Monday, July 10, 2006

India tests ballistic missile – and our anti-nuclear resolve

India has tested a new ballistic missile that is designed to carry a nuclear warhead. And this is the country that John Howard was so eagerly toying with the ideas of selling uranium to?

Even if his hopes were thwarted because India is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferatino Treaty, he wants to go ahead and sell uranium to China. Who is India's long-range missile designed to reach? China!

Howard's made assurances that Australian uranium exports to China will meet all sort of restrictions and safeguards to prevent China from using it for military purposes. But I cannot trust either Howard's promises, or China's assurances – especially in light of China being on the receiving end of a potential nuclear ballistic missile from India.

This is a recipe for nuclear weapons proliferation. Is Australian uranium going to be in the mix?

All the attention and diplomatic posturing has been on North Korea's recent long-range missile test, so this may go unremarked. Also, Australia and the other Western powers will want to keep on China's good side so that they can enlist China's aid in pressuring N. Korea to back down from their weapons testing and nuclear programme.

Because of this, I feel there is a strong likelihood that the Western and Australian governments will turn the other cheek if China starts ramping up its nuclear programme in response to India's nuclear weapon ambitions.

And so on, ad infinitum. That's why it's called nuclear proliferation.

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