Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Critical Importance of Secretary Clinton’s Trip to India

Considering the recent reports of Secretary Clinton’s marginalization by the Obama Administration, kudos to the NY Times today for its thoughtful editorial spotlighting the secretary’s trip to India. The editorial board focuses on India’s relationship with neighboring Pakistan and that nation’s continuing battle with extremists.

India’s expanding nuclear arsenal is also a topic of discussion:
One of our many concerns about the nuclear deal was that it would make it easier for India to expand its arsenal — and drive Pakistan to produce more of its own weapons. With access to global fuel markets, India can use its limited domestic uranium stocks for weapons. President Obama and Secretary Clinton both endorsed the deal. Now they have a responsibility to do what President George W. Bush never did: push India to stop producing more weapons fuel rather than waiting for a multinational treaty to be negotiated. That would make it easier to press Pakistan to do the same. Both India and Pakistan claim that they want only a “minimal credible” nuclear deterrent — but who knows what that means?

President Obama’s efforts to revive arms control talks with Russia and his commitment to seek ratification of the test ban treaty mean that Mrs. Clinton arrives with bolstered credibility. She should urge India to consider opening regional arms talks with Pakistan and China and drop its opposition to the test ban treaty.
The editorial mentions India’s responsibility in helping other nations block Iran from becoming a nuclear power:

The world’s wealthy nations have given Iran until late September to accept restraints on its nuclear program or face consequences. We hope this time India’s arm will not have to be twisted and — if needed — it will use its trade clout to curb Iran’s ambitions.
India wants to be seen as a major world power. For that to happen, it will have to drop its pretensions to nonalignment and stake out strong and constructive positions. President Obama and Mrs. Clinton say they consider India a vital partner in building a stable world. Now they have to encourage India to behave like one.
Secretary Clinton is the most knowledgeable and widely respected foreign affairs specialist in the Obama Administration, and it’s good to see her back on the road again.


  1. hello virginia,

    I couldn't agree more. thanks for the magnificent post...

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