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…….Mr. Helfrich Goes To Washington

October 17, 2006
Devin Helfrich with a War is not the Answer sign

The U.S.’s Dangerous Double Standard

This is our current government’s message: If you are an ally, go ahead and develop nuclear technology, but if you are a nation not Western-friendly enough, don’t even think about it. Does the U.S. support the nuclear nonproliferation regime and specifically the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)? It has become hard to tell when we send such mixed messages.

The U.S. supports India’s nuclear ambitions (a non-NPT signatory) while vehemently rejecting Iran’s (claimed peaceful technology). The U.S. cannot have it both ways. To hold Iran accountable for violations of the NPT, we must also apply the treaty to India. If we are serious about nonproliferation, and a world safe from nuclear war, we must evenhandedly support the nonproliferation regime. Currently the U.S. is undermining it. If the U.S. doesn’t follow the treaty’s guidelines, on what basis can it expect other countries to? Will China be able to justify nuclear agreements with Pakistan? This is just plain bad foreign policy that makes us less safe.

During this November’s lame duck session, the senate is scheduled to take up the U.S.-India nuclear cooperation deal (S. 3709), a prime example of America’s dangerous double standard. If this bill passes as written, without essential nonproliferation safeguards, it will set the ground work for the sharing of nuclear technology and fuel with India, a non-NPT member, in violation of current national law. We should include, at the minimum, amendments strengthening the nonproliferation requirements of the bill. While the U.S. should develop a close relationship with India, this is the wrong deal.

Lets make this legislation better by making sure India is not enabled to produce more nuclear weapons.

Devin Helfrich, Legislative Program Assistant, FCNL

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