Engaged for Now-February 2005
There is little technology transfer from the US, but the mindset is changing
By Pravin Sawhney
Ironically, India has to pay the price for Pakistan’s sins. Following Pakistan’s proliferation disclosures, President Bush announced his new non-proliferation initiative at the National Defence University in Washington on 11 February 2004. According to the initiative, only nations which sign the Additional Protocol will be allowed to import equipment for their civilian nuclear programme. The Additional Protocol will require nations to declare their complete nuclear activities and facilities, and allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect these facilities as well. This implies that India can no longer import nuclear materials and equipment for peaceful purposes for those facilities which are under international safeguards with the IAEA. Even Russia will be under increasing pressure to pull back from peaceful nuclear cooperation with India. The latter instead would be required to concur with a more intrusive regime covering all facilities, which it simply cannot do. This is not all.

Considering that Pakistan is more important than India in the US’ war on terror, Pakistan’s Major Non-Nato Ally (MNNA) status by the US will undermine its Next Steps in Strategic Partnership (NSSP) with India. This implies that the US will not give any high-technology to India which even remotely threatens Pakistan. In addition to all this, the US has international non-proliferation obligations under the Non Proliferation Treaty, Nuclear Suppliers Group, Missile Technology Control Regime and so on. Moreover, US domestic non-proliferation laws are multifarious, stringent and complicated. To cap this all, the US will not do anything that helps further India’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles programmes. The US bottom-line is to cap India’s strategic programmes. After all this, if India still thinks that the ongoing NSSP will deliver US’ high technology to India, it needs to enter the real world. The good thing is that the Indian government does not think so. The hype is in the media which assesses Indo-US relations with the quantum of technology delivered. Now here is the escape route for the US and Indian governments determined to improve relations. Low-level technology has started coming through the High Technology Cooperation Group (HTCG) and a bit from the NSSP (see interview with US undersecretary of commerce, Kenneth Juster, page 38, FORCE, July 2004).
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