January 10, 2007


How Washington Learned to Stop Worrying and Love India's Bomb (Ashton B. Carter, January 10, 2007, foreignaffairs.org)

The debate is all over, at least on the U.S. side. On December 18, President George W. Bush signed into law the Henry J. Hyde United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act giving legal effect to his July 2005 promise to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to confer de facto recognition to India as a nuclear weapons state. That status has enormous symbolic importance to India and the world. It also has the practical consequence of allowing India to import nuclear technology for peaceful power production without having first to renounce its developing nuclear arsenal (which it has consistently vowed never to do). The bill passed with broad bipartisan support, including favorable votes from Democratic heavyweights such as Senator Joseph Biden (from Delaware), Representative Tom Lantos (from California), Senator John Kerry (from Massachusetts), Senator Hillary Clinton (from New York), and Senator Christopher Dodd (from Connecticut). Bush's initial deal-making was impulsive and not fully thought through. But Congressional leaders of both parties seemingly put product over process, adding only a few conditions to the deal in the final bill--many of them non-binding and none of them deal-breakers for the Indians. The lobbying also marked one of the first appearances of the Indian-American community in a major foreign affairs debate; as President Bush acknowledged at the December 18 signing, addressing Indian Americans specifically, "I want you to know that your voice was very effective." [...]

With the stroke of a pen, Bush reversed 30 years of U.S.-led nonproliferation policy, including efforts to punish India for conducting its first nuclear test after the NPT was signed. [...]

A strong strategic relationship with India will give the United States options in the event of a fundamentalist cataclysm in neighboring Pakistan or a turn for the worse in U.S.-China relations. Neither of these developments is to be hoped for, or even likely, but insurance policies are worth having anyway. More generally, over time the United States and India seem destined to travel some parallel strategic paths, and the deal allows them to prepare together earlier and more concretely for that journey. An example of this joint preparation are the growing military-to-military ties between the two countries.

The President just keeps hitting on long balls while the Right begs him to run the ball into the line to show how tough they are.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 10, 2007 8:37 AM

Amen brother, but don't worry the president will put the ship of state on its feet.

Posted by: h-man at January 10, 2007 12:35 PM

That metaphor mixes football and baseball and needs a bit of work:

'...The President just keeps hitting on long balls while the Right begs him to run the ball into the line to show how tough they are...'

How about: The President keeps hitting home runs, but the Right screams for a sacrifice bunt.

Or, The President keeps throwing the long ball, but the Right wants three yards and a cloud of dust.

Posted by: Kurt Brouwer at January 10, 2007 1:40 PM

That dreadful West Coast offense has made folks forget what it means to throw long...

Posted by: oj at January 10, 2007 3:42 PM