Friday, August 1, 2008

India Close to a Nuclear Deal

This is good news. India is in some ways a hidden member of the West, at least at the leadership level - and as a member of the British Commonwealth and a surging economic power, this will be truer half a century from now than it is today. On the other hand, in the post 9/11 world, the US has entered into an alliance with Pakistan which simultaneously gave us a way to influence one of the most populous and probably the only nuclear Muslim nation, and a staging base for the immediate attack of Afghanistan, and it hemmed in their pal China who'd built an alliance as a forced move against India, post Sino-Indian War in the 1960s. This was a clever move for which I largely credit Colin Powell - in fact I imagine Musharraf's phone ringing about noon D.C.-time on 9/11.

But it badly alienated India, and the man-in-the-street muttering there was mostly about the weapons the US was shipping to Pakistan. This will be a positive legacy of the Bush administration that I hope we don't overlook.

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