A BAD INDIA DEAL
The New York Times, September 30, 2008
The House of Representatives approved President Bush’s ill-conceived nuclear agreement with India last week, shrugging off concerns that the deal could make it even harder to rein in Iran’s (and others’) nuclear ambitions. We hope the Senate shows better judgment.
For 30 years, ever since India used its civilian nuclear program to produce a bomb, the world has been barred from selling any nuclear technology to India. The deal — pressed hard by American business and India’s lobbyists — would allow the United States to break that ban and open the way for the rest of the world to sell reactors and fuel to India as well.
President Bush and his aides were so eager for a foreign-policy success that they didn’t even try to get India to limit its weapons program in return. They got no promise from India to stop producing bombing-making material, no promise not to expand its arsenal and no promise not to resume nuclear testing.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee abdicated its oversight responsibilities. It held no public hearings and sent the deal straight to the floor without even a committee vote. We are befuddled as to how the committee’s chairman, Representative Howard Berman, could say he has “concerns about ambiguities in the agreement” and still vote for it.
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