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U.S. Nuclear Cooperation with India: Issues for Congress

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Congressional rept.

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On July 18, 2005, President Bush announced a global partnership with India to promote stability, democracy, prosperity, and peace. The desire to transform relations with India is founded upon a strategic vision that transcends even todays most pressing security concerns. President Bush said he would work to achieve full civil nuclear energy cooperation with India and would also seek agreement from Congress to adjust U.S. laws and policies. Administration officials have described the agreement as bringing India into the nonproliferation mainstream. For 30 years, India has remained outside the mainstream it rejected the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty NPT as discriminatory and exploded a peaceful nuclear device in 1974 that convinced the world of the need for greater restrictions on nuclear trade. The United States created the Nuclear Suppliers Group as a direct response to Indias test, halted nuclear exports to India a few years later, and worked to convince other states to do the same. Nonproliferation experts have suggested that potential costs to U.S. and global nonproliferation policy of bringing India into the nonproliferation mainstream in this manner may far exceed the benefits. For example, at a time when the United States has called for all states to strengthen their domestic export control laws and for tighter multilateral controls, U.S. nuclear cooperation with India would require loosening its own nuclear export legislation, as well as creating a Nuclear Suppliers Group exception. It would reverse nearly three decades of U.S. nonproliferation policy and practice towards India. Some believe this agreement undercuts the basic bargain of the NPT, could undermine hard-won restrictions on nuclear supply, and could prompt some suppliers, like China, to justify supplying other states outside the NPT regime, like Pakistan. The appendix contains Frequently Asked Questions about U.S.-India Nuclear Cooperation.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Nuclear Weapons

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