Members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) met in Vienna last week to debate the possible inclusion of India into the group. China and several European nations resisted efforts by the United States, France, Britain, and Russia to integrate Asia’s third-largest economy into the NSG, a decision that could reshape the nuclear energy and nonproliferation landscape. The debate is being closely followed within India, who has yet to formally apply but could gain considerable prestige as part of the exclusive nuclear group.
The NSG, established in 1975, is a group of 46 nations who voluntarily agree to coordinate their export controls for transfers of peaceful nuclear material and related equipment and technology to non-nuclear-weapon states. NSG members promise to not transfer these sensitive items to governments outside of the international nuclear safeguards regime.
Asia is at the center of the current rise in demand for nuclear energy around the globe. India is looking to establish itself as a major player in future nuclear energy trade. Due to U.S. and international sanctions against India stemming from its nuclear weapons program and status outside the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), India developed a largely indigenous nuclear power program. According to the World Nuclear Association, India’s nuclear energy program will have a 14.6 MWe power capacity by 2010 and plans to supply a quarter of its electrical needs from nuclear reactors by the middle of this century.
This Nuclear Debates in Asia digest outlines why membership in the NSG is so important to India and how New Delhi can benefit from a place at the NSG table. (more…)Continue Reading →
In advance of the G8 and G20 meetings held at Camp David, Maryland, and in Los Cabos, Mexico, in May and June 2012, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs hosted two workshops to examine the pressures placed on international institutions as a result of changing international power dynamics. Approximately forty thought leaders from the private sector, government, civic sector, and academia, including RPI Co-PI Deepa Ollapally, came together in New York and Chicago as part of an ongoing Chicago Council research project on Rising Powers and a New Emerging Order. This working paper by Ambassador Richard S. Williamson, Chicago Council senior fellow on multilateral institutions, and Jana Chapman Gates, project director, summarizes the findings of the two workshops. These workshops were made possible by the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Learn more and download the working paper.Continue Reading →
U.S. and Indian leaders are hosting the third annual session of the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue in Washington this week. Topics for discussion will include bilateral and regional economic engagement, public health, innovation, regional security and defense, agriculture, and women’s empowerment.
The June 8 edition of India Abroad covers prospects for the U.S.-India strategic partnership, as discussed at the April 16 Rising Powers Initiative Conference on “Power, Identity, and Security in Asia: Views on Regional Cooperation and the U.S. Role”Continue Reading →
The Rising Powers Initiative, in partnership with the Center for New American Security (CNAS) hosted a conference on January 23 and 24 in Washington, D.C. entitled, “India as a Global Power: Contending Views from India.” The conference featured a panel of prominent Indian guests. The delegation included Mani Shankar Aiyar, Member of Indian Parliament, Rajya Sabha (Council of States); Bharat Karnad, Research Professor in National Security Studies, Centre for Policy Research; Lalit Mansingh, Former Foreign Secretary of India and Ambassador to the United States; and TN Ninan, Chairman and Chief Editor of the Business Standard.
The morning of January 23 included two sessions on Indian Views on National Security and Defense and Indian Views on Economics, International Institutions, and Transnational Issues. The first panel, chaired by co-PI Deepa Ollapally, elicited the Indians’ diverging views on national security and defense topics. Specifically, panelists debated Indian foreign policy on Pakistan, China, the South China Sea, Afghanistan, and Iran. (more…)Continue Reading →
China, Russia and India abstained on UN Security Council Resolution No. 1973, which authorized a no-fly zone over Libya and the use of force to protect civilians. As military intervention in Libya enters its sixth day, what are the Chinese, Russian and Indian views and reactions?
Officially-sanctioned views, as reflected in the People’s Daily, lambast the military intervention in Libya and cast it as a Western initiative.
- “How humanitarian is Western intervention in Libya?” asks one op-ed. “This so-called ‘humanitarianism’ is actually just the first step toward overthrowing of another country’s political power.”
- They point to Libya’s oil resources as the underlying motive. “The military involvement of Western coalitions in the Middle East is closely associated with oil reserves and strategic interests. Iraq was invaded for oil. Now it is Libya.”
- It is noteworthy that the criticism is generally directed at the “West,” and not specifically at the United States, since “the U.S. withdrew to the second line this time.” The U.S. position is understood to be “a compromise between the realism of the secretary of defense and the idealism of the secretary of state.” (more…)
As part of an ongoing outreach to the policy and media communities, the Rising Powers Initiative held a briefing on March 2 to present expert analysis of domestic debates and recent policy developments in Russia, India and China. The event took place at the Elliot School of International Affairs, and was sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation.
To understand the foreign policy behaviors of major countries in Asia and Eurasia, the main approach of the Rising Powers Initiative has been to focus on the domestic debates taking place within these countries. These debates reflect a certain intellectual orientation in a country, or its “intellectual DNA,” which is then reflected in that country’s foreign policy, explained Henry R. Nau, who moderated the panel as co-director of the Rising Powers Initiative and Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at The George Washington University.
Moreover, domestic debates matter most when the external geopolitical environment is relatively stable, said Nau. For the past twenty years, international relations have been characterized by the unipolarity of the United States, and any shift in the international order is gradual. This brings into focus the domestic interpretations of such shifts, and how those interpretations shape the overall direction of a country’s foreign policy.
In Russia, the predominant intellectual orientation has seen a “a lot of volatility” in the past twenty years, said Andrew Kuchins, Director and Senior Fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Beginning with the short-lived “Liberal Westernizers” of 1991-92, Russia’s political landscape then shifted to “Great Power Balancers / Realists” in the 1990s and early 2000s, who were disappointed in the West and believed in a more balanced, multi-vector foreign policy. (more…)Continue Reading →
Before India’s political pundits write off President Obama’s visit as nothing more than symbolic, they would do well to consider US- India relations under the Obama administration in its entirety. But in order to do that, they need to first shed their single minded focus on strategic affairs.
There is growing apprehension in India (and among some US analysts) that Indo-US relations have reached a plateau, and that no big strategic breakthroughs are on the horizon. First of all, it is unrealistic to expect strategic transformations at every summit.
Obama’s two predecessors were able to make history after the end of the Cold War by changing the course of US-India relations from one of decades-old disaffection to solid cooperation. Obama has inherited an excellent foundation for relations between the two countries, and there is little question that the US president has embraced India. (more…)Continue Reading →