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Shaun Randol: Nukes in the Himalayas

The past two months have seen some interesting developments in Sino-Indian relations. Immediately after India’s official entrance into the group of nuclear states sent shudders through the nonproliferation community worldwide, the latest round of discussions between the Asian giants came and went with little fanfare. Taken together, these developments further confound rather than illuminate understanding of the lurching relationship between the world’s two most populous states. Earlier this month, the U.S. Congress approved a deal that allows American companies (like General Electric and Westinghouse) to sell India atomic fuel and nuclear technology. A month before Congress made the deal official, member states of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) had waived the usual restrictions to entry into the elite club, warmly welcoming India as the newest nation to openly possess nuclear weapons; this despite the fact that India is not a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The move landed with a whimper in the U.S. media, but has made a huge splash in Indian news, where the event was largely celebrated as something of a coming out party—India, no longer the shy debutante. Others took notice too: companies in Canada, France, and Russia are salivating at the opportunity to sell nuclear-related material to India, a country once denied such privileges. Many in the NPT crowd are worried about the implications of this NSG deal. Adam B. Kushner of Newsweek warns that the NSG agreement may spark a nuclear arms race with the likes of Pakistan and Iran. Likewise, Daryl Kimball of the Arms Control Association says the move blows “a huge loophole in the global non-proliferation system that’s going to make it harder to persuade the Irans and the North Koreas—an already difficult task—to abide by their obligations; and it’s going to make it more difficult to strengthen this global non-proliferation effort which is already fraying at the seams.” But both analysts largely overlook the serious implications with regard to China.

Ketevan Ninua: The Cold War Never Ended

Ketevan Ninua Ketevan Ninua is a co-founder of Georgian Center of Technology, a technology and engineering institute in Tbilisi, Georgia, and a board member of ProGeorgia.org, Inc. Born in Tbilisi, she is a New York representative of the Georgian Association in the United States. While Russia’s recent invasion of Georgia came as a surprise to most around the world, it should have evoked quite the opposite reaction. Molestation of her neighbors, including setting impoverished Ossetians against Georgians, has long been Russian policy. Today imperial Russia, flouting international law, threatens Georgia’s very existence by bombing the country, slaughtering civilians, and occupying territory. This is a situation that the West has encountered numerous times in the past: Czechoslovakia, 1938; Berlin, 1948; Budapest, 1956; Prague, 1968; Afghanistan, 1979. The world condemns Russia, but condemnations do not curb Moscow’s behavior. Russian aggression stretches back centuries; its approach to conquest dates from the Middle Ages, when soldiers were sent to war with no promise of payment other than loot. Russian aggression on a macro level is well-documented, but the savagery of its soldiers has not been widely reported. Russian soldiers in Georgia have engaged in widespread looting of food, electronic equipment, furniture, footwear, and clothes—even used toilet bowls and sinks. Russian soldiers have raped and murdered innocent civilians. In Georgia, three generations often live in the same home; Russian soldiers have beaten elders and shot family members who dared to object. After their looting and killing was over, Russian troops have burned Georgian villages to the ground, destroyed towns, and mined roads—to ensure that no food or humanitarian aid can reach devastated Georgian citizens.

Jonathan Power: From Lagos with Love...to Georgia

Jonathan PowerKosovo, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Chechnya, the Bakassi Peninsula. All disputed territories but only one (the last named), a sizable oil-rich wedge of land lying between Nigeria and Cameroon, has been taken to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for adjudication. Why not the others? To my mind, I can think of no good reason apart from, in the latest conflagration, hubris on the Russian side and an inflated sense of self-importance on the Georgian side, partly borne of America’s encouragement. Six years ago, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo (on whom I reported for the summer issue of World Policy Journal) was confronted with growing tensions with neighboring Cameroon over the Bakassi Peninsula, long ruled by Nigeria. In a show of restraint, he decided to resist the advice of his minister of defense, who pushed for a military solution, and turned the dispute over to the ICJ. Local newspapers ridiculed Obasanjo and public opinion was nationalistic, but he held his course and did so even when the court ruled in Cameroon's favor. Yesterday, Bakassi was formally turned over to Cameroon. Unlike South Ossetia, there was something to fight over—large quantities of oil—but Nigeria swallowed its pride. This doesn't happen as often as it should, but it does happen.

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