43 are Iran and DPRK.

Foreign Secretary: And Cuba and Venezuela.

Question: …(Inaudible)… in terms of those which are in actual possession of fissile material or stuff that is meant to be addressed by the Conference. In the run up to the preparation for Washington, did India or any of the other 42 countries raise with the United States that this initiative would be more effective if every country which has material that requires physical protection takes part in the Summit? If not, why not?

Foreign Secretary: The issue did not really come up I must confess, during the preparations. But when we talk about nuclear security and the threat of nuclear terrorism, we are referring to it in a global context. All responsible members of the world community, international community, have a stake in ensuring that we have comprehensive nuclear security.

Question: One clarification. Since you speak of responsible members of the international community having a stake in nuclear security, does that by implication mean that Iran is not a responsible member?

Foreign Secretary: No, I never said that. Iran is a country with which we have bilateral relations which go back many many years. It is a substantive relationship. We regard Iran as a very important country in the region and a country with which we have had, as I said, extensive bilateral relations and dialogue and cooperation. It is a responsible country.

Question: Pakistan has written to Interpol regarding Kasab and declared him an absconder. Your comments on that please.

Foreign Secretary: Let me just say that we are trying those accused, Kasab and others, here in India following the Mumbai terrorist attacks. And the case against Kasab has proceeded, as you know, over the last few months. A verdict in the case is expected by the 3rd of May in all likelihood and justice is taking its course in India on this subject. I will not say anything more on this.

Question: Madam, CNN/IBN had broadcast a story about land-grabbers usurping temple property in Karachi. I am not sure if you have seen that. Do you have a comment to make on that?

Foreign Secretary: I have seen the story. We have asked for more details from our High Commission in Islamabad.

Question: Madam, Reprocessing Pact has been concluded between India the United States. When are we going to sign it? Are there any bilateral meetings planned on the sidelines of the Security Summit?

Foreign Secretary: As far as bilateral meetings are concerned, it would be too early to give you any details on that. You will have to wait for a little more time. As far as the agreement on Arrangements and Procedures is concerned, the discussions have been completed. You have seen the text of the agreement on the DAE website. The United States has to go through a process of internal consultations. Once that is over, and once we have also completed the formalities on our side, we will be ready to sign it.

Question: Madam, has the Government been allowed to question Mr. Headley?

Foreign Secretary: Not yet.

Question: Are you hoping to question him?

Foreign Secretary: We have a counter-terrorism initiative with the United States, you know, that was initialled during Prime Minister’s visit. We have extensive cooperation between the agencies on both sides on all issues relating to terrorism and including this particular case that you referred to. We have had good cooperation on this issue. The Ministry of Home Affairs and the related agencies are all in touch with their US counterparts on this subject. We are satisfied with the progress that these negotiations have made.

Question: You have just said that we have substantially contributed to the preparations of the Summit. What do you expect from this Summit, not the outcome?

Foreign Secretary: I thought that was what I spoke about, what we expect from the Summit. Let me go over this again. This is going to be an interactive Summit. You have seen the way the G20 discussions have progressed. It will be in that format. A lot of countries who are participating will obviously have views to express. Their leaders will be there. There will be, I am sure, very constructive exchanges of views on the subject. We already have a certain template. I referred to certain international conventions. Many countries have very strong national programmes also in nuclear security. I believe as a result of this Summit what you will see is this global initiative to strengthen, to safeguard nuclear security will be substantially enhanced. That in my view will be the most positive outcome of this Summit.

Question: The Prime Minister also goes to Brazil.

Foreign Secretary: You will be briefed on that separately.

Official Spokesperson: While on the subject, most probably on the 9th there will be a briefing on Prime Minister’s visit to Brazil. We will be issuing a separate advisory.

Question: I know you mentioned that it is not a country-specific situation. But when you talk of nuclear proliferation what comes to mind immediately is Pakistan and surrounding areas. Did we raise the specific issues? What does India expect when you say that there will be more global cooperation to curb nuclear proliferation? What would India expect from these countries?

Foreign Secretary: Please await the outcome of the Summit. I said very clearly this is not a Summit about country-specific situations.

Question: In the run up did we raise the issue any way?

Foreign Secretary: This is a discussion held in a global context. We are talking of the international framework to strengthen nuclear security to combat nuclear terrorism and about strengthening national measures also.

Official Spokesperson: Thank you very much.


Nov 16, 2009
Country flag
Question: What are we taking to the Nuclear Security Summit in terms of ideas? There is also talk of India planning to set up an International Nuclear Security Centre. Basically what are the ideas we are taking to the Summit?

Foreign Secretary: The last issue that you have referred to is a good idea. We need to develop it further. You have to wait for the outcome of the Summit.

This is something interesting.... ====================

Are we taking lead? That will be commendable....

Too early to say but if India is taking such initiative, hardly any major power will deny/in-welcome it.....


Tihar Jail
Oct 2, 2009
Manmohan to attend nuclear security summit

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will attend a global meeting in Washington convened by U.S. President Barack Obama next week aimed at strengthening national measures on protecting nuclear material and combating their trafficking.

The initiative, while adhering to multilateral instruments and norms, would help in the expanded use of civil nuclear energy, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told newspersons here on Sunday.

The two-day summit beginning on April 12 would not be country-specific but would be aimed at eliminating clandestine proliferation and trafficking in nuclear weapons and material.

Asked why Iran and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea were not invited and if the issue was raised during the two preparatory conferences, Ms. Rao said discussions were held in the “global context.”

She described Iran as a responsible country in the region with which India had substantive relations.

India was closely involved in the run-up to the meet for the past six months due to its concern over the possibility of terrorist groups acquiring nuclear devices and material. “Since 2002, we have been piloting a resolution at the U.N. on preventing terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. We are also active in working with the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] on setting and enforcing standards on protection of nuclear material and facilities as well as on combating illicit trafficking in nuclear material,” she said.

The Prime Minister will reach Washington on April 12 and attend a dinner hosted by Mr. Obama where leaders from 43 countries and organisations will discuss the threat of nuclear terrorism.

Two plenary sessions will be held the next day on national measures and international cooperation to enhance nuclear security.


Tihar Jail
Oct 2, 2009
US-Russian START Treaty

Find a lofty ideal; use creative accounting to make it work.
Non-proliferation hawks in the Democratic Party will be happy — the United States and Russia sealed the deal on a “new” START treaty on taking steps towards nuclear disarmament. US President Barack Obama feels strongly about the issue and wants to work towards a multilateral framework for eliminating nuclear weapons and controlling nuclear material. In this respect, START III sounds like a great idea; except, as they say, the devil is in the details.
According to the treaty, the United States and Russia will reduce their “deployed weapons” to 1,550 over a seven-year timeframe. Deployed weapons only, not weapons held in reserve. In addition to deployed weapons (~ 2,200), the US also has 2,500 weapons in active and inactive stock, which are not within the treaty’s purview. So right off the bat, the scope of START eliminates about 50% of the US’s total possible inventory. Second, upon Russia’s insistence, each heavy bomber deployed with weapons counts as “one weapon” towards that magic number of 1,550 (although each bomber will likely possess multiple weapons). Pretty fancy stuff.
Some very clever people help us out with the arithmetic:
The United States currently deploys approximately 2,126 strategic nuclear warheads, with a comparable number of warheads in reserve. Russia is believed to deploy approximately 2,600 strategic nuclear warheads. However, since each deployed heavy bomber will now count as only one warhead, under New START the U.S. currently deploys far fewer than 2,126 warheads (according to the best estimates we currently have 500 warheads on 60 or 113 bombers – depending on how you count; if you do the math, that already puts us at 1700-1800 warheads)! [Nukes of Hazard]
In addition to only addressing “deployed” weapons, the cap is specific to deployed strategic weapons only — ICBMs and SLBMs. This very neatly takes the US’s 500 deployed tactical nuclear weapons (and the 600 tactical weapons in stockpile) out of the the treaty’s purview ( link). There is also some ambiguity over whether the treaty caps US’s ambitious ballistic missile defense systems (BMDS) project — speculation is abound that it does. However, the White House has already tried to preempt the battle it will have on its hands with this little fact-sheet.
What does START III mean to the rest of the world? Even with 1,550 nuclear weapons each, the US and Russia will be so far ahead of the third largest nuclear weapons state (France, with 300 weapons) that it is unlikely to have a direct impact on disarmament. Of course, some countries might choose to “right size” their arsenal (as indeed France is doing), but these are not decisions inspired by START.
START III may be just the sort of thing to parade around New Delhi, coaxing it to ratify the alphabet soup of non-proliferation treaties. This is a non-starter. We live in a neighborhood where one power willfully flaunts the terms of the non-proliferation treaties that it is signatory to, and is increasingly belligerent in its dealings with India. And the lesser said about our other nuclear neighbor’s non-proliferation record, the better. Treaties such as START III can only be conceivable to lesser nuclear powers like India once minimum credible deterrence is achieved (for which there is no magic number). Until such time, let such treaties be part of the lofty ideals of countries with enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world several times over.


Tihar Jail
Oct 2, 2009
Obama Limits When U.S. Would Use Nuclear Arms

WASHINGTON — President Obama said Monday that he was revamping American nuclear strategy to substantially narrow the conditions under which the United States would use nuclear weapons. But the president said in an interview that he was carving out an exception for “outliers like Iran and North Korea” that have violated or renounced the main treaty to halt nuclear proliferation.

Discussing his approach to nuclear security the day before formally releasing his new strategy, Mr. Obama described his policy as part of a broader effort to edge the world toward making nuclear weapons obsolete, and to create incentives for countries to give up any nuclear ambitions. To set an example, the new strategy renounces the development of any new nuclear weapons, overruling the initial position of his own defense secretary.

Mr. Obama’s strategy is a sharp shift from those of his predecessors and seeks to revamp the nation’s nuclear posture for a new age in which rogue states and terrorist organizations are greater threats than traditional powers like Russia and China.

It eliminates much of the ambiguity that has deliberately existed in American nuclear policy since the opening days of the cold war. For the first time, the United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons or launched a crippling cyberattack.

Those threats, Mr. Obama argued, could be deterred with “a series of graded options,” a combination of old and new conventional weapons. “I’m going to preserve all the tools that are necessary in order to make sure that the American people are safe and secure,” he said in the interview in the Oval Office.

White House officials said the new strategy would include the option of reconsidering the use of nuclear retaliation against a biological attack, if the development of such weapons reached a level that made the United States vulnerable to a devastating strike.

Mr. Obama’s new strategy is bound to be controversial, both among conservatives who have warned against diluting the United States’ most potent deterrent and among liberals who were hoping for a blanket statement that the country would never be the first to use nuclear weapons.

Mr. Obama argued for a slower course, saying, “We are going to want to make sure that we can continue to move towards less emphasis on nuclear weapons,” and, he added, to “make sure that our conventional weapons capability is an effective deterrent in all but the most extreme circumstances.”

The release of the new strategy, known as the Nuclear Posture Review, opens an intensive nine days of nuclear diplomacy geared toward reducing weapons. Mr. Obama plans to fly to Prague to sign a new arms-control agreement with Russia on Thursday and then next week will host 47 world leaders in Washington for a summit meeting on nuclear security.

The most immediate test of the new strategy is likely to be in dealing with Iran, which has defied the international community by developing a nuclear program that it insists is peaceful but that the United States and its allies say is a precursor to weapons. Asked about the escalating confrontation with Iran, Mr. Obama said he was now convinced that “the current course they’re on would provide them with nuclear weapons capabilities,” though he gave no timeline.

He dodged when asked whether he shared Israel’s view that a “nuclear capable” Iran was as dangerous as one that actually possessed weapons.

“I’m not going to parse that right now,” he said, sitting in his office as children played on the South Lawn of the White House at a daylong Easter egg roll. But he cited the example of North Korea, whose nuclear capabilities were unclear until it conducted a test in 2006, which it followed with a second shortly after Mr. Obama took office.

“I think it’s safe to say that there was a time when North Korea was said to be simply a nuclear-capable state until it kicked out the I.A.E.A. and become a self-professed nuclear state,” he said, referring to the International Atomic Energy Agency. “And so rather than splitting hairs on this, I think that the international community has a strong sense of what it means to pursue civilian nuclear energy for peaceful purposes versus a weaponizing capability.”

Mr. Obama said he wanted a new United Nations sanctions resolution against Iran “that has bite,” but he would not embrace the phrase “crippling sanctions” once used by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. And he acknowledged the limitations of United Nations action. “We’re not naïve that any single set of sanctions automatically is going to change Iranian behavior,” he said, adding “there’s no light switch in this process.” In the year since Mr. Obama gave a speech in Prague declaring that he would shift the policy of the United States toward the elimination of nuclear weapons, his staff has been meeting — and arguing — over how to turn that commitment into a workable policy, without undermining the credibility of the country’s nuclear deterrent. The strategy to be released on Tuesday is months late, partly because Mr. Obama had to adjudicate among advisers who feared he was not changing American policy significantly enough, and those who feared that anything too precipitous could embolden potential adversaries. One senior official said that the new strategy was the product of 150 meetings, including 30 convened by the White House National Security Council, and that even then Mr. Obama had to step in to order rewrites.

He ended up with a document that differed considerably from the one President George W. Bush published in early 2002, just three months after the Sept. 11 attacks. Mr. Bush, too, argued for a post-cold-war rethinking of nuclear deterrence, reducing American reliance on those weapons.

But Mr. Bush’s document also reserved the right to use nuclear weapons “to deter a wide range of threats,” including banned chemical and biological weapons and large-scale conventional attacks. Mr. Obama’s strategy abandons that option — except if the attack is by a nuclear state, or a nonsignatory or violator of the nonproliferation treaty.

The document to be released Tuesday after months of study led by the Defense Department will declare that “the fundamental role” of nuclear weapons is to deter nuclear attacks on the United States, allies or partners, a narrower presumption than the past. But Mr. Obama rejected the formulation sought by arms control advocates to declare that the “sole role” of nuclear weapons is to deter a nuclear attack.

There are five declared nuclear states — the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China. Three states with nuclear weapons have refused to sign — India, Pakistan and Israel — and North Korea renounced the treaty in 2003. Iran remains a signatory, but the United Nations Security Council has repeatedly found it in violation of its obligations, because it has hidden nuclear plants and refused to answer questions about evidence it was working on a warhead.

In shifting the nuclear deterrent toward combating proliferation and the sale or transfer of nuclear material to terrorists or nonnuclear states, Mr. Obama seized on language developed in the last years of the Bush administration. It had warned North Korea that it would be held “fully accountable” for any transfer of weapons or technology. But the next year, North Korea was caught aiding Syria in building a nuclear reactor but suffered no specific consequence.

Mr. Obama was asked whether the American failure to make North Korea pay a heavy price for the aid to Syria undercut Washington’s credibility.

“I don’t think countries around the world are interested in testing our credibility when it comes to these issues,” he said. He said such activity would leave a country vulnerable to a nuclear strike, and added, “We take that very seriously because we think that set of threats present the most serious security challenge to the United States.”

He indicated that he hoped to use this week’s treaty signing with Russia as a stepping stone toward more ambitious reductions in nuclear arsenals down the road, but suggested that would have to extend beyond the old paradigm of Russian-American relations.

“We are going to pursue opportunities for further reductions in our nuclear posture, working in tandem with Russia but also working in tandem with NATO as a whole,” he said.

An obvious such issue would be the estimated 200 tactical nuclear weapons the United States still has stationed in Western Europe. Russia has called for their removal, and there is growing interest among European nations in such a move as well. But Mr. Obama said he wanted to consult with NATO allies before making such a commitment.

The summit meeting that opens next week in Washington will bring together nearly four dozen world leaders, the largest such gathering by an American president since the founding of the United Nations 65 years ago. Mr. Obama said he hoped to use the session to lay down tangible commitments by individual countries toward his goal of securing the world’s nuclear material so it does not fall into the hands of terrorists or dangerous states.

“Our expectation is not that there’s just some vague, gauzy statement about us not wanting to see loose nuclear materials,” he said. “We anticipate a communiqué that spells out very clearly, here’s how we’re going to achieve locking down all the nuclear materials over the next four years.”


Tihar Jail
Oct 2, 2009
Nuclear Posture Review (or Nuclear Public Relations?)

The Obama administration is now rolling out the results of its "Nuclear Posture Review," and presenting it as a significant if not quite revolutionary rethinking of U.S. nuclear strategy. I haven't seen the full text of the document and have only excerpts and press reports to go by, but the basic idea is to narrow the range of scenarios in which the United States would threaten a nuclear response.

To be a bit more specific, instead of reserving the option of nuclear strikes in response to a nuclear attack, an attack by other forms of WMD (such as biological weapons) or even a large-scale conventional invasion, the review declares that the "fundamental role" of the U.S. arsenal is to deter nuclear attacks on the U.S., its allies, or partners." Accordingly, as a matter of declaratory policy, the Review declares that "the United States will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states that are party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and in compliance with their nuclear non-proliferation obligations."

The exceptions to this narrower focus would be non-nuclear attacks by any nuclear-armed state, or states that the United States deems to be in violation of the NPT. Translation: We still reserve the option of first nuclear use against Iran and North Korea.

Lots of ink will no doubt be spilled analyzing this shift in declaratory policy, and nuclear theologians will spend time at conferences and workshops parsing the fine-grained implications of the change. And stay tuned for assorted hawkish windbags and right-wing think-tankers declaring that this new language has somehow imperiled U.S. security, even though we still have thousands of nuclear weaspons in our arsenal and the strongest conventional forces in the world.

I'll concede that this new statement may have some public relations value -- i.e, it lowers the priority given to nuclear weapons in U.S. strategic thinking, consistent with Obama's commitment to eventually reduce global nuclear arsenals. But from a purely strategic perspective, this new statement is largely meaningless. To the extent that it does matter, it may even be counter-productive.

Here's why. No matter what the U.S. government says about its nuclear strategy, no potential adversary can confidently assume that the U.S. would stick to its declared policy in the event of a crisis or war. If you were a world leader thinking about launching a major conventional attack on an important U.S. ally or interest, or contemplating the use of chemical or biological weapons in a situation where the United States was involved, would you conclude that it was safe to do so simply because Barack Obama said back in 2010 that the U.S. wasn't going to use nuclear weapons in that situation?

Of course you wouldn't, because there is absolutely nothing to stop the United States from changing its mind. You'd worry that the United States might conclude that the interests at stake were worth issuing a nuclear threat, and maybe even using a nuclear weapon, and that it really didn't matter what anyone had said in a posture review or an interview with a few journalists. And you'd also have to worry that the situation might escalate in unpredictable or unintended ways -- what Thomas Schelling famously termed the "threat that leaves something to chance -- and thereby ruin your whole day.

To the extent that nuclear weapons deter -- and I happen to think they do -- it is the mere fact of their existence and not the specific words we use when we speak about them. In short, nobody can know for certain if, when or how a nuclear state might actually use its arsenal to protect its interests, and that goes for any potential aggressor too. Because the prospect of nuclear use is so awful, no minimally rational aggressor is going to run that risk solely because of some words typed in a posture statement.

Furthermore, the decision to exclude nuclear weapons states, non-signatories of the NPT, or states we deem in violation of it (e.g., Iran) strikes me as both too clever by half and maybe counterproductive. The purpose seems to be to give these states an additional incentive to sign the NPT or to conform to it, but it's hard to believe that this statement will have that effect on anyone. India, Pakistan and Israel are all non-signatories, but surely they aren't worried about U.S. "first use" against them and so this statement will be irrelevant to their nuclear calculations.

The real target of this exception is Iran (and conceivably North Korea and Syria). At best, this new statement will have little or no effect, for the reasons noted above (i.e., no one know what we might do in a crisis or war, so pledges of no-first-use are essentially meaningless). At worst, however, excluding Iran in this fashion -- which amounts to saying that Iran is still a nuclear target even when it has no weapons its own -- merely gives them additional incentives to pursue a nuclear weapons option. In particular, declaring that we reserve the right of "first use" against Iran now (when it has no weapons at all), sounds like a good way to convince them that their own deterrent might be a pretty nice thing to have.

Remarkably, U.S. policymakers never seem to realize that the same arguments they use to justify our own nuclear arsenal apply even more powerfully to states whose security is a lot more precarious than America's. If the U.S. government believes that "the fundamental role" of U.S. nuclear weapons is to deter nuclear attacks on the United States, and the United States is now proclaiming that it still reserves the option of using nuclear weapons first against non-nuclear Iran (under some admittedly extreme circumstances), then wouldn't a sensible Iranian leadership conclude that it could use a nuclear arsenal of its own, whose "fundamental role" would be to deter us from doing just that?


Tihar Jail
Oct 2, 2009
Obama's new N-policy evokes interest here

NEW DELHI: US president Barack Obama’s new nuclear policy is being watched closely in India for the impact it will have on the non-proliferation

and disarmament discourse.

As part of the new policy, the US for the first time pledged not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear nations that comply with provisions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) even if they attacked the US with biological or chemical weapons or launched a cyber attack. Mr Obama in an interview to the New York Times has said that such threats could be stopped with ``a series of graded options’’ with conventional weapons.

But Mr Obama also noted that he was making an exception for ``outliers like Iran and North Korea’’. The US has retained the right to use nuclear weapons if the attack is by a nuclear state, or a non-signatory or a state violating NPT. But the review also stops short of committing the US to a no first use of nuclear weapons.

Supporting a graded approach, Mr Obama said, “we are going to want to make sure that we can continue to move towards less emphasis on nuclear weapons,” and, he added, to “make sure that our conventional weapons capability is an effective deterrent in all but the most extreme circumstances.”

On the review, Mr Obama has said his aim is to push the world towards making nuclear weapons obsolete and to create incentive for countries to give up nuclear weapons while narrowing conditions under which the US would use nuclear weapons.

The new strategy also renounces the development of any new nuclear weapons by the US in what is seen as an attempt to ``create incentives for countries to give up any nuclear ambitions’’, reports said. Mr Obama’s review is seen more as moving the US towards the concept of nuclear weapons as a deterrence.

Though Mr Obama is seen to have taken the middle path, New Delhi wants to see stronger effort towards nuclear disarmament. India already has a policy of no first use of nuclear weapons and non-use against non nuclear weapons states. But New Delhi has also been pushing for a legally binding agreement on non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons state and a convention on the complete prohibition of the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. But the Obama policy gives the US the option of reconsidering the use of nuclear retaliation against a biological attack, if the development of biological weapons reached a level that made the US vulnerable, the NYT said.

The Nuclear Posture Review is expected to set the stage for the Nuclear Security Summit, which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be attending, and the NPT review conference. On the Nuclear Security Summit, Mr Obama said he hoped to use the session to lay down tangible commitments by individual countries toward his goal of securing the world’s nuclear material so it does not fall into the hands of terrorists or dangerous states, the NYT said. India’s top concern is the threat of nuclear terrorism from across the border. New Delhi would like Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal under greater scrutiny.

But the review is also expected to set the stage for sanctions against Iran for its nuclear programme. On Iran, Mr Obama said he wanted fresh sanctions against Iran with a resolution “that has bite.”


Tihar Jail
Oct 2, 2009
New Technologies and the Qualitative Arms Race
Working Paper submitted by the India at the Third Special Session
of the United Nations General Assembly devoted to disarmament, 1988


1. Paragraph 39 of the Final Document of the Tenth Special Session of the General
Assembly, the first special session devoted to disarmament (General Assembly resolution S-10/2), had the following provision:

"Qualitative and quantitative disarmament measures are both important for halting the arms race. Efforts to that end must include negotiations on the limitation and cessation of the qualitative improvement of armaments, especially weapons of mass destruction and the development of new means of warfare so that ultimately scientific and technological achievement may be used solely for peaceful purposes".

2. A decade has passed since the adoption of the Final Document. During this period, efforts for "arms control" in both bilateral and multilateral forums have focused primarily on the quantitative expansion of arsenals. At no stage have the qualitative aspects of the arms race been addressed, even though it has been known for some time now that a very large part of the huge sums currently spent on armament by the major Powers is devoted to making qualitative improvements in the existing weapon systems and to developing new systems. As a matter of fact, most of the nuclear "arms control" agreements provide for the upgrading of the existing weapon systems and specify "permitted" areas for further improvement of weapons. This kind of arms control, which does not address itself to the structural nature of the arms race, has not curbed and cannot curb or reverse this race. Real disarmament cannot be achieved without addressing the problem of the qualitative arms race.

3. The total expenditure on military research and development (R and D) -90 percent of it by the five nuclear-weapon States and the Federal Republic of Germany - is estimated to be approximately one tenth of the trillion dollar total global military expenditure. Military R and D today is 25 percent of the total expenditure on R and D. The scale of expenditure on military R and D and the pace of technical change in the military sector are unprecedented historically. This is the result of the emergence in the post-Second World War period of a large number of industrial and research establishments devoted exclusively to the design, production and refinement of new weapon systems. Development of weaponry is now no longer an undirected, accidental by-product of the advancement of science and technology. Instead, it has become an all-embracing purposive preoccupation, where every new scientific and technological development is examined for its potential military applications and steps are taken to translate that potential into real weapon systems.

4. There are certain historical imperatives for the growth of science and technology. These, in turn, influence patterns of production, consumption, distribution, policies of Governments as well as relations among nations. Progress in science and technology and the changes that it brings about are a part of the historical process and no attempt to halt that process because of the unwelcome nature of some of these changes is likely to succeed. However, dedicated deployment of science and technology for military purposes, irrespective of its consequences for humankind, is another matter. It is the latter that is mainly responsible for the new destructive dimensions acquired by the arms race. It is the duty of the international community to put a restraint on such an orientation.

5. New weapon systems are often developed without reference to the political climate or even the prevailing security doctrines. Quite often this takes place without reference even to the actual weapons developed by the adversary. Each side presses ahead with the development of weapons designed to counter hypothetical weapons, sure in the belief that the other side would be doing the same. Technological possibilities of developing weapon systems often acquire an inexorable character and inevitably get translated into reality. The history of weapons development in the post-Second World War period is replete with examples of such a self-propelled momentum overtaking whatever meager results “arms control” measures may have achieved.

6. It is thus evident that the prospects for real disarmament will remain bleak so long as this technological arms race is allowed to continue unabated. The pressures of competitive technological armament obstruct further progress in disarmament and even threaten to destroy the limited progress made so far. The current controversy over the 1972 ABM Treaty, because of the pressure of development of new space weapons, is an obvious illustration.

The new arms race

7. Today, the world stands on the threshold of a new arms race. A number of technologies that have the potential of transforming completely the methods of war-fighting and the nature of warfare are in advanced stages of development. The maturity and application of these technologies would have far-reaching implications for international security and would be a major setback to efforts for disarmament. The following are some of the areas in which new and emerging technologies with far-reaching military applications are taking shape:

(a) Nuclear Weapons

Intensive research and development work by laboratories has led to a major breakthrough in the design of nuclear weapons. The past few years have seen increased interest in the so-called “third generation” nuclear weapons.

The first generation nuclear weapons are based on fission; the second generation on fusion. The second generation weapon design has increased the sophistication and improved the yield-to-weight ratio of nuclear warheads. The central feature of the third generation nuclear weapons is the ability to pick and choose specific effects of nuclear weapons and enhance them, while suppressing the unwanted ones. The neutron bomb, or the enhanced radiation weapon, is the precursor of the third generation nuclear weapons.

A number of third generation nuclear-weapon designs are being actively explored. These include the X-ray laser in which the energy of the nuclear explosion is channeled into focused beams of intense X-ray radiation. The gamma ray laser microwave weapons and nuclear devices that can generate powerful electromagnetic pulses are other third generation concepts that are being explored.

Concurrently more accurate and precise modes of delivery of nuclear warheads are being explored to avoid the large collateral damage, inevitable in less accurate delivery. The maneuverable re-entry vehicle (MARV) is one such technology that is likely to dramatically increase the ability to deliver nuclear weapons with pin-point accuracy. The Earth-penetrating nuclear warhead design is another example of militarily usable nuclear explosions.

New directions in the use of nuclear energy for military purposes are also evident. Plans to deploy compact and powerful nuclear reactors in space are in advanced stages of development. The new military space missions for reactors include the powering of beam weapons, battle stations and supporting satellites. Accidents in already existing nuclear space systems have not been uncommon. Increased use of nuclear power in space could have dangerous ecological consequences.

(b) Defense against nuclear weapons

A variety of new and exotic technologies are being developed under the program to build defenses against nuclear missiles. These include technologies for weapon systems, surveillance, acquisition and tracking, battle management.

The weapons systems being developed include kinetic energy weapons. Kinetic energy weapons derive their destructive energy from the momentum of propelled objects. Electro-magnetic rail guns, which can propel objects to very high speeds, are another kind of new weapon under development.

In directed energy weapons, consisting either of lasers or of particle beams, energy propagated at the speed of light is used to destroy or disable targets. These weapon systems can be based on Earth or in space. Laser systems powered by both chemical and nuclear sources are being developed.

Although these new technologies and weapons are being projected as “defensive”, they also have offensive possibilities. The y could be particularly useful as anti-satellite weapons. Some of them could also be used against Earth-based objects.

(c) Chemical and Biological Weapons

In the past, the problems and costs of effectively integrating chemical and biological weapons into military doctrine and organization have acted as barriers against widespread military enthusiasm for chemical and biological warfare. But new technological developments could remove these barriers and facilitate greater use of chemical and biological weapons. One such technological innovation is the “binary” munitions for nerve gases.

The past few years have seen the enormous explosion in mankind’s knowledge of the molecular and cellular processes of life. There is also the emerging ability to manipulate these processes through genetic engineering and biotechnology. If these abilities are tapped for military purposes, there could be a new race to develop hideous weapons for chemical and biological warfare.

(d) Electronics, computers and artificial intelligence

The impact of the revolutionary developments in electronics and computers on military technology and strategy is already pervasive. The impact is seen in the transformation of weapons into “smart” systems, such as precision-guided weapons systems and cruise missiles. There is also the existing large-scale use of high performance computers in command, control and communication and intelligence functions.

The ongoing revolution in electronics and computers is further transforming the nature of warfare. Weapon systems are moving from the “smart” to the “intelligence” phase. Unprecedented capabilities for command, control and intelligence (C³I) systems required for enhanced war-fighting capabilities are under development. A whole range of surveillance and target acquisition systems, sophisticated sensors and high-speed automated data handling system are being built.

Of particular importance is the development of fifth generation computers and artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence techniques are likely to be used initially in aiding soldiers in handling enormous information in a very short time in a complicated environment. Artificial intelligence techniques are also being considered for the development of autonomous vehicles and automated battle management systems. The impact of the new developments in computer hardware and software extend from conventional warfare to nuclear war-fighting and strategic defense.

(e) Conventional Weapons

The words “conventional weapons” could already be a misnomer with the increasing accuracy, lethality and range of “conventional” weapon systems. There is an increased versatility in both launch platforms and warheads. The advances in weapon technology have already led to the conceptualization of strategic warfare without nuclear weapons. The use of ICBMs is being contemplated with conventional weapons. New types of delivery systems, such as trans-atmospheric vehicles and space planes capable of speeds ranging from 5 to 30 times the speed of sound and large payload capabilities, are being developed. These vehicles can operate in both atmosphere and space and can negotiate intercontinental distances in 10 to 15 minutes. The space planes, capable of horizontal take-off from and landing at normal airfields; lend themselves to greater use and flexibility in utilizing near-Earth space for military purposes and in carrying out a variety of offensive missions in a short span of time on Earth.

Implications of the new arms race

8. These developments have far-reaching implications for international security and peace. If allowed to proceed unchecked, they would bring about radical changes in the means of war-fighting and in security doctrines. They point to a highly complex strategic environment fraught with risks of staggering proportions. One consequence that can be predicted confidently is a fresh spiraling of the arms race at a qualitatively different, if not higher, level.

9. It is also evident that they carry a much greater risk of outbreak of war, particularly
nuclear war. Many weapons already operate in a semi-automated or fully automated mode. Automation of entire weapon systems, however, would result in a quantum jump in the dangers. Improvements in C3I facilities and the deployment of surgical weapons may create an illusion of stability. However, in reality, control would become increasingly decentralized and real time for decision-making would be drastically reduced to durations too short to permit human beings to play any interactive role. The risk of war as a result of an accident, or misjudgment would be much greater.

10 Furthermore, most of the new weapons systems are offense-dominated. And even the defensive one have the effect of making offensive strikes possible with greater impunity. Together with the immensely increased accuracy and lethality of these weapons, this is likely to increase the incentive for preemptive strikes. There is, therefore, going to be greater likelihood of early use of such weapons. These new developments could lead towards a renewed arms race in both offensive nuclear weapons and building defenses. Further, these developments threaten to introduce these weapons into outer space, which has so far remained free from them.

11. Moreover, a reasonably accurate assessment of the capabilities of new weapon systems, force levels, force targets and force postures and deployment is going to be extremely difficult in a period of rapid technological change. There would, therefore, be a tendency to proceed on the basis of “worst-case” scenarios, which would result in an increase in the instability of the security environment.

12. Discreet and selective deployment of tailored nuclear weapons with little collateral effect may tend to increase their perceived utility and hence their usability.

13. The increasing lethality and accuracy of non-nuclear weaponry has brought such weapons closer to small nuclear weapons. But the non-nuclear nature of the powerful new weaponry may tend to make it more acceptable morally and politically, and hence more usable as compared to nuclear weapons.

14. The distinctions between tactical and strategic weapons, and conventional and non
conventional weapons would become blurred leading to erosion of thresholds.

15. The existing barriers against chemical and biological warfare could be eroded as a result of the new technological development. The unleasing of chemical and biological warfare technologies is fraught with grave consequences for the security of mankind.

16. These new trends have complicated the problem of the monitoring and verification of emerging weapon systems. Many of these systems will be smaller in size, more mobile and more flexible in terms of carrying out a variety of missions. The most threatening in this regard are the cruise missiles. Other examples are the anti-satellite weapons, which can be fired from a variety of mobile platforms and dual-purpose delivery vehicles. In fact, we may have already come to the point of no return in this regard.

17. The new weapon capabilities are likely to be available only to the two super-Powers and their allies for a long time to come. It would, therefore, provide them with hegemonistic capabilities, increasing their predisposition to engage in coercive diplomacy.

18. The new technologies pose a serious threat to the existing arms control and disarmament agreements by offering technological and strategic incentives to nations for breaking out of the current restrictions. They would also introduce new complexities for disarmament agreements under negotiation, making new agreements difficult.

Need for action

19. The real challenge in the field of disarmament is to devise arrangements for controlling the new arms race, which has already started on the basis of new and emerging technologies. The time for doing so is now. For, otherwise, it will be too late. The third special session devoted to disarmament is the most suitable occasion for discussing this problem and for taking timely action for managing it.

20. The problems posed are far from simple. It is neither possible nor desirable to put a stop on the growth of science and technology. To distinguish technology as constructive or destructive is a complex task. Nor is it easy to sharply categorize research from development or from testing for development. However, we have no choice but to act. Faced with the growing threat of the largest and the most elaborate military R & D program ever undertaken, namely that relating to ballistic missile defense systems, it is critical that we face the issues of the qualitative arms race directly and squarely.

21. If pursued in the context of a comprehensive disarmament program seeking to eliminate weapons of mass destruction and reducing conventional armaments to the minimum needed for defense, the efforts to control the qualitative arms race would be of great significance and indeed necessary.

Suggestions for action

(a) Increased transparency

22. Reliable information on what is happening on the other side can remove a major reason for persisting with the qualitative refinement of arsenals on a unilateral basis-namely, the fear of being caught by surprise by technological breakthroughs by the adversary. Conversely, lack of such knowledge frequently leads to exaggerated productions based on “worst case” assumptions and creates pressure for undertaking whatever the adversary might be presumed, at worst, to be doing.
23. Moreover, it is the right of the public to have access to information at the global level on issues of life and death. And the Member States owe to their peoples to provide access to such information. Further, increased public awareness of the implications of technological developments with military applications is the most effective way of putting a measure of restraint on these developments. It is also the duty of the world scientific community to be alert in this regard, to anticipate developments and to make the world aware of their implications.

24. The following suggestions are, therefore, put forward for achieving greater transparency and understanding in this critical and sensitive area:

(i) Technology assessment and forecasting panel: The Secretary-General should have at his disposal a technology assessment and forecasting panel consisting of a small group of eminent scientists and strategists. The task of the panel will be to identify and monitor those developments in the field of new and emerging technologies which have military applications, assess their likely impact on international security, and make projections based on such monitoring and assessment. The Secretary-General should consult this group from time to time. On the basis of such consultations and periodic reports to be submitted by the group, the Secretary-General should disseminate their assessment and forecasting, on a wider basis, including through reports to the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Conference on Disarmament.

(ii) National Panel of Experts: Each Government member should make more or less similar arrangements at the national level. It should constitute a panel of scientists which should report periodically to the Government and should be available for consultations from time to time. It should widely disseminate the information and assessment provided to the panel. The Governments, in turn, should submit an annual report to the Secretary-General. The Conference on Disarmament should also impress upon all member Governments that, whenever an emerging technology appears to have the potentiality of leading to the development of new weapons and new means of waging war, the details of such technologies should be given wide publicity.

(iii) Unit in the Department for Disarmament Affairs: A unit should be established in the Department of Disarmament Affairs to monitor and study the implications of new technologies with potential military applications. The Secretary-General’s panel should be able to draw upon the information and study compiled by the unit.

(b) New technology and technological missions

25. There should be greater international co-operation in the field of research in new and emerging technologies with a view to deploying them for peaceful purposes. For this purpose, new technology projects and new technological missions should be undertaken under the aegis of the United Nations. This will result in avoiding duplication of efforts in this high-cost area, fostering trust and promoting global progress and stability.

(c) Banning of technological missions clearly designed for developing new weapons

26. Negotiations should also start for banning those technological missions which are clearly designed for the development of new weapons and means of warfare. For example, there should be a ban on the development of ballistic missile defense systems.

(d) Guidelines in respect of new technologies with potential military applications

27. Guidelines should be drawn up under the aegis of the United Nations in respect of new technologies with potential military applications. To begin with, the guidelines could be voluntary in nature. They should be observed by Governments, where they are directly responsible for carrying out military R and D, and also recommended for observance by private laboratories and research institutions. Emphasis in the guidelines should be on transparency, the widest possible dissemination of information nationally and internationally, consultations with and reports to national authorities and the United Nations. They should also include such regulatory measures as may be found feasible. The Secretary-General should set up a group of experts for evolving a set of guidelines.


Tihar Jail
Oct 2, 2009
India & Disarmament

Since Independence, India has consistently pursued the objective of global disarmament based on the principles of universality, non-discrimination and effective compliance. Given the horrific destructive capacity of nuclear weapons, India has always believed that a world free of nuclear weapons would enhance both global security and India's own national security. Thus India has always advocated that the highest priority be given to nuclear disarmament as a first step towards general and complete disarmament.

As early as 1948, India called for limiting the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes only, and the elimination of atomic weapons from national armaments. India was the first country to call to an end to all nuclear testing in 1954. This was followed up in subsequent decades by many other initiatives, for example, on the Partial Test Ban Treaty, and the call for international negotiations on nuclear non-proliferation. In 1978, India proposed negotiations for an international convention that would prohibit the use of threat of use of nuclear weapons. This was followed by another initiative in 1982 calling for a "nuclear freeze" - i.e. prohibition on the production of fissile material for weapons, on production of nuclear weapons, and related delivery systems. At the special sessions of the United Nations General Assembly on disarmament, India put forward a number of serious proposals including the 1988 Comprehensive Plan for total elimination of weapons of mass destruction in a phased manner. It was a matter of regret that the proposals made by India along with several other countries did not receive a positive responsive and instead, a limited and distorted non-proliferation agenda, meant above all to perpetuate nuclear weapons was shaped.

"We are approaching the close of the twentieth century. It has been the most bloodstained century in history. Fifty eight million perished in two World Wars. Forty million more have died in other conflicts. In the last nine decades, the ravenous machines of war have devoured nearly one hundred million people. The appetite of these monstrous machines grows on what they feed. Nuclear war will not mean the death of a hundred million people. Or even a thousand million. It will mean the extinction of four thousand million: the end of life as we know it on our planet Earth. We come to the United Nations to seek your support. We seek your support to put a stop this madness."

Rajiv Gandhi (while addressesing the third SpecialSession on Disarmament , UN General Assembly in June 1988)

India was compelled by considerations of national security to establish and adopt a policy of keeping its nuclear option open while it continued to work for global nuclear disarmament. India's nuclear capability was demonstrated in 1974. India exercised an unparalleled restraint in not weaponising its nuclear capability. It is relevant to recall, that during this period, when we voluntarily and totally desisted from testing, over 35,000 nuclear weapons were developed through a series of tests by states possessing nuclear weapons. This was happened even as Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty committed the Nuclear Weapons States, party to the NPT, to take steps in good faith for nuclear disarmament. India was obliged to stand apart on the CTBT in 1996 after having been actively engaged in the negotiations for two and a half years precisely because the issues of non-proliferation, global disarmament and India's concerns about her security and strategic autonomy were ignored.

India's continued commitment to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation is clear from the voluntary measures announced by India after undertaking a limited series of underground nuclear tests last year. India remains committed to converting its voluntary moratorium into a de jure obligation in accordance with our long held positions on disarmament, and in response to the desire of the international community that the CTBT should come into effect in September 1999. India has declared that it will maintain a minimum credible nuclear deterrent and will not engage in an arms race. India has declared a no-first-use doctrine. We are willing to strengthen this commitment by undertaking bilateral agreements as well as engaging in discussions for a global no-first-use agreement. India believes that a global no-first-use agreement would be the first step towards the delegitimization of nuclear weapons. India remains the only state possessing nuclear weapons to unambiguously call for a Nuclear Weapons Convention to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons just as the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) have banned the other two categories of weapons of mass destruction.

Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation

In 1996, India, along with the members of the Group of 21 countries, put forward a proposal, submitted to the Conference on Disarmament (CD), of a Programme of Action calling for a phased elimination of nuclear weapons (1996-2020). India has also unambiguously indicated its commitment to the establishment of an ad hoc committee in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva to negotiate global nuclear disarmament. India is also the only state with nuclear weapons, which responded positively to certain aspects of the 8-Nation initiative on disarmament, entitled "Towards a Nuclear-Weapon Free World", put forward in June 1998 by Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden. At the NAM Summit in Durban, at India's initiative, NAM agreed that an international conference be held, preferably in 1999, with the objective of arriving at an agreement, before the end of this millennium, on a phased programme for the complete elimination of all nuclear weapons. The call for the elimination of nuclear weapons has been reiterated once again by Prime Minister in his address to the UN General Assembly. India remains committed to cooperation with like minded states to attain this goal. India also introduced a resolution in the 53rd General Assembly calling for reducing nuclear danger by de-alerting nuclear weapons.

India is fully committed to the goal of curbing nuclear proliferation in all its aspects. It was at India's initiative that the item "non-proliferation of nuclear weapons" was included in the agenda of the UN in 1964. In 1965, India along with other like-minded countries submitted a joint memorandum towards achieving a solution to the problem or proliferation; it included the conclusion of an international nuclear non-proliferation treaty. However, the NPT as it emerged from these negotiations, was flawed and discriminatory, seeking to create a permanent division between the nuclear 'haves' and 'have-nots'. India believes that the indefinite and unconditional extension of the NPT in May 1995 has only served to legitimize nuclear arsenals of the NPT states possessing nuclear weapons into perpetuity, thus posing a major obstacle to the goal of global nuclear disarmament. The NPT Preparatory Commission (PrepCom) meetings held in 1997 and 1998 have also clearly demonstrated this reluctance on the part of the five NPT states possessing nuclear weapons to take steps towards a speedy process of global nuclear disarmament.

India has developed wide-ranging expertise in nuclear technology but has ensured through a stringent and effective system of export controls that there is no proliferation of these technologies for weapons purposes. India's record in this matter is, in fact, better than some of the NPT signatories. At the same time, we are against ad hoc regimes or cartels which attempt to restrict high technology in an arbitrary, unequal and patently discriminatory manner. They need to be universalised, made transparent and equitable.

Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

India's commitment to a comprehensive ban on nuclear testing dates back to 1954 when Jawaharlal Nehru called for a "standstill agreement" whereby testing of all nuclear weapons was to be immediately suspended, pending an agreement on their complete prohibition. It was again at India's initiative that the item "Suspension of Nuclear and Thermo-Nuclear Tests" was included in the agenda of the UN in 1959.

During the course of the negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament (CD) Geneva on the CTBT, India put forward a number of proposals consistent with the mandate adopted by the CD in 1994. These proposals were aimed at ensuring that the CTBT would be truly comprehensive and would be part of the step-by-step process of eliminating all nuclear weapons. However, these proposals were regrettably ignored and instead, Article XIV on Entry. Into Force requiring India to join the treaty before it became operational was adopted in violation of basic treaty law. India was thus forced to declare its opposition to the CTBT as it emerged.

After concluding a series of tests on May13, 1998, India immediately announced a voluntary moratorium on further underground nuclear test explosions. In announcing this moratorium, India accepted the core obligation of a test ban and also addressed the general wish of the international community. India also announced its willingness to move towards a de jure formalization of the voluntary undertaking. India is now engaged in discussions with key interlocutors on a range of issues, including the CTBT. India is prepared to bring these discussions to a successful conclusion, so that the entry into force of the CTBT is not delayed beyond September 1999. For the successful conclusion of talks, creation of a positive environment by India's interlocutors is a necessary ingredient. India expects that other countries, as indicated in Article XIV of the CTBT, will adhere to this Treaty without conditions.

Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT)

India supporters the ban on production of fissile material for nuclear weapons purposes. This demand has been articulated by India in the UN through concrete proposals like the Action Plan which it presented in 1988. India also co-sponsored a UN General Assembly resolution (48/75 L) in 1993, which called for an early commencement of negotiations for the prohibition of the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. India has joined the consensus in the Conference on Disarmament on establishing an ad hoc committee to negotiate an FMCT. India believes that this is an integral part of the nuclear disarmament process. It would also go a long way in arresting problems of illegal transfers of nuclear material. India supports efforts for negotiations on a universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable fissile material cut-off treaty that would prohibit the future production of fissile material for weapons purposes but would permit such production for civilian uses.

Negative Security Assurances (NSAs) and Nuclear Weapon Free Zones (NWFZs)

India has always maintained that NSAs provide illusory benefits, and that the real security assurance is complete elimination of nuclear weapons, and also that in the interim, if NSAs are to be given, they should be provided through an international, comprehensive, legally-binding and irreversible agreement. Similarly, consideration of security assurances in the narrow strait-jacket of Nuclear Weapon Free Zones (NWFZs) cannot do justice to the wide variety of concerns that emanate from the global nature of the threat posed by nuclear weapons. As a responsible state possessing nuclear weapons, India has stated that it does not intend to use nuclear weapons to commit aggression or for mounting threats against any country. India respects the sovereign choice exercised by states not possessing nuclear weapons in establishing NWFZs on the basis of agreements freely arrived at among the states of the region concerned. At the fifth session of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Manila, India stated that it fully respects the status of the Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in South East Asia and is ready to convert this commitment into a legal obligation.

India will remain responsive to the expressed need for commitments to other nuclear weapon free zones as well.

Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)

India is an original signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, having signed it on 14 January 1993, and was among the first 65 countries to have ratified the Treaty. The universal and non-discriminatory character of the CWC are primarily responsible for the large number of signatories and the equally large numbers of ratifications. The implementation of the CWC involves a combination of voluntary declarations and mandatory verification arrangements aimed at ensuring compliance in a transparent and universal manner. A National Authority (NA) has been set up to oversee implementation of the Convention in India. As the first Chairperson of the Executive Council of the Organization for Chemical Weapons(OPCW), India guided the deliberations of the organization during its crucial first year. Implementation of all obligations assumed by India to the Convention and related activities have proceeded satisfactorily. India believes that the provisions of the Convention require to be implemented in a non-discriminatory manner. National implementing legislations containing provisions which undermine the Convention hold out the prospect of leading to matching responses by other states parties thereby leading to an unnecessary dilution of the spirit and the confidence reposed in the CWC by a great majority of countries party to the CWC. Similarly, the existence of technology denial regimes such as the Australia Group remains an aberration when seen against the large number of ratifications the Convention has enjoyed so far.

Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC)

India ratified the Biological Weapons Convention in 1974. India has participated in all four Review Conferences of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) and in the meetings of the Group of Governmental Experts. India is currently participating in the negotiations of the Ad hoc Group of the States Parties of the BTWC with the aim to strengthen the convention by a protocol, including possible verification measures. India maintains that these measures should be non-discriminatory and avoid any negative impact on scientific research, international cooperation and industrial development.

Anti-Personnel Landmines (APLs)

India is fully committed to the eventual elimination of anti-personnel landmines and achievement of the objective of a nondiscriminatory and universal ban on APLs. A beginning can be made with a ban on export and transfer of APLs, that would enjoy an international consensus, and by addressing humanitarian concerns and legitimate defence requirements of states. India is sensitive to the humanitarian aspects of the landmine crisis and the need for a strong international response. Aware that APLs have been used indiscriminately in conflicts not of an international nature, India has called for a ban on their use in all internal conflicts. India follows a conscious policy of not exporting APLs. India has also been contributing to UN de-mining efforts since the Congo peacekeeping operations in 1963. An officer of the Indian Army is presently deployed with the UN Mine Action Centre in Bosnia. India is presently in the process of ratifying amended Protocol II of the 1980 Inhumane Weapons Convention (CCW), which deals with anti-personnel landmines. India stands ready to negotiate a ban on the export and transfer of landmines in the Conference on Disarmament.

Transparency in Conventional Weapons Transfers and Small Arms

India is committed to strengthening the norm of transparency in conventional armaments in general, and greater participation in the UN Register of Conventional Arms in particular. India has reported to the Register annually since 1994. The issue of proliferation of, and illicit trafficking in, small arms has moved up the agenda of the international community on disarmament issues. India is acutely aware of this problem and intends to participate actively in international search for effective solutions, including a proposed international conference to discuss the issue of illicit trafficking in small arms in all its aspects.


Tihar Jail
Oct 2, 2009
Statement by the Prime Minister on the eve of his departure for USA and Brazil

New Delhi
April 9, 2010

I am leaving tomorrow to attend the Nuclear Security Summit being hosted by President Barack Obama in Washington DC, and the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) and Brazil-Russia-India-China (BRIC) Summits being hosted by President Lula da Silva in Brasilia.

India welcomes President Obama’s initiative to hold a Summit on Nuclear Security. Nuclear energy is poised to play a growing role in addressing the developmental challenges of our times. This will be possible only if we, as individual nations, and as a global community ensure the highest standards of security which reinforce public faith in the benefits of nuclear science. India is an important stakeholder in this global endeavour.

I expect the Summit to focus on nuclear terrorism and proliferation of sensitive nuclear materials and technologies. These are legitimate concerns which require firm responses. India has a well developed indigenous nuclear energy programme, which dates back six decades. We have an impeccable record of security, safety and non-proliferation which reflects our conduct as a responsible nuclear power.

India has been a consistent advocate of complete and universal global nuclear disarmament. We were among the first countries in the world to call for a world free of nuclear weapons. I am encouraged by the fact that this approach is finding greater resonance today. We will continue to call for more meaningful progress in this direction.

During my stay in Washington I look forward to having bilateral meetings with President Obama, President Nazarbaev of Kazakhstan, President Sarkozy of France, Prime Minister Harper of Canada and other world leaders.

From Washington, I will proceed to Brasilia to attend the fourth IBSA Summit and the second BRIC Summit. These groupings reflect the growing role of emerging economies in shaping the global economic order.

The IBSA process has come of age. Today, it encompasses a wide range of activities which supplement the excellent bilateral relations we enjoy with each of these countries. Our coordination on important international issues has expanded, and our trilateral cooperation is beginning to bear fruit in many sectors.

The BRIC countries are among the largest and fastest growing economies with rich human and material resources. They represent the future of the global economic landscape. We have a high stake in the revival of the global economy, an open trading system, energy security, combating climate change and addressing non-traditional threats to international security.

I will also hold separate bilateral discussions with President Lula da Silva. Relations with Brazil are an important pillar of our policy towards Latin America and have witnessed substantial expansion in recent years.

In Brasilia I will also have bilateral meetings with President Hu Jintao of China and President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia.


Tihar Jail
Oct 2, 2009
Remarks on Nuclear Nonproliferation at the University of Louisville as Part of the McConnell Center's Spring Lecture Series

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you very, very much. (Applause.) Oh, it is wonderful to be here and to see this kind of a crowd on a beautiful Friday afternoon to talk about foreign policy here at this great university, and I am honored to be the sixth Secretary of State to have been privileged to participate in this important event here at the McConnell Center.
I, of course, want to thank Gary Gregg, who has been a real joy for my staff to work with in planning this. I think we gave Gary a bit of a scare when we had to tell him I had to go to Prague on my way to Louisville – (laughter) – and it all worked out fine, so he’s breathing a little easier. And to the university president and provost, thank you for having me here on this absolutely wonderful day at this exciting venue to talk about issues that are important to our citizens.
I see a lot of familiar faces in the audience, and I am delighted to be back here in Kentucky with all of you. (Applause.) I had a lot of fun two years ago – (laughter) – covered a lot of ground. This is a long state. (Laughter.) I learned that firsthand, and made many friends. And although my travel takes me all over the world today rather than across a great commonwealth like this, I have many, many wonderful memories and just am so pleased to be back here with all of you.
I’m out of politics now. That’s what I say all the time to everybody who asks me an opinion about anything, except foreign policy things. And I am excited to be part of this Administration at this point in history.
And I want to thank my former colleague, Senator McConnell, for inviting me here and for that very kind introduction. During the eight years that I served in the Senate with Mitch, I was fortunate to find common cause and work with him on a number of foreign policy issues: human rights in Burma; legislation to support small businesses and micro-credit lending in Kosovo; promoting women and civil society leaders in Afghanistan; strengthening the rule of law in parts of the Islamic world. And I’ve appreciated working with him in my new capacity upon becoming Secretary of State.
I think this McConnell Center really demonstrates Mitch’s deep appreciation not only for the political process of which he’s been a part for years – I didn’t know until he was introduced that he is the longest serving senator in Kentucky history – but also to the importance of education and the role that education plays in the life of our country. And it is a real tribute to him that this idea which he put forth so many years ago has created the McConnell Center, and certainly these young people who are here studying as part of the center.
Now, I have to say that for some of you McConnell Scholars, graduation is approaching quickly. And I want you to know that we are hiring at the State Department. (Laughter.) We are looking forward to filling our ranks with the best and brightest of young Americans to do the work that needs to be done on behalf of diplomacy and development, two of the three legs of the stool that represents American foreign policy; the other, of course, being defense. And we’ve been fortunate to have bipartisan support of which Senator McConnell was a part, to make sure that we had the personnel that we needed to be able to tackle all of the challenges we face.
I always knew the world was big, but it just seems to have gotten bigger and bigger since I’ve been Secretary of State, and that there isn’t any place – it’s not like being in a big house where you say, “Well, I think we’ll just shut off that third floor so that we don’t have to heat it. Because sure enough, you try to do that, you’re going to have a fire and then you’re in trouble. So you have to paying attention all the time. And we need young people with patriotism, a sense of civic responsibility, a keen awareness of their citizenship and patriotic duty to serve in the State Department and USAID on behalf of the United States.
Back in Washington these days, our policy discussions can get pretty lively. We can both vouch for that, both Senator McConnell and I, because anybody who’s turned TV during the last few months will remember some of the heated exchanges. But in foreign policy, we have a long tradition of coming together across party lines to face America’s toughest national security challenges. That commitment to cooperation helped protect our nation through two World Wars and the Cold War. And Senator McConnell and I were part of that legacy in our cooperation when I was in the Senate. And appreciate the work he’s done and the leadership he has demonstrated encouraging Republicans and Democrats to work together as we deal with the extremely complex situations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
Well, today, I want to speak about another challenge that is bigger than any one Administration or any political party – it’s protecting our families, our neighbors, our nation, and our allies from nuclear terrorism and nuclear proliferation.
Now, for generations, Republican and Democratic Administrations have recognized the magnitude of this challenge. And they have worked together in partnership with the Congress to reduce the danger posed by nuclear weapons and to maintain a safe, secure, and effective deterrent to protect the United States and our allies across the world.
President Reagan had these goals in mind in 1987 when he negotiated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, which eliminated an entire class of nuclear armed missiles. And that agreement was ratified in the Senate by a vote of 93-5.
President George H.W. Bush presided over ratification of the START I treaty, which was approved 93-6. And President George W. Bush’s Moscow Treaty passed 95-0. And two years ago this week, President George W. Bush issued a joint statement with the Russians in support of negotiating a successor to the START agreement.
This issue has united national security experts from both political parties. And four of the strongest advocates for action like this are former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, former Secretary of Defense William Perry, and former Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sam Nunn – two Republicans and two Democrats. Faced with what they said is “a very real possibility that the deadliest weapons ever invented could fall into dangerous hands,” they have come together repeatedly to demand a global effort to reduce reliance on nuclear weapons, prevent their spread, and ultimately end them as a threat to the world.
And so the Obama Administration is committed to building on the work of the last four administrations, and we’ve worked on these issues hand-in-hand with Republicans and Democrats in Congress.
Just this past Tuesday, we released the latest Nuclear Posture Review. That review provides the strategic framework for our nuclear weapons policy and represents the culmination of months of work by the Department of Defense under Secretary Gates’ leadership, and the Departments of State and Energy.
Yesterday, I was in Prague in the Czech Republic with both President Obama and President Medvedev to witness the signing of an historic new START agreement between the United States and Russia that will reduce the number of strategic nuclear warheads deployed by both countries to 1,550 on each side, a level not seen since the 1950s – the first full decade of the nuclear age.
Now next week, leaders from around the world – 47 nations will gather in Washington for a major summit meeting on securing nuclear materials from terrorists. And next month in May, we will come together with partners in the United Nations in New York to review global efforts on nonproliferation.
Now, this is a lot of activity. But it’s fair to ask whether it matters to people in New York or in Los Angeles or Louisville or, frankly, anywhere else beyond Washington, D.C. Discussions of nuclear issues are often conducted in a language of acronyms – NPR, NPT, SALT, SORT, START. At the White House two weeks ago, a reporter asked me why everyone’s eyes glaze over when we talk about arms control. Now, I’m sure that won’t happen in this audience today.
Because it is easy to conclude that this is a subject that doesn’t have much impact on our daily lives or that this issue is a relic of the Cold War. I’m old enough to remember, even though I wasn’t around in 1933 – (laughter) – I am old enough to remember when I was in elementary school having those duck-and-cover drills. You remember those, Mitch. I bet there are a lot of heads – there’s a lot of heads nodding out there. I mean, why in the world our teachers and our parents thought we should take cover under our desks in the case of – (laughter) – of a nuclear attack is beyond me. But every month, we practices. And we’d get up and we’d get under our desks and we’d put our hands over our heads and we’d crouch up. We lived with the Cold War. We lived with the threat of nuclear weapons.
And it seems so long ago now, but it was so real in our daily lives. It wasn’t something left to presidents and senators and secretaries of state, it was something you talked about around the dinner table. And it made the threat of nuclear war something that nobody could escape. So today, it seems like a good time ago. And it would be easy to think, well, that’s a relic of the past. But that is not the case.
The nature of the threat has changed. We no longer live in constant fear of a global nuclear war where we’re in a standoff against the Russians with all of our nuclear arsenal on the ready, on a haired-trigger alert. But, as President Obama has said, the risk of a nuclear attack has actually increased. And the potential consequences of mishandling this challenge are deadly.
So, I want to speak about why nuclear arms control, nonproliferation, and nuclear security matter to each of us, and how the initiatives and the acronyms that make up our bipartisan work on these issues are coming together to make our nation safer.
There is a reason that presidents and foreign policy leaders in both parties are determined to address this danger. A nuclear attack anywhere could destroy the foundations of global order. While the United States and old Soviet Union are no longer locked in a nuclear standoff, nuclear proliferation is a leading source of insecurity in our world today.
And the United States benefits when the world is stable: our troops can spend more time at home, our companies can make better long-term investments, our allies are free to work with us to address long-term challenges like poverty and disease. But nuclear proliferation, including the nuclear programs being pursued by North Korea and Iran, are in exact opposition to those goals. Proliferation endangers our forces, our allies, and our broader global interests. And to the extent it pushes other countries to develop nuclear weapons in response, it can threaten the entire international order.
Nuclear terrorism presents a different challenge, but the consequences would still be devastating. A 10-kiloton nuclear bomb detonated in Times Square in New York City could kill a million people. Many more would suffer from the hemorrhaging and weakness that comes from radiation sickness. And beyond the human cost, a nuclear terrorist attack would also touch off a tsunami of social and economic consequences across our country.
We all remember the aftermath of the September 11th attacks. Air travel in the United States was suspended. Here in Louisville, for example, that meant planes couldn’t get in or out of UPS’s WorldPort where, I understand, three-quarters of the employees are local students. Those attacks ended up costing UPS – a company based far away from ground zero and from the Pentagon – over $130 million. That’s a lot of work-study jobs. And if you multiply those losses across our economy, you can imagine the consequences we would face in the event of a nuclear terrorist attack. In our interconnected world, an attack or disruption anywhere can inflict political and economic damage everywhere. That’s why nuclear security does matter to us all, and why we’re determined to meet this challenge.
There are three main elements of our strategy to safeguard our country and allies against nuclear attack. First, we begin with our support for the basic framework of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The global nuclear nonproliferation regime is based on a three-sided bargain: countries without nuclear weapons agree not to acquire them; countries with nuclear weapons work toward disarmament; and every nation is afforded the right to access peaceful nuclear energy under appropriate safeguards.
Unfortunately, this bargain has been under assault. North Korea began developing nuclear weapons as an NPT party before announcing its withdrawal from the treaty. And Iran is flouting the rules, seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability under the guise of a peaceful enrichment program. We have an urgent interest in bolstering the world’s nuclear nonproliferation framework and enforcement and verification mechanism. And the new START treaty signed yesterday by President Obama and President Medvedev in Prague helps us advance that goal.
The United States and Russia still today have over 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons, and the new START treaty will mean lower, verifiable limits on the number of strategic nuclear weapons deployed in our countries. Ratification of the treaty will also allow us to continue establishing a more constructive partnership with Russia. And that’s important in its own right, but also because Russia is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and our cooperation is a prerequisite for moving forward with tough, internationally binding sanctions on Iran.
The diplomatic benefits of ratifying the new START treaty could also extend to our cooperation with other countries. In agreeing to abide by the new START treaty, we would demonstrate that the United States is living up to our obligations under the NPT. This boosts our credibility as we ask other countries to help shore up the nonproliferation regime. It’s becoming increasingly fragile, and we need a stronger hand as we push for action against nuclear proliferators.
Now, I’m not suggesting that a move by the United States and Russia to reduce our nuclear stockpiles will convince Iran or North Korea to change their behavior. But ask yourselves, can our efforts help to bring not only the new START treaty into force, but by doing so help persuade other nations to support serious sanctions against Iran? I believe they could. And since I’m on the phone or in meetings constantly with heads of state or government, foreign ministers and others, making the case that they must join us in these strong sanctions against Iran, I know from firsthand experience that this START treaty has left little room for some nations to hide. They are finding it more and more difficult to make the case that they don’t have their own responsibilities.
I believe the new START treaty does put us in a better position to strengthen the nonproliferation regime when parties to the Nonproliferation Treaty meet together in May. Now, we’ll need support to oppose – to impose tougher penalties on violators and create new, 21st century tools to disrupt these proliferation networks.
The foundation provided by our military planners in our Nuclear Posture Review has also strengthened our hand. It contains our newly announced assurance that the United States will not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states that are in compliance with their nuclear nonproliferation obligations. We believe states that shun nuclear weapons and abide by their commitments under the NPT should not have to fear a nuclear attack. For states not covered by this assurance, there is a range of options in which our nuclear weapons will play a role in deterring a conventional, chemical, or biological attack against us, our allies or partners.
Now, the second major element of our strategy is a global effort to secure vulnerable nuclear material and enhance nuclear security. This, unfortunately, is not a theoretical issue. When the United States first started working to secure nuclear materials overseas – principally in the former Soviet Union – our teams of experts found highly radioactive materials stored in open fields without any security. They discovered fissile materials – the ingredients for nuclear bombs – warehoused in facilities without electricity, telephones, or armed guards. The International Atomic Energy Agency has released the details of 15 cases of smuggling involving weapons-grade nuclear materials since 1993. But we have no idea how many other smuggling operations have gone undetected. Nuclear terrorism has been called the world’s most preventable catastrophe. But to prevent it, the world needs to act.
And the importance of this issue demands American leadership. So next Tuesday, the President will convene a meeting in Washington as part of an unprecedented summit intent on keeping nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists. To put it in context, this summit hosted by the United States is the largest conference since the one that came together around the founding of the United Nations in 1945.
Many of the countries who will be there have already taken concrete steps to strengthen nuclear security. And we expect announcements of further progress on this issue during our talks. But we will also hear from other countries that are helping us keep a very close watch on anyone we think could be part of a network that could lead to the sale of or transfer of nuclear material to al-Qaida or other terrorist organizations. We are trying to make this Summit the beginning of sustained international effort to lock down the world’s vulnerable nuclear materials within four years and reduce the possibility that these materials will find their way into the hands of terrorists.
Two Senators – Republican Richard Lugar and former Senator – Democratic Sam Nunn – have worked together to champion this issue since the Cold War ended. Their bipartisan cooperation and the threat reduction legislation that bears their names – now Lugar legislation – has helped to make securing nuclear materials a priority for both Republican and Democratic administrations. And I think their work has made the world safer.
A lot of times that Senator McConnell and I believe in and that I was privileged to do for eight years in the Senate and that he does every day in the Senate today that we think is the most important, doesn’t get the headlines. Getting rid of nuclear material is not something that is going to get people excited on cable TV. And yet that work is among the most important that any senators have done in the last 20 years. And it moves toward a vision of a world, a world in which nuclear materials are not easily available in all states – adopt responsible stewardship of all nuclear materials as part of their basic obligations.
Finally, the third component of our strategy must be to maintain a safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent ourselves. For generations, our nuclear forces have helped prevent proliferation by providing our non-nuclear allies in NATO, the Pacific, and elsewhere with reassurance and security. An ally or a partner that has confidence that the United States and our arsenal will be there to defend them in the event of an attack is a country that is less likely to develop its own nuclear deterrent. And we are committed to continuing that stabilizing role for us as long as nuclear weapons exist.
Our latest budget request asks for significant resources to modernize our nuclear complex and maintain our nuclear arsenal. Our budget devotes $7 billion for maintaining our nuclear weapons stockpile and complex. This commitment is $600 million more than Congress approved last year. And over the next five years we intend to boost funding for these important activities by more than $5 billion dollars. We are committed to reducing the role and number of our nuclear weapons. But at the same time, we are investing to ensure that the weapons we retain in our stockpile are safe, secure, and effective.
The fact that we are maintaining this arsenal does not mean that we intend to use it. We are determined to see that nuclear weapons are never used again. But the new START treaty will enable us to retain a strong, flexible deterrent. And our military will continue to deploy every leg of what’s called our nuclear triad – land-based missiles, submarine-based missiles, and bombers.
The treaty will enable us to maintain this arsenal, and also provide strong verification provisions. We think it will enable us to develop greater understanding maybe even allow trust between Russian and American forces, while eliminating potential opportunities for mistakes and miscalculation.
Now, one aspect of our deterrent that we specifically did not limit in this treaty is missile defense. The agreement has no restrictions on our ability to develop and deploy our planned missile defense systems or long-range conventional strike weapons now or in the future. The Pentagon’s recent Quadrennial Defense Review and Ballistic Missile Defense Review both emphasize that improving our missile defense and conventional capabilities will help strengthen our deterrence. And in the future, we feel that regional missile defense will be an important source of protection for allies as well. Used wisely, missile defense could further reduce our dependence on nuclear weapons.
So these three elements of our strategy – strengthening the nuclear nonproliferation regime, combating the threat of nuclear terrorism, and maintaining a safe nuclear deterrent – are not new. And they’re not controversial. Leaders in both parties have been pursuing these goals together for years.
In the course of our work at the State Department and when I was in the Senate, sometimes when you face really tough challenges, it’s hard to sort through all of the different course of actions available to you. And there are times when people of good will and great intellect have diverging views on how to deal with complex issues. But I don’t think this is one of those times.
The new START agreement is the latest chapter in the history of American nuclear responsibility. It’s a chapter that’s been co-authored by Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and even further back and overwhelming majorities in the U.S. Congress. Now, we believe strongly that is in our nation’s best interest and I’m confident that once senators have a chance to study this new treaty, we will have same high levels of bipartisan support as the agreements that this one builds upon.
But underlining it all is that we are trying to maneuver through a period when our enemies are not just other states who we think of as rational actors, even if we profoundly disagree with them. They are these terrorist networks. And we have to think simultaneously, both about building confidence among other nations, including Russia and other nuclear armed nations, so that they make common cause with us against rogue states and terrorist networks, and sending a message that no state is better off if it pursues nuclear weapons, and any state that gives safe haven to any terrorist network that pursues nuclear weapons is at risk. By ratifying this treaty, the United States won’t give up anything of strategic importance. But in return, we will receive significant, tangible benefits.
Protecting the United States of America from nuclear attack is an issue that should be important to every single American. It’s been an issue where our two political parties have always found common ground – with good reason. And advancing these efforts is critical to 21st century national security. These issues will be with us a long time. But if we are true to the legacy of cooperation we have inherited from our predecessors, then I am convinced we can deliver a safer world to the next generation and, indeed, Mitch, to the next generation of policy leaders and decision makers.
And I expect some of you in this audience to be sitting in these chairs and making these speeches in the future. And I want you to know that we did our very best to pass on to you a world that was safer and one in which the threat of nuclear attack was diminished and where we found common cause internationally to isolate those who would pursue nuclear weapons from any place in the world.
I’m convinced that the United States is once again in the lead, as we always have been, and that leadership position is an opportunity for us to demonstrate that we can make our country safer, our world safer, and chart a new and better future.
Thank you all very much. (Applause.)
MR. GREGG: I suppose that applause was for Secretary Clinton. But I thank her for a very substantive address and honoring us with that this morning. She has agreed to take a few questions. So think quickly. We have three people with microphones in the audience. Identify yourselves, hold your microphones up high. Please wait till the microphone gets to you and speak in it in a manner that’s a question and not a statement pretending to be a question.
We’re going to go straight right here to the first hand that I see.
QUESTION: Senator, could you comment on the fact that Israel may not attend the summit that you’ve discussed?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, actually, Israel will attend. The prime minister cannot attend, but the deputy prime minister will be there. And I think it’s especially important that Israel will be at this conference because Israel shares with us a deep concern about Iran’s nuclear ambitions and also about the threat of nuclear terrorism.
MR. GREGG: Let’s go right in the middle, then we’ll come over to this side. Right behind you.
QUESTION: Thank you. Thank you very much for joining us today, Secretary Clinton. We are immensely proud to have you here at the McConnell Center with us today. Will this treaty be able to strengthen the effectiveness of economic sanctions against rogue states like North Korea and Iran without Chinese involvement?
SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s a very good question. You must be one of those McConnell scholars. (Laughter.) Actually, I think the answer is a yes, and here’s why. We have noticed in the last several weeks that the Chinese have become more willing to engage with us on Iran. They have been deeply engaged with us on North Korea. And the fact that the United States and Russia reached agreement on this treaty, and in the Nuclear Posture Review we point out that we’re aware that China is modernizing its military forces and we would seek to have the same kind of strategic dialogue with China that we have historically had with Russia going back to presidents in the 19 – late ‘40s and ‘50s sends a very clear message that this issue of nuclear proliferation is a matter that Russia is concerned with as well as the United States, and that increasingly, China is hearing from a lot of other countries, countries in the Gulf, countries that believe that Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons will destabilize the Gulf region, that would potentially lead to instability in the oil markets, and China is very dependent upon the Gulf – Iran, Saudi Arabia, et cetera – for oil and gas.
So I think that the cooperation between the United States and Russia has been very beneficial in getting Chinese participation so that the Chinese have begun engaging with us at the United Nations in the drafting of this resolution that we are putting together for Security Council consideration. And I think that the Chinese have become convinced over the last months of what we are definitely convinced of, and that is that Iran is pursuing a program that is hard to explain in terms of the peaceful use of nuclear weapons, and therefore China does not want to look as though it doesn't care about something that has such grave consequences for the world.
With respect to North Korea, our mechanism for dealing with North Korea is one that we inherited from the Bush Administration that we actually think makes a lot of sense. It’s called the Six-Party Talks. So China and Russia, the United States, South Korea, Japan, and North Korea are the parties to it. And China has been very strong in pushing North Korea to get back to the talks.
Now, both countries, for different reasons, in the last year have experienced a lot of turmoil, turbulence, instability in their own regimes. In North Korea, the leadership – what do they call him, the Dear Leader – has had some health problems. Kim Jong-il has had some difficulties with some of the economic policies that he’s put forward that has engendered real popular protest on the part of North Koreans. So it’s been difficult to get this regime to move back into the Six-Party Talks, but our alliance with China, Russia, and South Korea and Japan is very strong, and I believe we will eventually get there.
In Iran, because of the elections and the protests and the opposition and the way that the leadership, both the clerical leadership and the elected leadership, have treated the protestors, it’s difficult to get decisions made out of Iran of any real consequence. So this has been a turbulent time to press these two countries, but I feel very encouraged by the unity that we’ve had in both instances. And so as we move forward this month in the Security Council, we’re going to get as strong a resolution as we possibly can. And then we also know that countries like the United States, like the European Union countries, are ready to impose more sanctions. And people say to me, “Well, Iran’s been sanctioned before. What difference is it going to make?”
But if you look at what we were able to accomplish last year in the toughest sanctions against North Korea, Resolution 1874, we have had international support for interdicting North Korean arms shipments. Countries from Thailand to even Burma, South Africa, the UAE, others have all worked together under the aegis of the Security Council resolution. And if we can get something in that ballpark on Iran, that will give us an international mechanism to really put some pressure on Iran, unlike what we’ve had available before. And I personally think it is only after we show international unity that the Iranians will – that there will be any chance that the Iranians will actually negotiate with the international community.
So people – a lot of my counterparts around the world say, “Well, we don’t – want to try to solve this diplomatically.” Well, sanctions, using the United Nations Security Council, is diplomacy and it’s international diplomacy. And we need that kind of international front against Iran, and that’s what we’re attempting to put together in the Security Council.
QUESTION: Thank you, Senator, Secretary Clinton. It’s an honor to see you. But you said in the treaty countries will be asked to not pursue a nuclear program. The U.S. is, like you said, spending more money on nuclear program. What other countries will be allowed to spend on nuclear defenses?
SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s a good question also, because when the Nonproliferation Treaty came into effect, there was a basic bargain to the treaty. And countries that didn’t have nuclear weapons – and there were some that already had acknowledged nuclear weapons – were supposed to move toward disarmament. And actually, the United States, the former Soviet Union, now the United States and Russia, kept their part of the bargain. We did move toward, as I read to you some of the different treaties that have been signed between our two countries cutting certain classes of weapons and certain kinds of delivery systems.
And so there are three pillars to the Nonproliferation Treaty. One is disarmament, one is nonproliferation, and one is the peaceful use of nuclear weapon – nuclear energy, the peaceful use of nuclear energy for civil nuclear purposes. So the United States will continue to demonstrate its willingness, in concert with Russia, because we have so many more weapons than any of the other countries by a very, very big margin. And other countries that have pursued nuclear weapons, like India and Pakistan, for example, have done so in a way that has upset the balance of nuclear deterrent, and that’s why we’re working with both countries very hard to try to make sure that their nuclear stockpiles are well tended to and that they participate with us in trying to limit the number of nuclear weapons. And both of them will be in Washington this next week.
But I’m a realist. And as long as there are nuclear weapons in the world, the United States will have nuclear weapons. We will not unilaterally disarm. We will maintain our nuclear deterrent. We will invest, not in new weapons, but in ensuring that the weapons we have are as effective as they would need to be in order for our deterrent to be credible. And the countries that we know that have actively pursued nuclear weapons that are still doing so today – North Korea, which we know has somewhere between one and six nuclear weapons, and Iran – and that’s why we’re emphasizing so much international efforts against both of them to try to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons in the first place.
MR. GREGG: The young lady dying for an answer right back here.
QUESTION: Thanks for being here, Secretary Clinton. With respect to Iran’s noncompliance, how is the U.S. practically, socially, and financially prepared for a potential war with Iran?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we have been very clear that our preference and what we’re working toward is international action that would isolate Iran and change the calculus of the Iranian leadership. Let me explain what I mean by that.
The only way we think we’re going to convince the Iranians to give up nuclear weapons is if they conclude they will be less safe with them than without them, and that they – their economy and their society will suffer sufficiently that the tradeoff is no longer worth it to them. And there, I think, are a number of different ways that that kind of calculus could change in the Iranian mindset. For example, if the Iranians believe that by having nuclear weapons they will be able to intimidate their neighbors in the Gulf, they’re mistaken, because those neighbors will either pursue nuclear weapons for themselves, further destabilizing the region, or they will be provided support from us to defend themselves against a nuclear-armed Iran.
So if you’re sitting in Iran and you see the absolute commitment of the international community to prevent this from happening and actions are taken to interfere with your financing and banking system, to go after groups and individuals who play a role in the nuclear program, to figure out ways to try to impinge on your energy sector or your arms flow, it begins to – you begin to pay a cost. And I don’t think Iran wants to be North Korea. They consider themselves a great culture and society going back to Persian times. They see themselves in a leadership role in the world.
So what we believe is likely to happen is a real debate within Iran if we can get to the kind of international isolation that such sanctions would bring. Now, we’ve always said – and Secretary Gates and I did a number of interviews and press events around these – the Nuclear Posture Review and the START treaty in the last week, and we’ve always said that, look, all options are on the table. But clearly, our preference is to create conditions that will lead to changes in the policy of the Iranian Government toward the pursuit of nuclear weapons, which, by the way, is their stated policy. Their leadership says all the time we have no intention of obtaining nuclear weapons. It’s just difficult to put all the facts together and square that with their stated intentions, so we’re going to put them to the test.
MR. GREGG: Let’s go back to this side for one more. Is there one on this side? Straight back.
QUESTION: Thank you, Senator Clinton. Given the fact that probably the Cuban missile crisis may be the greatest example of a deterrent, that’s been almost 50 years ago. Is there any talk within the Department of maybe normalizing relationships with Cuba?
SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s a really – that’s a topic of conversation a lot. I don’t think that there is any question that, at some point, the people of Cuba should have democratically elected leaders and should have a chance to chart their own future. But unfortunately, I don’t see that happening while the Castros are still in charge. And so what President Obama has done is to create more space, more family travel, more business opportunities to sell our farm products or for our telecom companies to compete dealing with common issues that we have with Cuba like migration or drug trafficking. In fact, during the height of the terrible catastrophe in Haiti because of the earthquake, we actually helped some of the Cuban doctors get medical supplies who were already operating there.
So there are ways in which we’re trying to enhance our cooperation. But it is my personal belief that the Castros do not want to see an end to the embargo and do not want to see normalization with the United States, because they would then lose all of their excuses for what hasn’t happened in Cuba in the last 50 years. And I find that very sad, because there should be an opportunity for a transition to a full democracy in Cuba. And it’s going to happen at some point, but it may not happen anytime soon.
And just – if you look at any opening to Cuba, you can almost chart how the Castro regime does something to try to stymie it. So back when my husband was president and he was willing to make overtures to Cuba and they were beginning to open some doors, Castro ordered the – his military to shoot down these two little unarmed planes that were dropping pamphlets on Cuba that came from Miami. And just recently, the Cubans arrested an American who was passing out information and helping elderly Cubans communicate through the internet, and they’ve thrown him in jail. And they recently let a Cuban prisoner die from a hunger strike. So it’s a dilemma.
And I think for the first time, because we came in and said, look, we’re willing to talk and we’re willing to open up, and we saw the way the Cubans responded. For the first time, a lot of countries that have done nothing but berate the United States for our failure to be more open to Cuba have now started criticizing Cuba because they’re letting people die. They’re letting these hunger strikers die. They’ve got 200 political prisoners who are there for trivial reasons. And so I think that many in the world are starting to see what we have seen a long time, which is a very intransigent, entrenched regime that has stifled opportunity for the Cuban people, and I hope will begin to change and we’re open to changing with them, but I don’t know that that will happen before some more time goes by (Applause.)
MR. GREGG: Madam Secretary, George Schultz, James Baker, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and today, Secretary Hillary Clinton, thank you for your service to the United States, thank you for being at the University of Louisville.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much. (Applause.)


Founding Member
Regular Member
Feb 17, 2009
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Iran - Spokesman: Security summit of nuclear countries denounced

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mihman-Parast on Saturday criticized holding of a security summit by countries possessing nuclear weapons.

Talking to IRNA, he added that the nations cannot believe such a gesture by those countries armed with nuclear weapons who say they are willing to reduce these weapons throughout the globe.

The US President Barack Obama’s 47-country nuclear security summit conference is to be held on April 12-13 in Washington.

Mihman-Parast also criticized the approach of certain nuclear countries to deprive other nations of pursuance of nuclear energy for peaceful means.

Nuclear disarmament will only be materialized when the will of the independent and freedom loving countries are practiced, he reiterated.

Referring to cancellation of a trip to Washington for the confab by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he said the illegitimate Zionist regime has left nothing for defending its criminal approach. Even those countries supporting that regime have no way other than condemning its crimes, he added.

According to reports, Netanyahu cancelled his planned trip to Washington after learning that Egypt and Turkey intended to raise the issue of Israel’s presumed arsenal at the conference.

The Zionists’ arsenals as well as its use of weapons of mass destruction and its crimes against civilians in Palestine and Lebanon are even condemned by Israel’s allies, the FM spokesman added.


Tihar Jail
Oct 2, 2009
US accepts India's stand on not signing NPT: State Dept Advisor

2010-04-10 12:10:00
The United States has said that it realises that India would never sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and that it accepts New Delhi's stance on the issue.

Speaking during a briefing on the new US nuclear policy here, Special Adviser on non-proliferation and arms control to the US Department of State, Robert Einhorn, said it wants country like India and China to approve the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), following its approval by the US Senate.

Responding to a question as to why India, Israel and Pakistan were not included in the NPT, Einhorn said the Obama Administration wants these nations to work with it to help prevent proliferation of nuclear arms and technology know-how's.

"We call on all countries, whether they have chosen to join the NPT or not, to work together to limit, to prevent, the threat of further nuclear proliferation. Whether you're an NPT party or not, there's a common interest in ensuring that this regime does not unravel," The Dawn quoted Einhorn, as saying.

He also expressed concerns at the expanding nuclear capabilities of countries like Iran and North Korea, which have rejected America's non-proliferation regime. (ANI)


Tihar Jail
Oct 2, 2009
India, Pakistan have upset balance of nuclear deterrence: US

WASHINGTON: The manner in which India and Pakistan have pursued atomic weapons has "upset the balance of nuclear deterrence", secretary of state Hillary Clinton on Saturday said, asserting the US is working hard with both countries to try to limit their number of nuclear stockpiles.

"There are three pillars to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. One is disarmament, one is non-proliferation, and one is the peaceful use of nuclear weapons, the peaceful use of nuclear energy for civil nuclear purposes," Clinton said in her speech on nuclear non-proliferation at the University of Louisville.

"So the United States will continue to demonstrate its willingness, in concert with Russia, because we have so many more weapons than any of the other countries -- you know, by a very, very big margin," she said in her speech on 'No Greater Danger: Protecting our nation and allies from nuclear terrorism and nuclear proliferation', in Kentucky.

"Other countries that have pursued nuclear weapons -- like India and Pakistan, for example -- have done so in a way that has upset the balance of nuclear deterrence," Clinton said.

"And that's why we're working with both countries very hard to try to make sure that their nuclear stockpiles are, you know, well tended to, and that they participate with us in trying to limit the number of nuclear weapons. And both of them will be in Washington next week," she said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would represent India at the Nuclear Security Summit next week convened by US President Barack Obama, which is being attended by more than 40 world leaders including Pakistani premier Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani.


Senior Member
Oct 5, 2009
Netanyahu pulls out of summit 'to avoid nuclear spotlight'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's abrupt withdrawal on Thursday from next week's nuclear summit in Washington has underscored Israeli reluctance to expose its own nuclear programme to scrutiny.

The invitation to attend the 47-nation summit on nuclear security hosted by US President Barack Obama posed a dilemma for Netanyahu.

Israel desperately wanted to discuss the perceived threat from Iran's nuclear drive and the risk that Islamist extremists could get hold of an atomic bomb.

At the same time, it did not want the spotlight turned on its own alleged nuclear arsenal.

"From the start, everyone said attending the conference would put him in a trap, but Netanyahu insisted," the mass-circulation Yediot Aharonot newspaper said on Friday.

"The prime minister wanted to go. He is very committed to the agenda set for the conference, how to maintain nuclear safety and prevent terrorists obtaining nuclear weapons," a senior Israeli official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Netanyahu will instead send Intelligence and Atomic Energy Minister Dan Meridor.

Israel's commitment to halting nuclear proliferation in the region is evident, as is its uniquely aggressive approach -- bombing an Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981 and reportedly attacking what many believe to have been a nascent Syrian reactor in 2007.

Israel has threatened to strike Iran to goad the international community towards imposing further sanctions on arch-foe Tehran. Israel and the West believe Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

Israel also fears the consequences of a nuclear weapon falling into the hands of radical Islamic groups that have vowed to destroy the Jewish state.

"This is a very, very serious issue that nuclear weapons, even crude nuclear weapons, would find their way into the hands of terrorists and the consequences could be very very dire for all of humanity," Netanyahu said on Wednesday.

But in the end this commitment was overshadowed by fears that the conference would be hijacked to focus on Israel's nuclear programme.

"Recently we learned some countries were going to use it as an excuse to bash Israel" over the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Israeli official said, explaining the late-night decision to pull out.

Like nuclear-armed countries India, Pakistan, and North Korea, Israel is not party to the nuclear NPT in order to avoid international inspections.

Foreign military experts believe Israel has an arsenal of several hundred nuclear warheads, but Israel has never publicly acknowledged it has nuclear weapons and has maintained a policy of deliberate ambiguity since it inaugurated its Dimona nuclear reactor in 1965.

Israel has consistently insisted it will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East.

In 1969, Israeli leaders undertook not to make any statement on their country's nuclear potential or carry out any nuclear test, while Washington agreed to refrain from exerting pressure on the issue.

However, some believe that Netanyahu backed out of the trip not over nuclear concerns but because of Israel's recent rift with Washington.

"It is more connected to Israel's relations with the US. It was a mistake to go to Washington last time and they learned the lesson," said Efraim Inbar, the director of the Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies.

Netanyahu returned from talks with Obama last month to a wave of derision in the Israeli press, with a showdown over Jewish settlement construction in east Jerusalem unresolved amid some of the most open hostility in US-Israeli relations in years.

Netanyahu has not yet come up with a response to US demands aimed at paving the way for fresh peace talks with the Palestinians.

Even before Netanyahu's announcement, the White House had said Obama had no plans to hold talks with the Israeli leader during the nuclear meeting in light of their recent tete-a-tete behind closed doors.

"Because Israel has not answered Obama's demands, why expose him to more pressure and have Obama treat him badly again?" said Inbar.


Tihar Jail
Oct 2, 2009
Obama's faulty new start

Tarun Vijay, 11 April 2010, 05:55 PM IST
The US president's “New Start” policy to reduce nuclear arms could soon lose credibility if his secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton continues to show public affection towards despotic and autocratic regimes, forgetting the basic decency to respect time-tested democracies and an Indian leadership committed to preventing nuclear proliferation.

It's not the first time she has hurt Indians. Should she be doing it just to get a foothold in an Islamic republic that can be pushed, manoeuvred and compromised with dollar grants and hence is needed to facilitate more US role in the region? India certainly doesn't need the mercy or charity of Washington. We will take care of Indian interests in the region, with America's cooperation or without it. If today the leadership is weak and yielding to US pressures, it's only a matter of time before we will replace it with a more youthful and nationalistic one.

Hillary must remain loyal to her country's interests. It's not her mandate to take care of Indian sensitivities. Yet, is she really serving American values by embarrassing India at a security summit? Can Obama and Hillary reverse all that was once represented by Thomas Jefferson and Lincoln?

A flabbier Pakistan, fattened on US dollars and left free to destabilize India through tacit and open support to terrorists would be potentially more dangerous for nuclear proliferation strengthening fears to have the Taliban steal nukes one day suddenly. And none but Hillary and her president Obama would be responsible for having weakened a war against terrorism.

Pakistan has a record of being the most dangerous nuclear proliferator in the world. It has had a strong friendship with another nuclear power, China, which has been its most coveted accomplice in getting nuclear knowhow and military hardware. It's an alliance that has a direct bearing on India's security as we have had wars with both countries, both have illegally occupied our land, and with both we have unsettled boundaries. It's also interesting that Obama's odyssey with China and Pakistan continues full steam and both are powered and controlled by undemocratic norms and forces, one being a one-party system with a Communist regime whose human rights record can't make the US feel proud and the other is simply a withering state dependent on Washington's doles.

So, cozying up to non-democratic states and putting pressure on the greatest democracy, the only one that can be said to be holding a beacon light of liberty and pluralism in the entire region, is hyphenated with the terror factories. That's the message from Washington, where Obama is holding a security summit in order to prevent an attack from loose nuclear materials.

It's humiliating for us to see our Prime Minister, representing more than a billion-strong nation, having made to listen to words of Hillary Clinton, which can at best be described as completely off the mark and childish. Last week in Kentucky she said: “Other countries that have pursued nuclear weapons — like India and Pakistan, for example — have done so in a way that has upset the balance of nuclear deterrence.” Adding to the insult, treating India as an errant schoolboy she said: “And that's why we're working with both countries very hard to try to make sure that their nuclear stockpiles are, you know, well tended to, and that they participate with us in trying to limit the number of nuclear weapons. And both of them will be in Washington next week.”

Weighing India and Pakistan on the same scale? Can there be a more atrocious diplomacy than that? Why do we have to accept this patronizing attitude?

This attitude also goes against the spirit and the declared goals of Obama's AfPak policy. He described on March 27, 2009, one of the major goals as, “I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future. That's the goal that must be achieved. That is a cause that could not be more just.”

Obama just can't achieve this unless India is actively involved and taken as a partner on an even keel rather than to be called at a summit and put on a par with jihad factories.

If that has been Obama and Hillary's attitude, what have our leaders been doing?

Isn't it the power that we wield and show and behave in accordance with our status decides how others nation would look at us? Look at US-Russian relations. Not exactly on major global issues Russia's iron man Putin supported Washington, in fact I he emerged as the biggest challenger to the unipolar situation, yet the US worked hard for one full year to have the Russians accept sign US-Russian arms treaty, dubbed the “New START”. It's significant to note that the relations between the two countries were not cordial largely due to a spat over US missile defences, an expansion of Nato to Russia's doorstep and Moscow's invasion of Georgia in August 2008. Yet, the US had to work hard to improve the situation and it was commented upon that for the Russians, the mere fact that the US spent so much time and effort negotiating an arms arrangement helped bolster Moscow's claim to being a global force and not just another regional power.

India's status in the comity of nations is compromised by the “ready to accept US dictate” leadership that fails the trust of people who look up to them as their leaders. Manmohan Singh, once he became Prime Minister, should have behaved as the leader of the nation and not as a party spokesman. Then alone could he have understood the need to stand up erect in the face of Washington's misguided overtures that have put our respectability and a very credible record as a responsible nuclear nation at a low we didn't deserve.


Tihar Jail
Oct 2, 2009
Agenda of Nuclear Talks Leaves Out a New Threat

WASHINGTON — Three months ago, American intelligence officials examining satellite photographs of Pakistani nuclear facilities saw the first wisps of steam from the cooling towers of a new nuclear reactor. It was one of three plants being constructed to make fuel for a second generation of nuclear arms. The message of those photos was clear: While Pakistan struggles to make sure its weapons and nuclear labs are not vulnerable to attack by Al Qaeda, the country is getting ready to greatly expand its production of weapons-grade fuel.

The Pakistanis insist that they have no choice. A nuclear deal that India signed with the United States during the Bush administration ended a long moratorium on providing India with the fuel and technology for desperately needed nuclear power plants.

Now, as critics of the arrangement point out, the agreement frees up older facilities that India can devote to making its own new generation of weapons, escalating one arms race even as President Obama and President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia sign accords to shrink arsenals built during the cold war.

Mr. Obama met with the leaders of India and Pakistan on Sunday, a day ahead of a two-day Washington gathering with 47 nations devoted to the question of how to keep nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists. In remarks to reporters about the summit meeting, Mr. Obama called the possibility of a terrorist organization obtaining a nuclear weapon represented “the single biggest threat to U.S. security, both short-term, medium-term and long-term.”

The summit meeting is the largest gathering of world leaders called by an American president since Franklin D. Roosevelt organized the 1945 meeting in San Francisco that created the United Nations. (He died two weeks before the session opened.) But for all its symbolism and ceremony, this meeting has quite limited goals: seeking ways to better secure existing supplies of bomb-usable plutonium and highly enriched uranium. The problem that India and Pakistan represent, though, is deliberately not on the agenda.

“President Obama is focusing high-level attention on the threat that already exists out there, and that’s tremendously important,” said Sam Nunn, the former Democratic senator from Georgia who has devoted himself to safeguarding global stockpiles of weapons material — enough, by some estimates, to build more than 100,000 atom bombs. “But the fact is that new production adds greatly to the problem.”

Nowhere is that truer than Pakistan, where two Taliban insurgencies and Al Qaeda coexist with the world’s fastest-growing nuclear arsenal. According to a senior American official, Mr. Obama used his private meeting Sunday afternoon with Yousaf Raza Gilani, Pakistan’s newly empowered prime minister, to “express disappointment” that Pakistan is blocking the opening of negotiations on a treaty that would halt production of new nuclear material around the world.

Experts say accelerated production in Pakistan translates into much increased risk.

“The challenges are getting greater — the increasing extremism, the increasing instability, the increasing material,” said Rolf Mowatt-Larssen of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, who as a C.I.A. officer and then head of the Energy Department’s intelligence unit ran much of the effort to understand Al Qaeda’s nuclear ambitions.

“That’s going to complicate efforts to make sure nothing leaks,” he said. “The trends mean the Pakistani authorities have a greater challenge.”

Few subjects are more delicate in Washington. In an interview last Monday, Mr. Obama avoided a question about his progress in building on a five-year, $100 million Bush administration program to safeguard Pakistan’s arms and materials.

“I feel confident that Pakistan has secured its nuclear weapons,” Mr. Obama said. “I am concerned about nuclear security all around the world, not just in Pakistan but everywhere.” He added, “One of my biggest concerns has to do with the loose nuclear materials that are still floating out there.”

Taking up the Pakistan-India arms race at the summit meeting, administration officials say, would be “too politically divisive.”

“We’re focusing on protecting existing nuclear material, because we think that’s what everyone can agree on,” one senior administration official said in an interview on Friday. To press countries to cut off production of new weapons-grade material, he said, “would take us into questions of proliferation, nuclear-free zones and nuclear disarmament on which there is no agreement.”

Mr. Obama said he expected “some very specific commitments” from world leaders.

“Our expectation is not that there’s just some vague, gauzy statement about us not wanting to see loose nuclear materials,” he said. “We anticipate a communiqué that spells out very clearly, here’s how we’re going to achieve locking down all the nuclear materials over the next four years, with very specific steps in order to assure that.”

Those efforts began at the end of the cold war, 20 years ago. Today officials are more sanguine about the former Soviet stockpiles and the focus is now wider. Last month, American experts removed weapons-grade material from earthquake-damaged Chile. The summit meeting will aim to generate the political will so that other nations and Mr. Obama’s own administration can create a surge of financial and technical support that will bring his four-year plan to fruition“It’s doable but hard,” said Matthew Bunn, a nuclear expert at Harvard. “It’s not easy to overcome secrecy, complacency, sovereignty and bureaucracy.”

Mr. Obama plans to open the summit meeting with a discussion of the scope of the terrorist threat. The big challenge, Mr. Mowatt-Larssen said, is to get world leaders to understand “that it’s a low-probability, but not a no-probability, event that requires urgent action.”

For instance, in late 2007, four gunmen attacked a South African site that held enough highly enriched uranium for a dozen atomic bombs. The attackers breached a 10,000-volt security fence, knocked out detection systems and broke into the emergency control room before coming under assault. They escaped.

During the presidential campaign, Mr. Obama promised to “increase funding by $1 billion a year to ensure that within four years, the essential ingredients of nuclear weapons are removed from all the world’s most vulnerable sites and effective, lasting security measures are instituted for all remaining sites.”

In Mr. Obama’s first year, though, financing for better nuclear controls fell by $25 million, about 2 percent.

“The Obama administration got off to an unimpressive start,” Mr. Bunn wrote in his most recent update of “Securing the Bomb,” a survey to be published Monday by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit advocacy group that Mr. Nunn helped found in Washington. But he added that its proposed budget for the 2011 fiscal year calls for a 31 percent increase.

The next phase in Mr. Obama’s arms-control plan is to get countries to agree to a treaty that would end the production of new bomb fuel. Pakistan has led the opposition, and it is building two new reactors for making weapons-grade plutonium, and one plant for salvaging plutonium from old reactor fuel.

Last month, the Institute for Science and International Security, a private group in Washington, reported that the first reactor was emitting steam. That suggests, said Paul Brannan, a senior institute analyst, that the “reactor is at least at some state of initial operation.”

Asked about the production, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, said, “Pakistan looks forward to working with the international community to find the balance between our national security and our contributions to international nonproliferation efforts.”

In private, Pakistani officials insist that the new plants are needed because India has the power to mount a lightning invasion with conventional forces.

India, too, is making new weapons-grade plutonium, in plants exempted under the agreement with the Bush administration from inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency. (Neither Pakistan nor India has signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.)

The Obama administration has endorsed the Bush-era agreement. Last month, the White House took the next step, approving an accord that allows India to build two new reprocessing plants. While that fuel is for civilian use, critics say it frees older plants to make weapons fuel.

“The Indian relationship is a very important one,” said Mr. Nunn, who influenced Mr. Obama’s decision to endorse a goal of ridding the world of nuclear weapons. But he said that during the Bush years, “I would have insisted that we negotiate to stop their production of weapons fuel. Sometimes in Washington, we have a hard time distinguishing between the important and the vital.”


Tihar Jail
Oct 2, 2009
Nations mull plan to tighten security of nuclear materials

Siddharth Varadarajan
Misunderstandings abound over the summit agenda
Summit helps draw the spotlight away from the threat posed by nuclear weapon states

Concerned states keep nuclear weapons out of the purview of the summit declaration

Washington: Conceived with theatrical flourish by President Barack Obama last April, the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) which gets under way here on Monday combines the pursuit of a serious agenda — how to physically secure sensitive nuclear materials around the world so that terrorists don't get hold of them — with an element of smoke and mirrors.

After all, many countries whose nuclear programmes, resources or ambitions should have led to an invite are not here, including Iran and North Korea. And many of those who say the world should do more for the physical protection of nuclear and radiological material — including the U.S. — have themselves not acceded to basic international agreements dealing with these issues such as the 2005 Amendment to the International Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material or the International Convention on the Suppression of Nuclear Terrorism.

Welcome though the heightened international focus on nuclear terrorism is, the high-profile nature of the summit — 37 of the participating 47 countries are represented at the level of President or Prime Minister — also helps draw the spotlight away from the threat posed to the world by the arsenals and doctrines of nuclear weapon states such as the U.S.

One year after publicly declaring himself in favour of a nuclear weapon-free world, for example, Mr. Obama unveiled a Nuclear Posture Review which continues to advocate their pre-emptive use.

Against this contradictory backdrop, it is hardly surprising that misunderstandings abound over what the summit is actually about. A leading British newspaper is calling it a summit on nuclear weapons and an Indian official suggested the summit might be a good occasion for India to roll out an updated version of the Rajiv Gandhi plan for global disarmament.

A summit-eve statement prepared for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who arrived here on Saturday night, initially had him saying the NSS would focus on nuclear terrorism and the “proliferation of sensitive nuclear materials and technologies.”

The P word was later replaced with ‘security,' but its initial use betrayed a certain unfamiliarity within the government of what the Washington meeting is supposed to be about.

The truth is the NSS is not about high-octane subjects like nuclear weapons, non-proliferation, arms control or disarmament. Instead, it concerns something much more prosaic: the physical security of nuclear and radiological materials around the world. Materials which, if they fall into the hands of terrorists or criminals, could allow them to make or acquire a nuclear weapon or a dirty bomb.

Ironically, Indian officials who had taken part in the preparatory work for the summit had successfully warded off suggestions early on in the process that it deal not just with physical protection of nuclear material but also proliferation and interdiction-related issues.

Early attempts to bring in links to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, to which India is not a signatory, were resisted.

At other times, India joined together with the other nuclear weapon states to keep nuclear weapons out of the purview of the summit declaration. The consensus document — which will be released on Tuesday — speaks instead of keeping all nuclear material physically secure, regardless of how the state which owns it intends to use it.


Tihar Jail
Oct 2, 2009
India & the Nuclear Security Summit

That the Indian leadership has been invited to be a participant on an equal footing with the “official” P5 nuclear powers is an indicator of its increasing acceptability at the nuclear high table.

The Nuclear Security Summit of world leaders in Washington today and tomorrow is a follow-up of the promise United States President Barack Obama made last year in his Prague speech. He said “… We must also build on our efforts to break up black markets, detect and intercept [nuclear] materials in transit, and use financial tools to disrupt this dangerous trade … And we should start by having a Global Summit on Nuclear Security that the United States will host within the next year.”

Although the stated focus of the summit is to secure nuclear materials around the world, the conference has a much broader significance. For one thing, the summit marks the restoration of Mr. Obama's arms control initiatives set in motion last year. Until recently, it looked as if these initiatives had been derailed by the Obama administration's preoccupation with domestic issues such as healthcare and the economy. But with the healthcare bill having been passed, the extension of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia negotiated and the new, less belligerent Nuclear Posture review announced, the prospects of making further progress on disarmament and arms control seem brighter now.

Aside from this, the actual discussions taking place on the two days will cover a much wider range of issues than nuclear material security. With so many heads of important nations attending it, there will no doubt be the usual hum of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the main conference dealing with a variety of regional issues and perspectives. India, in particular, will be involved in many of these private discussions.

We will return later to these larger issues that may come up in the summit, but the main agenda, that of securing nuclear materials, is important enough in its own right. Because of their somewhat technical and specialised nature, public awareness of the dangers posed by unsecured nuclear materials is much less than it deserves to be.

What are these nuclear materials and what makes their security so vital as to warrant such a high level summit of about 40 nations? The term ‘nuclear materials' (also known as fissile materials) refers to the substances which, by undergoing rapid nuclear fission, provide the explosive energy of nuclear weapons. There are very few such substances. They are mainly plutonium and two isotopes of uranium, U-235 and U-233.

Although a nuclear weapon has several sophisticated components in it, the most difficult to get hold of is its fissile material core. That is because plutonium is not available in nature, nor are large quantities of those two isotopes of uranium. Natural uranium mined from under the ground is predominantly U-238, a non-fissile material, and contains less than 1 per cent of U-235 and even smaller traces of U-233.

Therefore, in order to be used as nuclear weapon fuel, natural uranium has to be “enriched” in its U-235 content by removing most of the unwanted U-238 from it. This process of converting natural uranium into “Highly Enriched uranium” (HEU) is done in giant centrifuge plants (of A.Q. Khan fame). In the case of plutonium, it has to be entirely produced artificially by reprocessing the spent fuel of reactors. Both uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing involve very advanced, expensive and painstaking technology.

As a result, getting hold of weapon-usable fissile materials is the single biggest impediment to non-nuclear nations embarking on a nuclear weapon programme and to non-state actors producing a weapon illicitly. It is therefore obvious, especially when the danger of nuclear terrorism is no more a paranoid obsession but a possible reality, that all the fissile materials produced for weapon purposes and submarine fuel, as well as for certain research reactors by different nations should be very strictly accounted for and secured. This also includes material released from weapons dismantled in the arms reduction process.

According to the latest figures given by the International Panel on Fissile Materials the world has accumulated, in the 60 years since the birth of the nuclear age, a huge stock of such materials. There are altogether over 1,670 tonnes of HEU. Of this over 95 per cent is in the U.S. and Russia. The worldwide stock of separated weapon usable plutonium is about 500 tonnes, of which again Russia and the U.S. have the largest amounts. The U.S. has 92 tonnes, Russia 140-190 and the bulk of the rest is in the U.K., France and Japan. (More details of these stocks, their location and various other aspects of FM are available at the website

That these are very large amounts can be appreciated by noting that it takes only about 5 kg of plutonium or about 25-40 kg of HEU to make a typical Hiroshima-Nagasaki level weapon. You can hold that much plutonium in your palm. Thus all that terrorists have to do is to pilfer a tiny fraction of the hundreds of tonnes spread around the globe to threaten a disaster far worse than 9/11 or any other terrorist attack thus far.

The goal of global nuclear disarmament provides another motivation for ridding the world of fissile materials. A serious conceptual problem often raised about universal disarmament is that even if you succeed in eliminating all nuclear weapons on earth, you cannot eliminate man's knowledge of the science behind it. That genie is out of the bottle for good. What is to prevent some groups from starting to produce these weapons all over again? Is a nuclear weapon-free world a robust and stable concept? Clearly one prerequisite for preventing illicit building of nuclear weapons is to gather, fully secure and eventually eliminate all weapon-usable fissile materials.

On the same day as the Obama summit of world leaders, and parallel to it, there will also be a non-governmental summit at Washington (on Monday) in which dozens of experts from around the world are expected to participate. We will discuss at a more technical and operational level, ways of initiating multinational efforts to make the vision of securing all vulnerable materials worldwide in four years closer to reality. Our recommendations will be conveyed to the political leadership at the summit.

Rise to the occasion

Let us return to the larger implications of the summit, particularly for India. That the Indian leadership at the highest level has been invited to be a participant on an equal footing with the “official” P5 nuclear powers is an indicator of its increasing acceptability at the nuclear high table. As a country which has vehemently (and rightly) complained in the past of the discriminatory nature of NPT and other such regimes India should, now that a non-discriminatory gathering has been called, rise to the occasion and behave as an active partner in international efforts to reduce nuclear dangers. It must adopt a statesmanlike posture, as befits a responsible nuclear power, confident of taking initiatives in this regard.

The time has come for us to regain some of our stature as crusaders for nuclear disarmament. In the old Nehruvian days, we were leading proponents of nuclear disarmament at various international forums. But our efforts lacked bite, in part because we ourselves had no nuclear arsenals to give up at that time. The situation is quite different now.

Reports that India may be willing to set up an international centre on nuclear security, if true, are welcome. But it must be remembered that nuclear security is different from the security of VIPs, bank vaults or even conventional military installations, with which we are more familiar. Apart from the normal security apparatus of walls, fences, armed guards and so on, protecting nuclear materials requires familiarity with the latest technical information on fissile material detectors, and the special properties of these highly radioactive materials, even a handful of which may be sufficient to make a full-fledged nuclear weapon. There is a fair amount of information on this among expert groups both within India and abroad.

If the proposed centre on nuclear security is to be of truly high international quality, our government will do well to involve in its formation and functioning not just the expertise within government agencies, but also non-governmental experts with a high international reputation. The “daddy knows best” policy of government technocrats has cost us enough already.

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