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RE: India conducts Nuclear Tests....



There is nothing new and I don't think it is rocket science to figure
out that making nuclear weapons has mixed consequences. It does cause
an upsurge of patriotism, pride, and jingoism (carry a big stick) but
it is also a diversion of resources from more productive pursuits.

I have commented on the material in the first two pages.

-Charu

Sanjeev Sabhlok[SMTP:sabhlok@almaak.usc.edu] wrote:

>Charu,
>
>You mirror my views on this. In response to your question on why the
USA
>still wants to carry on with its stockpile, please visit (some of these
>might be outdated: please let me know of other web sites that discuss
>India's defence):
>
>http://www.heritage.org/heritage/library/lecture/hl612.html 

The material at the above web page is the predictable stuff you'd
expect from an indoctrinaire right wing think tank. The theme is
"defense" though this term is used in the classical Orwellian sense-
the true meaning is ability of US to subjugate or attack without any
fear of consequences, maintaining a fear and paranoia of some
nameless, formless enemy, and also guaranteeing that military spending
be kept high so that it is funnelled into un-accounted classified
expenditures that enriches the likes of the patrons of the heritage
foundation and diverts spending from social programs. 

This material is not worthy of our consideration.

>
>http://www.fas.org/faspir/pir0494.html

The above is a report on a south-Asian conference on disarmament. There
is not much to agree or disagree with. Some of the material is
informative for example the stuff quoted below. It also reports a
compromise proposal presented by retd general Sundarji that the
nuclear powers reduce their arsenals by 90% and sign a "no-first use"
agreement. I see that as a starting point to the eventual goal of
a total ban. It does point out the US "no-first use" stance but also
the uselessness of this to a country attacked by a country with
stronger conventional forces.

	All three of the non-American delegations have their own reasons
to be 
	angry with America, but the Indians show it the most. From their
point 
	of view, America is puffing on an untold number of nuclear
cigars and  
	telling them not to smoke on the grounds that, someday in the
future,  
	they might die. No parent ever had a harder sell.



	The Chinese feel that they are being criticized for molehills of
arms  
	sales while America exports mountains-and tries to tell them how
to    
	run their country with intrusive human rights demands. But they
are    
	too polite to say much about it in public.



	And the Pakistanis, who have a right to real complaints over the

	one-sidedness of the Pressler Amendment, were remarkable in
their      
	avoidance of anti-American attitudes. No doubt even the
embargoes and  
	economic pressures applied to them diminish in significance in

	comparison with the dangers and attitudes they see in India
policy.    
OR . . .
	In the course of this discussion, it became evident that the
Indian    
	delegates most interested in no-first-use had completely ignored
the   
	very large extent to which the United States (and other states)
had    
	already adopted virtual no first-use policies while, at the same
time, 
	they enormously exaggerated the strategic significance of the

	no-first-use declarations they called for.



	An American delegate (Stone) made these two points:



	a). The United States had a "negative security assurance"
doctrine,    
	adopted at the United Nations in 1978 and constantly repeated
since,   
	which assured non-nuclear states (so long as they had endorsed
the     
	non-proliferation treaty or a comparable undertaking) that it
would    
	not use nuclear weapons against them.  (An exception for
non-nuclear   
	states engaging in aggression in alliance with nuclear
states-designed 
	for North Korea-no longer applied to any real situation since
the      
	relevant alliances with aggressive nuclear powers no longer
existed.)  


	Accordingly, the U.S. was free to use nuclear weapons first only

	against nuclear powers. But it was unthinkable that it would use
them  
	against Britain or France, unnecessary now against Russia (which
was a 
	capitalist state suffering conventional inferiority), and
totally out  
	of the question against China. Meanwhile the non-signatory
states of   
	Israel, Pakistan and India had never feared nuclear attack from
the    
	U.S. In sum, the U.S. had no significant possibility of using
nuclear  
	weapons first.



	(Indeed, U.S. officials had assured FAS that nuclear weapons
would not 
	be used against Iraq, under this doctrine, even as Iraq was

	threatening U.S. troops with another weapon of mass

	destruction-chemical weapons.)



	Experts on South Asia confirmed, as did the surprise of the
Indian     
	delegates, that this argument was absolutely unknown in South

	Asia. State Department officials please note .



	b). A no-first-use statement, even a no-first-use convention
with all  
	nuclear powers signing it, was neither verifiable nor reliable
and     
	would not have the effect the Indian delegates claimed of
removing the 
	basis for nuclear weapons. This follows because, even if all
nuclear   
	powers assert no-first-use, any specific nuclear power cannot
rely     
	sufficiently on these declarations to throw away its nuclear
weapons . 


	And as the Pakistani delegates emphasized on more than one
occasion,   
	those who sought nuclear weapons as a defense against
conventional     
	attack-rather than as an effort to deter nuclear attack-would
not have 
	their positions that much improved by no-first-use statements by

	conventionally stronger adversaries.