Tuesday, October 16, 2007

a good deal

Originally uploaded by XAlpha
Prepare for more stories ahead like this one (via Matthew Yglesias) as U.S. “partners” and “allies” abroad edge towards greener pastures.

A controversial nuclear deal between the United States and India appears close to collapse after the Indian prime minister told President Bush yesterday that "certain difficulties" will prevent India from moving forward on the pact for the foreseeable future.

The main obstacle does not involve the specific terms of the agreement but rather India's internal politics, including fears from leftist parties that India is moving too close to the United States, according to officials and experts familiar with the deal. Besieged over the past two months by growing opposition to nuclear energy cooperation with the United States, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh indicated over the weekend that he would rather save his coalition government than the nuclear pact.

. . .

State Department spokesman Tom Casey told reporters yesterday that the administration still believes the deal is "a good one for the United States, for India and for the broader efforts at nonproliferation."

Let’s examine this more closely:

the deal is "a good one for the United States,

It's not good for the U.S. if it means, as it does, the effective dissolution of the NPT, leading to the further spread of nuclear materials. Dismantling the existing international framework for controlling the diffusion of nuclear weapons without preparing any replacement will make America less, not more, secure.

for India

See above—more nukes in the hands of India’s enemies is not good for India, even if this deal in the short term would bind India closer to the still-powerful U.S. and lend its widely-condemned nuclear program some undeserved legitimacy.

and for the broader efforts at nonproliferation."

Not true in this or any other universe.

Opponents of the pact in India include an alliance of communist parties that forms a minority bloc in Singh's coalition government and says the agreement brings India too close to the United States.

Apparently “soft power” means more than just Charmin’s next ad campaign. The U.S. can't ignore international opinion indefinitely without consequence.

Others say the pact could be resurrected if Singh challenges opponents inside his coalition and in parliament. "If Singh went to the polls on this issue, he would win," Green said. "But he would have to run against members of his own coalition to do it. And there's a nervousness about having an election."

If only politicians representing citizens of other countries would decide to pursue the best interests of the U.S. rather than those of their constituents, then this problem could be resolved. This is a familiar theme that only makes sense if the interests of India’s politicians or its citizens are actually best served by pleasing the U.S. (or rather, the interests of the political clique currently running the executive branch of the U.S. government, since this deal does not serve the long-term interests of U.S. citizens). This may have once been true. However, due to America’s status as declining hegemon, this calculus is no longer settled to America’s benefit. This is something Americans should get used to.

1 comment:

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