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Thursday, July 10, 2008

All That For Nothing!

Glenn Kessler of Washington Post writes that US Congress may not ratify the finalized version of 123 Nuclear Agreement between US and India mainly because the much discussed Hyde Act says US Congress needs to have "30 days of continuous session to consider it" and more importantly because leader of US Congress does not want a lame duck session before the new US president is sworn in, sometime in January.

So far so good. But Kessler also says, quoting American officials, that after an agreement with NSG - that 45-member nuclear supply group (which comes after an agreement with IAEA) - India doesn't need an agreement with US. It can go directly to Russia or France to go ahead with the civil nuclear equipment purchase agreements. An agreement then, post-NSG, is actually in US interest so that US companies can bit for civil nuclear projects in India! So US gets little in return for all the help, at least right away, if the agreement is not ratified by US Congress. President Obama and his liberal supports may block it, but who cares! In the long run, surely, India will be grateful for what US, and specifically president Bush, has done and continue to be strategic partner.

So all the hot air from the communists that India will become US stooge apparently is bogus. We may end being the stooge of Russia and France! And BJP's worry that somehow US will scuttle Indian nuclear test capability also seem to come to knots, because there is no Hyde Act with the Russians and the French. Once India is free from the shackles of NPT and American-lead sanctions, it will practically be impossible to put India in that straight jacket again even if India tests and Americans somehow impose sanctions per Hyde Act.

It's another matter if the NSG will ratify the agreement. G8 apparently support it. But once NSG ratifies the IAEA agreement, there is no turning back.

And, it seems, all those arguments are over nothing!