Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, August 1, 2005

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U.S. & India: An Emerging Entente?

Hyde Schedules Thursday Oversight Hearing to Examine Nuclear and Security Issues Announced in July

BACKGROUND:  U.S.-India agreements in June and July 2005 represent a new set of landmarks in rapidly warming ties between the world’s two most populous democracies.  After decades of estrangement during the Cold War, U.S.-India relations were freed from the constraints of global U.S.-Soviet bipolarity in 1991, the same year that New Delhi began efforts to transform its once quasi-sociali­st economy through fiscal reform and market opening.  On July 18th, U.S. and Indian leaders issued a joint statement resolving to establish a “global partnership” between the two nations through increased cooperation on economic issues, on energy and the environment, on democracy and development, on nonproliferation and security, and on high-technology and space.  Of special interest to many in Congress were the statement’s assertion that, “as a responsible state with advanced nuclear technology, India should acquire the same benefits and advantages as other such states,” and President Bush’s statement that he would work on achieving “full civilian nuclear energy cooperation with India.”  Such cooperation would require changes in both U.S. law and Nuclear Suppliers Group guidelines.  This passage is widely viewed as representing de facto recognition of India as a nuclear weapons state and a reversal of more than three decades of U.S. nonproliferation policy.  Many analysts in favor of this decision view it in the context of a perceived need to “counterbalance” a rising China and as a tangible means of both demonstrating U.S. resolve to assist India in increasing its power and stature and bringing New Delhi into the global nonproliferation regime.  Critics of full nuclear cooperation with India insist that a policy of “exceptionalism” toward India may permanently undermine the coercive power of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).  They say such a move would seriously risk turning the existing nonproliferation regime from “imperfect but useful mechanisms to increasingly ineffectual ones.”  Skeptics also point to an Indian strategic culture rooted in concepts of non-alignment and multipolarity as reasons that a true strategic partnership will be difficult to develop in the security realm.

 

WHAT:                             Full Committee Oversight Hearing:
                                          The U.S. and India: An Emerging Entente?

                                          U.S. Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-IL), Chairman

WHEN:                             10:30 a.m., Thursday, September 8, 2005

WHERE:                           Room 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

WITNESSES:                   Nicholas Burns, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and
                                           Robert Joseph
, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.

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