Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Indian Government Could Collapse Over US Nuke Deal

By Cernig

The BBC is reporting that the Indian governing coalition is on the verge of fracturing over differences of opinion about the US/India nuclear deal. The center-left Congress Party have pinned their star to the deal, while their coalition far-left communist allies are implaccably opposed on the basis that it makes India too much part of the US sphere of influence.

If a final split occurs, and the BBC says it's difficult to see things happening any other way, then the government may have no choice except to call an early election.

The obvious winners in such a case would be the far-right Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a Hindu nationalist grouping. They too oppose the US/India deal but because they feel "that India may have bartered away its nuclear security, particularly its strategic nuclear weapons programme, by agreeing not to carry out more nuclear tests and also by allowing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) access to its civilian nuclear sites for inspection."

The BJP are the primary supporters of closer ties, especially military ties, between India and Israel. They feel both nations have a common Muslim enemy. Ties between the BJP and Israel's far right have meant, among other things, co-operation between rightwing Hindu lobby groups and AIPAC in the U.S. and co-operation in the development of nuclear-capable cruise missiles, airborne early warning planes and missile defense between the two nations. If the BJP took power and the Israeli hardline right kept their current influence, then if both nations remained outside the applicable international nuclear treaties, as they are now, only American infuence over Israel would prevent co-operation on nuclear weapons development as well.

The neoconservative faction in the U.S. must be looking at this situation as a win-win scenario.

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