Nuclear UnclearPosted: November 14, 2009
I have wondered time to time whether it is a coincidence that the words nuclear and unclear are acronyms and the more one sees of the world of nuclear technology the more one gets convinced that it is not a coincidence but some wise chap who thought that the similarity of the two words may also mean a similarity in their meaning. And this probably is not at the level of their application in the scientific terms but also in their application in the political terms. Which is why these reports didnt really surprise, maybe not just me, but a number of people across the world, or at least in India. The reports are carried by the leading dailies of some of the nations, of India, Pakistan, and the US. Needless to say, the way the content is presented depends on the country from which the daily comes.
Thing is, to a lot of people this doesnt come as a surprise. Here we find that two nations who have some dispute or the other with India (lets not even get into the whole thing of nations being enemies of each other, thats just too strong in terms of terminology, and just stick to facts without getting into conjecture, and see what questions or answers this leads us to) are collaborating in a way so as to ensure that India is none the better off. Who would find this surprising? Though its another thing to try to deflect the content by saying that this is only a ploy to take the pressure of India. One wonders whats the pressure on India, and why would any of these dailies try to take the pressure off India (ok, maybe Time of India, though being a free newspaper thats debatable but even so, but Washington Post?).
Even if we look at the official positions there is a question which the Times of India raises. What would be the reaction of Mr. Obama to this report? Or rather, what would be the reaction of the American foreign relations establishment to these revelations? Would America continue with their erstwhile policy of being committed to non-proliferation while at the same time not looking at what some of its allies may be doing, or whether Mr. Obama would take a stand that proliferation is not good whether done by friend or foe? To quote the Times of India report:
Unless Obama takes note of the disclosures and acts on them, he will be seen to joining a long list of US Presidents, including Reagan, Bush, Clinton, whose concern about proliferation were largely cosmetic and selective, resulting in a free pass to China and Pakistan.
What is it that makes the nuclear program of Pakistan different from that of Iran or for that matter China (member of Security Council, remember?), for example? A question which Times of India seems to be raising is whether Mr. Obama would actually try to do the right thing or simply believe that geo-politics comes secondary to a number of other considerations. Agreed, India-Pakistan relations need not be a zero sum game but the question of whether funding need be given for nuclear proliferation is something which is different altogether. After all, the establishment in Pakistan has said as much that they have diverted American aid to fighting India. Question that remains is whether this will have an impact on the way foreign policy is crafted, or whether it should have an impact at all? Since i dont know a thing about foreign policy please leave your thoughts and maybe we will all learn a lot.