Nuclear assistance to India: building a future menace?

Independent Institute
by Ivan Eland

03/06/06

Underlying the Bush administration's strategic embrace of India is the 'democratic peace theory' -- the premise that democracies don't go to war with each other. This theory is widely held in the popular imagination and among the U.S. foreign policy elite, including that of the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, but is of questionable validity. A corollary to the theory is that nuclear-armed democracies are acceptable, but autocratic atomic powers are a threat. When discussing the U.S.-Indian nuclear pact, Nicholas Burns, the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, made this corollary explicit: 'The comparison between India and Iran is just ludicrous. India is a highly democratic, peaceful, stable state that has not proliferated nuclear weapons. Iran is an autocratic state mistrusted by nearly all countries and that has violated its international commitments.' Iran aside, India is democratic, but not 'highly democratic,' and is neither peaceful nor stable, and doesn't always fulfill its international commitments...

//www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1685


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