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Nukes and gas - The Indian Express

Editorial ()
June 15, 1998

Title: Nukes and gas
Author: Editorial
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: June 15, 1998

Madeliene Albright probably scents a triumph of US diplomacy in
the outcome of back-to-back sessions in London of the G-8 and the
Contact Group on the Balkans, and a luncheon meeting of non-
weapons states in between. It shows the US in command of diverse
bodies, including an emerging broader coalition to deal with
South Asia. That is how the US expects the new world order to
function, a series of semi-independent wheels revolving around
Washington. On hardening economic sanctions against India and
Pakistan, the Europeans fell in line as did Canada and Japan.
That practitioner of thical foreign policy", Britain's Robin
Cook, had no trouble with his conscience. Russia, in the grip of
another severe financial crisis, had little choice but to go
along.

To crown Albright's success there was the mixed bunch at lunch:
China as President Clinton's newest and staunchest non-
proliferalion ally, the Philippines as chair of the Asean
Regional Forum (a quasi-security organisation on which India is
represented) and countries who heave given up nuclear weapons -
South Africa, Brazil and Ukraine. The clever idea here is to
prove India and a number of eminent Americans, Swedes, etc wrong,
that non-proliferation is not about protecting the P-5 monopoly
of nuclear weapons. And so, from this US-made fortress of the
right and the good and the mighty has come another list of dos
and don'ts for India and Pakistan.

Unfortunately, it all sounds very hollow and will not be
effective. Here's a list of dos and don'ts for all ethical
foreign policy wallahs and especially for a "Wilsonian" US
president. 1) Punitive action against members of the P-5 who have
wrecked the NPT by transferring nuclear material and knowhow to
Israel (the US), Iran (China and Russia), Pakistan (China). 2)
Immediate determination by the Clinton Administration of export
of missiles by China. 3) China's formal accession to the Missile
Technology Control Regime. 4) Ratification of START-11 by Russia.
5) Ratification of the CTBT by China and the US. 6) De-alert all
P-5 nuclear weapons and commence negotiations immediately to make
deep cuts in arsenals. 7) Start a UN registry of all nuclear
weapons. 8) NATO to adopt a no-first-use of nukes and no threat
of nukes against non-nuclear states doctrine. Were the P-5 even
begin to think along these lines, they would soon realise what
constitutes the real and enduring threat to international peace
and stability. They must be the first to break the circular
reasoning of nuclear weapons. Why do you need nuclear weapons?
Because others have nuclear weapons. How do you vacate the
threat of nuclear weapons? With nuclear weapons. How can you
eliminate nuclear weapons? With nuclear weapons. The Russian Duma
doesn't ratify START-II because the eastern expansion of NATO
brings nukes nearer to Russia. Why extend NATO eastwards?
Because of Russian nukes. Why does Britain need nukes? Why
France? Why does the US hold on to 3,000 weapons and spend a
fortune updating them? Naked realpolitik does not work. Let the
world see some true commitment to ideals.


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