Focus: GS-II International Relations

Introduction

  • The visit of Indian Prime Minister to U.S. in 2005 was heralded as a new beginning in the US-India partnership by both the countries.
  • The highlight of the summit was an agreement to cooperate in civil nuclear power.
  • It upended the US (and international) focus on rolling back India’s nuclear weapons capabilities, and implicitly acknowledged India’s status as a nuclear weapons power.

How the Nuclear deal played out?

  • Although the US-India partnership did not begin in 2005, it certainly found its breakthrough moment that year.
  • There were people who warned that cooperation with a country which had not signed – and did not intend to sign – the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty would encourage other countries to develop nuclear weapons.
  • The US-India relationship has continued to grow since 2005 but not in the way the agreement had intended.
  • There has been no great cooperation in civilian nuclear energy.
  • Russia and France are the major nuclear suppliers to India.
  • Today solar and other renewable energy sources are attracting more attention and investment.
  • There has not been a similar grand step forward in US-India relations since 2005.

Role of China in India – U.S.

  • The rise of China was part of the US administration’s rationale in 2005 for building a stronger relationship with India.
  • At that time, India was happy to share intelligence and policy views but took the position that it did not care to be played as a card in some larger Asian strategic game focused on China.
  • Over fifteen years, China’s increasing global power as well as its territorial ambitions in both the Himalayas and the South China Sea have significantly worsened China’s relations with both India and the US.
  • After border clashes in recent years in Doklam and now Aksai Chin, India seems less hesitant about a partnership explicitly aimed at containing China.
  • In addition to new arms sales, there is a renewed commitment to the “Quad”, the informal mechanism for security discussions and more between Japan, the US, India and Australia.
  • The current US administration would be delighted to have India buy in more completely to its Indo-Pacific strategy.

Non-Proliferation Treaty

  • The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as the Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT, is an international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament
  • The NPT is often seen to be based on a central bargain: “the NPT non-nuclear-weapon states agree never to acquire nuclear weapons and the NPT nuclear-weapon states in exchange agree to share the benefits of peaceful nuclear technology and to pursue nuclear disarmament aimed at the ultimate elimination of their nuclear arsenals.”
  • The treaty defines nuclear-weapon states as those that have built and tested a nuclear explosive device before 1 January 1967; these are the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China.
  • Four other states are known or believed to possess nuclear weapons: India, Pakistan, and North Korea have openly tested and declared that they possess nuclear weapons, while Israel is deliberately ambiguous regarding its nuclear weapons status.
  • The Treaty has 189 States Parties, which is the largest number of any arms control agreement.
  • However, India, Israel and Pakistan have not signed the NPT.
  • North Korea announced its withdrawal in 2003, and further announced that it had conducted an underground nuclear explosion in 2006 and 2009.

-Source: Times of India

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