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Nuclear deal- The US media

The reaction of the media to the just concluded nuclear deal between US and India is quite interesting to read. While the Indian press was singing praise for the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the opposite was true in the case of US president George Bush. Two articles that appeared in New York Times (NYTimes) and Washington Post (Post) summed up their criticisms.

(Although there is a good coverage of US President visit to India. I don't think it was greatly followed by the people. For example, of the top 25 articles read in New York Times in the last one week, none had US president visit to India. Also, the BBC evening bulletin at 6 PM in the terrestial network on the day when nuclear deal was announced, had no mention of the nuclear deal between India and US)

Coming back to what is being written about the deal. Two important questions are being raised. First, with US assuring of permanent supply of uranium to civilian nuclear reactors, India would free up its domestic uranium supplies to military purposes. Second, how much will the deal promote peace in the region.

David E. Sanger writing in NYTimes 'We Are (Aren't) Safer With India in the Nuclear Club', said there was no explanation how to keep Pakistan from boosting its own arsenal. For example, what if China does a similar deal with Pakistan.

"That is why some experts believe the deal could make the world more dangerous: Even if India is a responsible player, the deal could touch off a regional race to produce more bomb fuel. In that case, more of that fuel would be floating around — perhaps to tempt terrorists. If, on the other hand, India shows restraint and Mr. Bush's gamble pays off, other nations that defiantly built their own weapons may gradually be drawn back into a new club whose membership rules are still being", he added.

However, in the Post, the article titled 'In Deal with India, Bush Has Eye on China' by Paul Ritcher devoted entirely to the India- China angle. He talked of how the deal was being designed by the US administration to counter-balance the influence of China in the region.

It would be great if some articles or columns to offer India's perspective of the deal. How it would affect its relationship with China, Pakistan and Iran. And, also with Russia. How a civilian nuclear power would impact the cost of generating electricity. How much is a credible nuclear deterrent and does India has enough uranium to sustain such credible deterrent. (Probably, these question would have been dealt with and that I would have missed reading)

Comments

Dear John
I was reading the PTI ticket today, which said that India should take US prior approval before it takes Uranium from Russia. A quick recap: The Russian PM is expected in India later and they have offered Uranium for Tarapore reactors.
Aryabhata said…
The real US intentions for this deal seem to be

a) Stop India from testing further nuclear weapons perpetually. Even through there is no explicit written clause but I am sure our government has given enough guarantees.

b) Curtail the progress on India’s Fast Breeder Reactor program or Thorium based fuel cycle. Make India dependent on Uranium based reactors.

c) Allow the Tritium reserves to exhaust (half life period is very less) so that India will lack the raw materials for making Thermonuclear bombs in the future.

d) Dramatically reduce the Plutonium stock pile in India by making India part of FMCT.

e) Get extra advantage with India’s support for maintaining US global order. We are already seeing India’s foreign policy change with regards to Iran.

f) Get India perpetually dependent on Uranium based nuclear reactors.

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