US-India Nuclear Cooperation

Michael A. Levi and Charles D. Ferguson from the Council on Foreign
Relations discussed the recent nuclear deal concluded between the Bush
administration and the government of India. The talk focused on new
strategies for Congress concerning the deal that would assist
U.S.-India relations without conceding American non-proliferation
interests. The speakers discussed their recent CFR report, specifically
their proposed congressional strategy in which a series of
nonproliferation bottom lines are enforced, and extreme measures are
avoided. Levi and Ferguson argue that an uncompromising reaction on the
part of Congress would likely damage U.S.-India relations and set back
an important bilateral relationship while gaining no strategic ground.
In the report, a “two pronged approach” is suggested, in which Congress
puts forth a clear, coherent plan, which emphasizes an end to nuclear
testing and strict export controls at the expense of concerns over
arsenal size. If these demands are met, Levi and Ferguson counsel that
legislation should be passed enabling nuclear cooperation. Both Levi
and Ferguson are science and technology fellows at the Council on
Foreign Relations and have each published several articles on arms
control and nuclear security.

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