INDO-US NUCLEAR DEAL AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR SOUTH ASIA AND BEYOND
Keywords:INDO-US NUCLEAR DEAL, SOUTH ASIA
The Indo-US strategic convergence in a changed geopolitical context resulted in a nuclear deal
meant for peaceful cooperation on nuclear energy. Though the agreement seriously dents the nonproliferation
regime, it makes sense from a US perspective as it serves US strategic interest in the
region by helping India to hedge against China and thereby maintains US supremacy. India, on
the other hand, aspiring to become a regional power and desperately hungry for energy, needs US
assistance. More to the point is the possible spill over effect of this civilian nuclear deal into power
politics and military strategy. This paper contends that the deal will enhance India’s existing nuclear
capabilities manifold and may offset the balance of power in the region which may in turn trigger
an arms race. Such possibilities when viewed against the socio-economic background of the South Asian region appear as a perfect recipe for disaster. Thus, to offset the negative implications of the
deal, the paper suggests a continuous dialogue between the parties for creating an environment of
restraint and peace in the region. Concurrently, efforts should be on to improve confidence building
measures and institutionalize those by setting up Nuclear Risk Reduction Centres (NRRCs). A
multilateral approach by creating and tapping the potentials of the regional forum to discuss the
nuclear issue and agreeing to ideas like Nuclear Free Zones, pre-disaster standing procedures, etc.
are areas where smaller nations need to focus to restrain or minimize the effect of a nuclear war.
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