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Enhancing India’s Role in the Global Nonproliferation Regime

Enhancing India’s Role in the Global Nonproliferation Regime

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Lisa Curtis

Senior Research Fellow, Heritage Foundation

One of the major objectives of the U.S.-India civil nuclear deal was to bring India within the international nuclear nonproliferation regime by giving it both the rights and responsibilities broadly equivalent to those of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) member states, without requiring it to officially sign the treaty. This allows India to maintain its nuclear weapons deterrent and to obtain access to civilian nuclear technology and fuel. By the same token, the U.S.-India civil nuclear deal and the Nuclear Suppliers Group exemption compel India to commit to the same nonproliferation standards as those expected from other nuclear-armed NPT member states. This should involve India cooperating more closely with and eventually joining the four major nonproliferation groups: the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Australia Group (AG), and the Wassenaar Arrangement.

Enhancing India's Role in the Global Nonproliferation Regime was written as a part of an effort by the Working Group on an Expanded Nonproliferation System. The group was jointly established by CSIS and the Nuclear Threat Initiative to bring about more complete participation by India in the nonproliferation system, and it included experts in international nuclear affairs and in foreign policy from both India and the United States. The group advocated for Indian membership in export control groups.

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