Saturday, March 4, 2006

My not-exactly-enemy's not-exactly-enemy is my new friend!

The Los Angeles Times has an article focusing on President Bush's visit to India (where some were protesting his visit with chants of "Death to Bush!") and the deal-making the White House is engaged in with New Dehli. Some parts of the new deal are controversial:
Under Thursday's deal, India retained the right to deny United Nations inspectors access to a "fast-breeder" reactor suitable for producing weapons-grade fissile material. Since India refused to agree to a cap, there is no limit on the expansion of its nuclear arsenal — a fact that critics say could provoke a regional arms race.
In a nutshell, the idea is that stepping up cooperation with India (where no US president set foot from 1978 to 2000) can help to counter China's growing power:
Despite widespread criticism that the pact sets back global nuclear nonproliferation efforts, Bush administration officials praise the deal for its promise of better ties with a thriving democracy and reduced competition for world oil.

But administration officials also know well that an India that is more prosperous, and well armed, represents a hedge against Chinese military ambitions. With China's intentions unclear, such a counter is an important component of U.S. strategy.

A key factor behind the nuclear cooperation agreement reached this week between the United States and India was a simple trade-off: The White House was willing to risk losing ground in the worldwide campaign to limit the spread of nuclear weapons for a deal with India that could help it counter the rising power of China.
Of course, Pakistan is eyeing US-India relations and seeing what they will get out of it.

Read the rest on your own.

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