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Re: Nuclear Policy




We have been talking considerably about the nuclear tests conducted. But
lets talk about how we should go on from here. Firstly I'm proud of the
fact that India carried off a nuclear test succesfully. There is no doubt
in my mind about that. What I'm most apprehensive about is the timing and
the fallout. The most likely scenario is that Pakistan will conduct a
nuclear test as well because Nawaz Sharif has to show the fundamental
elements in his country that they can do whatever India does. I do not
think the BJP is at this time make the situation worse by mass producing
nuclear weapons as this will force Pakistan to do the same. The BJP mainly
carried out the test to gain popular support in India.The Agni will go into
mass production and Pakistan will do the same with Ghauri. Ones Pakistan
conducts its nuclear test there will be euphoria in Pakistan and the common
man in Islamabad will be satisfied. Thus with the public satisfied on both
sides, the race will stop there for now as both sides know they can ill
afford to let the situation go out of control. I think Arun Gandhi's views
are naive. I respect the Mahatma greatly and I abhor violence. I think the
timing of the tests is wrong.Perhaps they should have been left for the
distant future. How should India go from this point? Renounce nuclear
weapons and sign the CTBT as the US insists? No. What Vajpayee said after
that was good. He said that India would not be the first to use a nuclear
weapon on another country. I believe that a nuclear doctrine must be
thought of carefully now and the first line should read INDIA WILL NOT BE
THE FIRST TO USE A NUCLEAR WEAPON AGAINST ANOTHER COUNTRY. Secondly, INDIA
WILL EXERCISE THE RIGHT TO DEPLOY NUCLEAR WEAPONS AS A DETERRANT. We will
have to develop the policy further. We must convey to the International
community that we are a responsible nuclear power just like the US,UK and
France. The example of Germany and Japan were brought up as great economic
powers living under the treat of nuclear weapons yet did not develop them
themselves. Firstly, the international community would not have allowed
them to do so especially after their role in World War 2. Secondly during
the cold war era there was no need to because had China threated Japan with
nuclear weapons or the USSR threatened West Germany, the US would have
confronted both these powers forcing them to step down. It is unlikely that
China would openly threaten India with nuclear weapons as that would be
seen as bullying tactics by the rest of the international community. China
is seeking to improve its image and do so would only tarnish it. But with
China aiding Pakistan one must remain cautious. I agree fully with Kush
that India should instead develop its space technology. That is the only
way we will become equal to the US in standing among the international
community. The US has influence on both the Pacific and the Atlantic. China
has influence over South East Asia ( an area we once had influence over up
to 400 AD). We will not be able to gain influence the way the US and China
has. But way throwing our brains and abilities at conquering space, we will
with one fell swoop become equals and eventually surpass both the US and
China. There will also be tremendous economic benefits. We will also gain
our self confidence in great measure. We will not have to stand timidly
among the nations. Do not underestimate Indians, we have the brains to
build a space shuttle and a space station. India must be there together
with the US, Japan, Europe and China ( mark my words,China will become a
space power) in the future when mankind will embark on the task of
terraforming and colonising Mars. Don't ever think we can't. Perhaps we
should consider a policy on space exploration.

John
----------
> From: Kush Khatri <free_voice@yahoo.com>
> To: india_policy@cinenet.net
> Subject: Re: Nuclear Policy
> Date: Tuesday, May 19, 1998 11:22 PM
> 
> Sanjeev:  Yes, the power of the atom bomb was known but not its use in
> real war situation.
> No one will diagree with the fact that nuclear weapons are an anathema
> and a constant danger to humanity. But I disagree that the recent
> testing of nuclear devices is going to move the world closer to
> nuclear disarmament. It is not.
> WE MUST DISTINGUISH BETWEEN DANGER AND A NUCLEAR MILITARY THREAT. 
> That nuclear weapons are dangerous goes without saying.  But did India
> face a real nuclear threat from China or any other declared nuclear
> state?  NO.  
> Should India pursuade the world to disarm?  It is a question of
> priorities and resources.  Our priority should be economic
> development, improving quality of life for ALL our citizens and
> reaching a zero population growth.
> In the meanwhile, India could continue to do what it was doing.  it
> did the right thing in not signing the CTBT and keeping the option of
> developing nuclear weapons open.  Thereby, it was putting pressure on
> the world.  In any case reducing nuclear weapons danger is not just
> India's burden, NOR SHOULD IT BE INDIA'S PRIORITY.
> 
> >From that point of view India's nuclear testing is a failure.  By
> proudly declaring itself as a nuclear power (what is there for anyone
> to be proud of?) it has given away that high moral ground.  If
> Pakistan develops nuclear bombs of her own, India has actually
> endagered itself more that any current nuclear state. No two nuclear
> states are that close geographically.  You think that the US will ever
> let Mexico develop a nuclear arsenal -- I do not think so.  Remember
> the Cuban missile crisis?
> India should, therefore, keep its priorities straight. Instead of
> developing these devices, India should have developed (it should do
> that now) its space program.   Developing state of the art rockets and
> space systems would be a powerful morale booster, gives India the
> space edge, and gives India both military and economic advantages
> which a nuclear bomb does not.  In addition, India should have
> continued to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes--a program
> that has been allowed to be stalled.  Those would have been positive
> deveopments.
> If Pakistan develops the bomb does it not become the moral
> responsibility of the government to protect its citizen from a nuclear
> attack?  Which means India will be forced to invest in thousands of
> bomb shelters and missile defense systems. Will not that be a needless
> distraction and waste of resources? 
> If Japan and Germany the two largest economies of the world could live
> with the reality of nuclear weapons then why couldn't India?  So far,
> therefore, this nuclear drama makes no sense to me.  To the BJP
> politicians it makes a whole lot of sense--it is populist, and will
> help them win votes.  However, as I said before politics should not
> have been introduced in this field.   Although it might be late,
> nuclear weapons development should be opposed at this point of time.  
> Regards,
> Kush Khatri
> 
> Sanjeev Sabhlok <sabhlok@rcf.usc.edu> wrote:
> >
> > On Sun, 17 May 1998, Kush Khatri wrote:
> > 
> >   But I do not think
> > > that anyone at that time saw the ferocity of this bomb until it was
> > > finally unleashed.    What is important are the lessons Americans
> > > learned from that experience. (your post almost implied that the
> > > Americans did not learn anything from that Japanese experience)
> > 
> > a) The first nuclear bomb was tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico on
> the 16th
> > of July, 1945. Its pictures are sufficient to display its enormous
> power.
> > I do not have access to the complete set of documents which recorded
> > incidents of that period (these are all publicly available, however,
> to
> > the best of my knowledge), but I have no reason to doubt that the
> American
> > President knew entirely of the power and magnitude of these bombs. Its
> > radiation consequenses might not have been known fully, but many, many
> > American scientists had warned against making the bomb, I believe. 
> > 
> > As mentiond in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, "the decision actually
> to use
> > the bomb against Japan reflected the more immediate urge to end the
> war as
> > soon as possible and certainly before it became necessary to mount an
> > invasion of the mainland. The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and
> Nagasaki in
> > August 1945 was a means of shocking Japan into surrender." See: 
> > 	
> > 	http://www.eb.com:180/cgi-bin/g?DocF=macro/5006/59/98.html
> > 
> > if you subscribe to this encyclopaedia.
> > 
> > Note the words, "means of shocking Japan." The word represents full
> > awareness of the enormous destructive power of these weapons. The word
> > also represents the desire to dominate, to over-power, to display
> strength
> > in a short and quick manner. Truman was a great person; and he may be
> > absolved of the crime of ordering the dropping of the two bombs, on
> > various grounds, but he was not a little baby, "unaware of the
> ferocity of
> > this bomb." Nobody is a baby at that level of power, and nobody can
> feign
> > ignorance of the consequences of taking this short-cut remedy.
> > 
> > b) I am not at all pointing fingers toward American Presidents: these
> > people were brought into the discussion because we implicitly feel
> that
> > these people are more 'reliable' than many others. I believe that
> the bomb
> > would be equally dangerous in the hands of virtually anybody, whether
> > American, Russian, British, French, Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, North
> > Korean, etc., etc. Imagine for example, the nuclear weapon in the
> hands of
> > hawks in India or Pakistan! Danger everywhere! What I am saying is
> that
> > there is no fool-proof method to guarantee that the weapons will not
> be
> > actually used, until these weapons are completely destroyed.
> > 
> > Whatever be the lessons learnt by America (or others) from Japan,
> these
> > unfortunately do not show up in the number of bombs created after
> the WW
> > II. Human beings do not seem to learn much; they play games.
> Therefore the
> > Americans and Russians, both escalated the arms race to such high
> levels
> > that the world was in a position to be wiped out tens of times over,
> if
> > these weapons were ever used. No "lessons learnt" here, please note. 
> > America and Russia (and others) continued to believe that the only
> way to
> > combat nuclearization was to further nuclearize, to the point when the
> > exercise became completely ridiculous.
> > 
> > India had been pleading right through to all nations to NOT have these
> > weapons. Of course that fell on deaf ears. No lessons learnt here, by
> > anyone. No "sense" shown toward the most sensible nation, India
> which had
> > the technology and resources to create the bomb in the early 70s,
> but did
> > not create the bombs. Only scorn for being weak and "non-nuclear." 
> > 
> > The moment India declared itself nuclear, the expected happened. The
> world
> > is scurrying to bring down its arsenal from tens of thousands to a few
> > thousands. The world is finally beginning to listen to India. That is
> > exactly what must be expected in the real world. 
> > 
> > I believe that India should help force the number of weapons down to
> zero,
> > by ** continuously threatennig ** to build more and more weapons
> unless
> > the others bring down their numbers.  About the cost of these
> weapons, we
> > are talking of quite small numbers.  The much greater cost is in
> > maintaining their security and reliability.
> > 
> > I fully agree that nuclear weapons are a great pain. These should
> not have
> > been invented in the first place, and not used in the second.  But
> you and
> > I cannot turn back the clock. We can turn back the future. While nukes
> > hover over our heads, the lives of all of us are insecure. So if you
> like
> > ( and I think it makes sense ) we can add to the "ideal" Manifesto:
> > 
> > "The weapons that India has developed should be completely - and
> > simultaneously - destroyed along with all other nuclear weapons in the
> > entire world." 
> > 
> > Nothing less than the complete elimination of all such weapons
> should be
> > acceptable to you or to me. Had the USA, USSR (now Russia)  and others
> > (China, for example, with six hundred of them)  listened to each man,
> > woman and child in the world through the other way (peaceful
> pleadings), I
> > would never be advocating the nuclear option at all. But this method
> is
> > actually very effective, and believe me, this action of India will
> help
> > boost the urge, globally, to eliminate all nukes in the world. 
> > 
> > If you can offer an alternative - and effective - method to bring
> nuclear
> > weapons down to zero, then we can discuss... 
> > 
> > Anyway, does the additional line, above, to the "ideal" Manifesto,
> help?
> > 
> > Sanjeev
> > 
> > 
> > 
> 
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