Washington has unilaterally decided to ignore international guidelines against cooperation and trade in civilian nuclear materials and technology with India, and it is the military elements of India’s nuclear ambitions that will be the primary political beneficiary. Nuclear non-proliferation efforts more broadly will pay the price.
The move toward civilian nuclear cooperation with India is emblematic of the Bush Administration’s policy of selective non-proliferation, and it is above all an attempt to re-define the nuclear weapons club. The Indian Express newspaper called it “a road map for India’s integration with the global nuclear order as a full fledged nuclear weapon state” (Mohan 2005).
Canada’s obligation is to insist on the global standard: civilian nuclear cooperation with any country but the NPT’s nuclear-five must be contingent on the unequivocal and verifiable rejection of all efforts to acquire nuclear weapons.