The New York Times Trips Up on India and the NSG
India must be held accountable for the commitments it made in 2005, when the nuclear deal with the United States was first struck, and not for the sins of others.
The New York Times is free to take whatever position it likes on any issue and if it believes India should not be admitted into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, it has every right to write an editorial advocating ‘No Exceptions for a Nuclear India’.
What it ought not to do is build its argument on faulty analysis, misrepresentation and factual inaccuracies. What follows is a paragraph-by-paragraph explanation of how the newspaper – that I have read and liked for years – has gone wrong, horribly wrong in this editorial.
America’s relationship with India has blossomed under President Obama, who will meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week. Ideally, Mr. Obama could take advantage of the ties he has built and press for India to adhere to the standards on nuclear proliferation to which other nuclear weapons states adhere.
Here, the NYT makes a huge assumption: that there are “standards on nuclear proliferation to which other nuclear weapons states adhere” and to which India doesn’t. The ‘other nuclear weapons states’ are the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain (the N-5). The main standard to which the N-5 are meant to adhere is the prescription set out in Article 1 of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) to not provide nuclear weapons or knowhow or assistance to non-nuclear weapon states. Article 6 also applies to them but is
non-binding: to “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”