Letter sent to the Post-Crescent.
A rare moment of agreement occurred during the vice presidential debates when Senator Joe Biden and Governor Sarah Palin both agreed that nuclear weapons in the hands of an “unstable” Pakistan would be calamitous and that non-proliferation was the only logical conclusion. Behind the scenes, however, both campaigns were agreeing on the exact opposite.
All three senators — Biden, John McCain and Barack Obama — voted in favor of sharing American nuclear technology with India on October 1 in exchange for a few rupees. On top of the obvious flaw here — the likely increase of Indian missiles with no peaceful use — there is the added danger of weapons growth in surrounding nations. Nations that McCain would say “don’t like us very much.”
India has never signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, making them an unpredictable world player. What is to stop New Delhi from selling what we sold them? Furthermore, any increase in Indian weaponry will immediately lead to an arms race with neighboring enemy Pakistan, and may already have. Pakistan is in talks to acquire nuclear technology from China, a business relationship that will not be in the world’s best interest.
President Bush calls the technology sale to India “important” while Secretary Rice calls it “historic”. They’re both right, but for the wrong reasons: if nuclear war ever comes to pass, this will be looked back on as one of the important steps forward towards a colossally historic blunder. If America truly believed in nonproliferation, it would not only ban all sales of nuclear technology but begin the reasonable dismantling of its ludicrously excessive stockpile. Why have one thousand doomsday devices when five would suffice?