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In India, Growing Support for the U.S. Nuclear Deal

Thursday, Aug. 3, 2006

In the Indian capital New Delhi there is widespread belief among the conservative right wing that, with the impending U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement, India has sold its soul to the United States by giving up "sovereign" rights over its civilian nuclear reactors. In Washington, D.C., meanwhile, American critics say the world's most powerful nation has given unwarranted and dangerous concessions to India, a country that exploded a nuclear bomb in 1998 and has not even signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Agreeing to sell nuclear technology to a country surrounded by the likes of Pakistan and China will lead to an unprecedented arms race in South Asia, these critics say.

But examining all the merits of the deal, it is clear that neither the critics in New Delhi nor Washington have it right. While both arguments have some merit and, in the short term, some of the predictions of critics could even come true, the importance of this historic deal is found beyond its immediate effects. ...

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