Sunday, September 07, 2008

Singh – Bush Nuclear Accord

Finally the president who may not exactly pronounce ‘nuclear’ correctly would preside on a lasting foreign policy success of Singh Bush Nuclear Accord. The accord is in the final leg after the approval of NSG – passing by USA Congress. It will be a surprise if it does not pass the Congress in a month or so.

Hawks on both aisles can have legitimate concerns about the accord and how it would further dilute Nuclear Non-proliferation regime. These hawks may not have any high opinion of India’s records so far in terms generally not proliferating dual use technology or nuclear material outside India. But Congress and these hawks need to understand that precisely India’s this history, India’s need of energy (whatever energy benefits of this accord are) and India’s geopolitical challenges in her neighborhood; all make passing of this accord imperative. It is obvious that geopolitical benefits of passing this accord to USA are well beyond specifics. First and for most, fundamentally Indians would regard American leadership on this front in their ‘right books’. As a result, large swath in India’s political constituency will be favorably disposed towards USA. In coming multi-polar world with the need to balance Chinese sphere of influence in Asia and world at large; this one will go as positive to America. Going forward it will be much easier for Indian political class to understand ‘geopolitical concerns of USA’ in more sensitive manner and undertake policy positions which sit well with American and global order. This will not be a mean achievement for USA (all credit to President Bush).

In short, it is far more advantageous for American Congress to pass this accord by overcoming any lingering concerns. At the end of the day, there is always some risk; but it is worth undertaking in this case. India has sufficient political depth and maturity to carry responsibilities in this case and in the end it is win – win for all.

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