The U.S.-India Nuclear Cooperation Deal: A Critical Assessment

Arms Control Association Press Briefing

Wednesday, February 15, 2006
9:30 A.M. - 11:00 A.M.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
1779 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
Root Room (Second Floor)

President George W. Bush is scheduled to visit India during the first week of March to try to advance his controversial proposal for U.S.-India nuclear cooperation. Since the proposal was announced last July, U.S. and Indian officials have sought to work out the details of the arrangement, but they continue to disagree over how to "separate" India's civilian and military nuclear facilities.

The deal calls for broad civilian nuclear cooperation for the first time since India's 1974 nuclear test explosion, which demonstrated that New Delhi was willing to use civilian nuclear technology assistance to build nuclear weapons and was determined not to join the 1968 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Following U.S.-Indian agreement on the separation plan, the White House has said it will seek congressional approval for exceptions to longstanding U.S. law that bars civilian nuclear cooperation with states, such as India, that do not have comprehensive international nuclear safeguards.

This briefing assesses whether India's commitments under the current terms of the proposed arrangement justify making far-reaching exceptions to U.S. law and international nonproliferation norms. Further, it examines the implications of the civil-military separation exercise for India's nuclear weapons program.


David Albright, President of the Institute for Science and International Security. He analyzes the technical implications of reported options for the separation of India's civilian and military nuclear facilities and address India's export control performance.

Leonard Weiss, former Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs and a key architect of the 1978 Nuclear Nonproliferation Act. He reviews the positive and negative effects of the proposed nuclear cooperation proposal on U.S. and global efforts to curb the spread of nuclear weapons.

Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director of the Arms Control Association. He discusses the value of a cut-off of fissile material production for weapons by India in the context of the proposal for U.S.-India nuclear cooperation.


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The Arms Control Association is an independent, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to promoting public understanding of and support for effective arms control policies.