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'Bush is one of the strongest friends of India'

March 03, 2006 01:14 IST
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Dr Walter Andersen recently retired as chief of the US State Department's South Asia Division in the Office of Analysis for the Near East and South Asia. An old India hand, he held other key positions within the State Department, including special assistant to the ambassador at the US Embassy in New Delhi.

In an exclusive chat with rediff readers, Dr Andersen examined the pros and cons of President  Bush's visit to India, and concludes that "he (President Bush) has probably been the strongest advocate in his own government in a strong India, at a time when many others were skeptical about India." 

For those of you missed this chat, here's the transcript:

bushbush asked, Do you think the Congress will ratify this deal?
Walter Andersen answers, There will be considerable debate as there always is on issues like this, but I am confident that Congress will ratify this deal because it makes good sense.

sujit asked, sir, do you think this deal that was signed in Delhi will compromise Indian strategic interests?
Walter Andersen answers, No, I do not think it will compromise India's strategic interests. India's strategic interest, in my view, is to build a strong economy and this prospective deal works in that direction.

ProudIndian asked, Dr Andersen, how will Bush justify not giving a similar deal to pakistan?
Walter Andersen answers, That is fairly simple to answer. First, the US will handle relations with the two countries separately. The A,Q,Khan issue makes it difficult for the US to propose a similar deal to Pakistan. In addition, the strategic interests of the US are different with India and with Pakistan.

Princess asked, How do you say it makes good sense? Doesn't it negate the very concept of NPT to which the US has been passionately committed to?
Walter Andersen answers, This is a very good question and the major argument of those who claim that the risks far outweigh the strategic gains. I need to summarize a difficult issue. First, the deal is good as a way of bringing India under the larger nuclear nonproliferation umbrella. India moreover is not in violation of NPT as it did not sign it. Moreover, India has a good record on nonproliferation. One has to separate countries based on their behavior. North Korea is a problem; India in my view is not.

Princess asked, Clinton spent 5 days in INdia, a few hours in Pak. Bush will spend 3 days in India, and one in Pak. What does one infer from this?
Walter Andersen answers, I thibk my answer got eliminated. Let me repeat. The US has a deeper relationship with India than Pakistan and hence the longer time there. India is an emerging power in Asia that is important to the US. There is a large Indian-American community that is playing an increasingly important role in American politics. I suspect that in the future you will find American presidents visiting India regularly because it is good politics to do so.

ProudIndian asked, Dr Andersen, as an India watcher, do you think the Indian side did enough, or could it have asked for more?
Walter Andersen answers, The nuclear issus is a complex one -- and I assume it is this that you are referring to. The July 18 agreement between President Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh only gave an outline. The details have to be filled in. That requires serious negotiation and that is probably happening as I type this message. There is also the political sensitivies on both sides. We both have to show that the agreement will not undermine Indian security, but will enhance it. We also have to convince those worried by negative npt consequences that this will not encourage proliferation.

sheelakb asked, hello Sir, do you agree with president Bush's view that India is a special case in field of Nuclear energy?
Walter Andersen answers, Yes I do. The Bush administration has pledged to make India an exception on our nonproliferation legislation and to convince the Nuclear Suppliers Group to similarly make an exception for India. India is special because it has a good record on nonproliferation. From a strictly American viewpoint, a strong India is to our advantage, and I should add a strong India, whether or not there is a military relationship. I think the Bush administration is confident, as I am, that India on its own will work to stabilize relations in India and prevent any country from dominating the continent.

dasho asked, Don't you think attacks on Iran and Iraq are nothing but Dirty Oil Game. Why US didn't attacked North Korea a power which always accepted that it has nukes and is actively engaged in Proliferation to countries like Pakistan, Iran, Libya and many other rogue states. Infact its the chinese nuclear technology and fuel that is running in the veins of all the reactors in all those rogue states. Is it because that US knows it can not dare to venture in chinese waters and Iran and Iraq have no such powerful supporter.
Walter Andersen answers, The short answer is no on both. I was in the US Government after 9/11 and I know that oil was never discussed as a reason for action, at least not that I heard. The problem with Iran has nothing to do with oil either. There is suspicion from many quarters that Iran might be in the process of laying the ground for a nuclear weapons capability. That is in no one's interest and I think the Indian government has come to that conclusion as well. On North Korea, there are the six party talks underway and let us hope that it succeeds. Chinese policy on nuclear technology exports has changed, but are right from a historical perspective.

rediff asked, what do you think of mr bush explanation that we will have to pay less for gas if this deal goes through
Walter Andersen answers, That is an intersting question. The robust economies of India and China are of course driving up the cost of oil/gas because of their growing demands. The use of clean fuels would cut back on such demand. To be frank, the US has to do a better job at this as well. There is a renewed interest here and elsewhere on clean fuels and that in my view is a positive develoment.

sujit asked, dasho, give the man a break. I am not a rediff staffer. And walter may just be a slow typist..
Walter Andersen answers, I will type as fast as I can.

dasho asked, I think this is pathetic he answers only selective questions....Infact all rediff chats are like this....only the rediff correspondents are able to talk rest other are just posting questions without an answer
Walter Andersen answers, Dasho, I really am trying to answer the interesting questions and I just answered one from you.

abhilashmanvikar asked, y does the Bush regime retort to bullying and hooliganism???
Walter Andersen answers, Hm. . .I think I know the context you are asking that -- bullying India on the nuclear question. Quite the contrary. At least in this case, the Bush adminsitration is actively pushing for an India that is economically strong and a prominent actor on the world stage. I suggest you read the text of the July 18 agreement between the president and the prime minister. That comes through quite strongly. Also look at recent editorial in financial times which makes the same point. This is an opportunity for us and for India. As plural democracies, we have much in common and our strategic interests are fairly similar -- though clearly not identical.

sraiyer asked, Dr. Anderson don't you think Pakistan will have to pay a price for its marketing WMDs through its proxy Dr. Khan?
Walter Andersen answers, I think it already has. The US has not offered a similar deal to Pakistan and is not likely to do so soon. Khan ran an international nuclear bazaar for almost two decades and there is uneasiness here about how this could go on so long.

dewdrops asked, Sir do u feel the samew amount of media hype is created when Mr Manmohan Singh goes to US
Walter Andersen answers, There was in fact a significant amount of publicity in the US, especially after the July 18 declaration in which the Bush administration pledged to make an exception of India in US nonproliferation legislation. That aroused an enormous amount of public debate, which I happen to think it is a good thing.

abhilashmanvikar asked, hello sir, do u think attack on iraq is fair??
Walter Andersen answers, I personally opposed it when it happened. But to be fair to the administration, almost everyone thought that there were weapons of mass destruction, and not just the US. This of course is because of Saddam's past behavior. I personally think he would have resumed when he thought it appropriae. The question now is to work for a democratic Iraq in which the various ethnic groups can work out some kind of accommodation with each other, not easy as present events demonstrate. I also think that this will be more effectively done in a democratic context.

ramesh asked, Thanks to Bin Laden, Bush jr. escaped the tag of the worst president in american history. any comment?
Walter Andersen answers, I worked on the Kerry campaign and am a committed left-of-center democrat. I disagree with much of what he has done and is doing. However, I totally agree with what he is trying to do regarding our relationship with India.

Princess asked, Thanks Walter. But I guess inevitably Pakistan will seek parity as well. And there's always the chance the hardliner mullahs in Pakistan will seize upon the nuclear deal with India as another act of American betrayal
Walter Andersen answers, I think you are absolutely right. In some ways we may also have lost influence in Pakistan because of the projected nuclear deal with India. That could be a problem if there is another set of India-Pakistan tensions in which we may have to play some kind of behind the scenes roll, as we did at the time of Kargil to get the Pakistani troops to leave.

thepatriot asked, y do the american president NOT just mind their own business ?
Walter Andersen answers, I take it you mean that the US should not be actively involved in developments around the world. I am afraid that there is often no option as we are the only country, because of economic strength and military strength, that is in effect present in every region, and I can tell you from having been in the US Government that there is often a demand that we stay around as a stabilizing force. I think most specifically now of Southeast Asia, where, India, incidentally, is taking a more active security role to keep vital straits open -- and with the enthusiastic backing of the US since this is vital for the world economy.

hardikkorat asked, hello ... sir... what is your view of MR.Bush's stance on the permanent membership of india in the security council. so far and also in the joint statement issued today ,he has kept puzzling silence about supporting india's claim for the perment incusion in the security council. what are the road blocks????
Walter Andersen answers, Another excellent question. I think India should be a permanent member with veto power, like the others. The issue is complex, however, because some of the present members don't want an expansion as it would obviously dilute their power and standing -- and there are also other counries that would be opposed. Pakistan, for example, is very much opposed to India as a permanent member.

GS asked, Past is gone, present we can see. What do you think where India and USA relations would be in next 20 years??
Walter Andersen answers, I think the relationship will be much deeper than it is now. One can already see the trajectory. We are both plural democracies and that gives us a certain perspective on the world and political issues. An economically robust India and the US will increasingly develop a symbiotic relationship via information technology. Already a large part of American industry would shut down if Indian outsourcing, moving up the information chain, were to simply go away.

shiva asked, Dr.Anderson good evening.I beleive President Bush is man of conviction.What exactly he finds impressive in Chaotic,sometimes over pluralistic society of India?
Walter Andersen answers, Shiva, as you know, democracies are always a bit messy, which, as karl Popper and others have pointed out, upsets the authoritarian mind set - who want absolute truth (and of course that means designating some specia group that makes the decisions). At the end of the day, however, it structures a consensus and that reduces the chances of even more political messiness (political violence)

shekarpcs asked, Y cannot BUSH force or insist Pakistan to stop terrorism againest india. Do Bush consider only terrorism againest india.. do not bush know that most of Terrorist activities are controled from pakistan. do not say that you guys do not have evidence on it. It is known fact
Walter Andersen answers, Very good question. I can tell you that the US has put pressure on Pakistan and continues to do so. Read some of the comments of our ambassador in Islamabad on this issue. I think President Musharraf will have to do more, as the terrorists are a threat to him and stability in Pakistan -- and of course a threat to India and Afghanistan. This is something that we will all have to work on. You might want to look at the editorial in today's Washington Post on this subject.

Nadgir asked, When is Bush visiting Hyderabad?
Walter Andersen answers, It will be after Delhi and let me say something about the reason. It is a booming high tech center where much of what happens there is linked to the US economy. There will also be a new US Consulate there, which is part of the larger effort announced by the Secretary of State to send a larger number of diplomats to rising Asian countries like India.

Rahul asked, I Believe that a UNSC Nod would be too much for the World to take alongwith the Nuclear Deal. But I foresee it coming sooner than later. What is your view? Thanks, Rahul
Walter Andersen answers, Rahul, I totally agree with you. The nuclear deal puts a lot on the plate -- both domestically and internationally. But a UN seat makes sense and I believe the logic of it is very strong. If the UN is to look like the world, it must include India.

rayees asked, bush willmake adifferent staement when hewill land in pakistan
Walter Andersen answers, I am not quite sure what you mean. He will of course be polite; he is a guest. Pakistan does play a role in the war on terrorism and we hope that it will continue to do so and include in its efforts a move to shut down ALL forms of terrorism.

telecom asked, On cross-border terrorism, why is the US showing less concern on terror breeding camps on Pakistan's border with Kashmir, while actively engaging Pakistan on the western borders. Is this a matter of vested interests?
Walter Andersen answers, I can assure you that there is pressure on both fronts. A previous question asked if the US was aware of such activities. It is and is acting on them in a quiet diplomatic way.

HBS asked, Sir, America has always believed in appeasing China, will that ever change?
Walter Andersen answers, I am not sure that is true. We have a deepening relationship with China, partly because of trade and investment and partly because China is am important factor in Asian politics. Take the question of a North Korean nuclear weapon. China is working closely with us on that -- and other issues.

sujit asked, thank you for the answer. But do you think the concerns of the Indian scientists have been fully met, given that top Indian scientists have warned that India's nuclear programme is interlinked, and that fully separating them will be near to impossible?
Walter Andersen answers, I am not sure what all the concerns are. I don't think the fear that Indian scientists will be marginalized in some way is correct. In fact, I would think the access to high technology that is on the plate in the nuclear deal will enhance the knowledge of the scientific community in India besides enhancing India's nuclear powered electrical generating facilities.

hardikkorat asked, hello ... sir... what is your view of MR.Bush's stance on the permanent membership of india in the security council. so far and also in the joint statement issued today ,he has kept puzzling silence about supporting india's claim for the perment incusion in the security council. what are the road blocks????
Walter Andersen answers, I have no idea what his personal views on this are, but I do know that he has probably been the strongest advocate in his own government in a strong India, at a time when many others were skeptical about India.

GS asked, I would like to ask what does USA Strategic approach and national interests are for signing nuclear pact with India. All the last years, they wanted India to sign NPT, but now they are recognizing India as emerging power in the world. Do you think USA will keep this friendship up with the future disagreements in various issues (example Iran) in both of the countries?
Walter Andersen answers, The nuclear deal I think is good for the India and good for the US. On the US (your question), it is good for us to have a strong India for balance of power purposes in Asia. I would argue it is good for us to have a nuclear capable India in Asia as well. Will this friendship continue, you ask. I think the logic of events is in that direction for reasons I have given in previous questions.

thepatriot asked, Y r the presidents of the US often interfere in the affairs of other nations devastatingly ruining their culture and economy, and then rush to aid ? Y rush to the global platform uninvited and cheat the Americans who foot the bill for this kind of extravaganzas ?
Walter Andersen answers, I will concede that the record is mixed. But there is a strong altruistic strain in American culture, the desire to do good. Of course, we all know that doing good can have some very adverse consequences. I think your last sentence points to Iraq, which is costing the US taxpayer an enormous amount of money. Let us hope that local security mechanisms can be put in place as soon as possible.

ramananda asked, good evening, sir..good to have you with us...what are your first impressions about this deal President Bush signed in India this morning?
Walter Andersen answers, Ramananda, my first impressions are that the meeting is going well. At least the publicity in the US is very positive, even the reporting on the demonstrations. They are peaceful and demonstrate the democratic openness of Indian society. Amartya Sen wrote that Indians are an argumentative people, and by that I assume that he meant that Indians like to debate issues. That is certainly true in the US as well, We are two argumentative peoples. And this kind of public argument is a sign of a confident democracy.

Philip asked, Sir, i have a question, why does america deem to award almost similar strategic importance to both India and Pakistan? This is in context of the President visiting Pakistan immediately after India, and the Pakistan almost voices the same requests as has been granted to India.
Walter Andersen answers, Philip, Pakistan and India have a strategic importance to the US and you are right that the president is visiting both because of that strategic interests. However, the importance of India has a larger strategic context in that India is important as a large stable democracy in a very unstable area that is of strategic importance to the US (and others) and it plays an important role in the balance of power in Asia.

Gina asked, Walter My question is - Now that the deal has been implemented between India & America when is it going to be presented to congress and secondly - things to get materialised may take some time and if they do what will happen if another new government comes in and rejects this deal?
Walter Andersen answers, The Julky 18 deal has not been implemented. The Bush administration is, as the Americans say, "working the Hill" to get approval. Would a new government support it if not implmented during the Bush presidency, you ask. I think it would. There are many prominent democrats in favor of it and another republican would almost certainly support it.

Dinesh asked, what is the main reason for bush's visit to india? what does he expect from india?
Walter Andersen answers, good question. I think his main purpose is to put a seal of approval on the partnership that is now developing between the two countries. It also is smart domestic politics to go do India, a country that has a very good rating in the US -- even in the face of some who are worried by the outsourcing issue.

Jomol asked, do the Americans benefit from India's nuclear program,?
Walter Andersen answers, I assume you mean the civilian nuclear program. To the extent that India relies increasingly on a clean fuel from nuclear sources, it relies less on gas/oil and that has a beneficial impact on world prices. Moreover, as I stated earlier I think it is a good thing for the US to have a nuclear capable India (and I am talking about weapons now) in Asia.

Dearest asked, Mr Anderson Sir, what role does first Family(Ms. Laura Bush and Their daughter) coming with the president plays when he is on such a visit
Walter Andersen answers, I don't know the Bushes personally, but from what I know about them, they are a very close couple who confide in each other and that in itself provides opportunities for influence.

Vishwanath asked, Dr.Andersen, Good afternoon....What are the nuts and the bolts of this nuclear deal ?
Walter Andersen answers, I don't have the time to go into nuts and bolts, but let me give a basic answer. The US needs to change its legislation to permit the export of nuclear fuel and high tech to India's civilian nuclear facilities; in turn India needs to separate such facilities and put all civilian under IAEA safeguards. Its gets more elaborate and complex, but there are lots of analyses on this available on the internet that can do a much better job than me.

asiatic asked, Is India being taken for an ride by America?
Walter Andersen answers, by that I assume you mean is the US taking advantage of India for its own sake. All agreements operate on mutual self interest. I am confident that Indian diplomats and scientists will not permit an ageement that would work to India's disadvantage. And I don't think the US would find any one-sided arrangement something it would want -- because it won't last

Angel asked, What do you think the effect would be on the growing imbalance in asia where china and pakistan are already considered to be strategic nuclear partners
Walter Andersen answers, The hope is that a strong India in Asia would not permit hegemony and a stable Asia I think would need a strong India

ramsengupta asked, Dr Andersen, What happens if, despite your optimism, the deal is NOT ratified by the Congress?
Walter Andersen answers, A worst case scenario. First, in that case, I am sure another try would be made at it. Secondly, in the interim, there would be a hiccup in the relationship, but the logic of developing a stronger relationship is too powerful to stop -- even in the fact of such challenges and they will happen.

vicky asked,  Dear Sir, Please answer this Question- A former dutch PM had said that CIA had stopped them from arresting Dr. A Q Khan in 1980's , Doesn't that speak of selective policy and makes all US claims regarding prolifreatiion hollow?
Walter Andersen answers, the Atlantic Monthly has a two part series on Khan, which people tell me is remarkably accurate. Like all intelligence, there were fragments onKhan in the 80s. More of the pieces came later and the US did move when the case seemed strong. Khan is under a kind of house arrest now.

dubyafan asked, who do u think is a better prez, bush or clinton??????
Walter Andersen answers, As I mentioned earlier, I am a democrat. I have always voted for democrats -- and hence I voted twice for Clinton. My political leanings are more in the Clinton direction than that of Bush

Ravindran asked, Why is the US Congress and President taking no steps to take the Chinese to task over military signals-intelligence (spy stations) and ports in Myanmar ? Also, how is it that China gets to supply Pakistan with nuclear reactors, planes and missiles when we know how unstable the country is at present from a political and social perspective.
Walter Andersen answers, China's past behavior with Pakistan were guided by its own strategic objectives -- at that time a kind of containment policy against India. That has changed and Chinese and Indian relations are quite good. On Myanmar facilities built by the Chinese, I don't see any active chinese use any time soon as the Chinese navy is not now capable of venturing that far afield.

dubyafan asked, hey dont mind if i call u dude... a typical amrican way
Walter Andersen answers, This is interesting. Americans come in many forms and types and ethnic backgrounds. Like India we are very plural. My own family is Danish; I am married to a wonderful lady from Delhi (an Iyengar Brahmin whose own family is scattered all over the world) who owns and runs a factory in India. Our son, when asked, says he is half Indian, half danish and totally American. And that is totally American!

anand asked, Sir, What do you think of the protests that are happening dont you think it is giving a giving an image of a divided India, on one hand grand welcome and the other wide scale protests
Walter Andersen answers, I alluded to this earlier. The protests have been peaceful. They reflect some differences in India and I think most Americans understand that. Also keep in mind that polls consistently show that both George Bush is well considered by the large mass of the Indian population, as is the US.

sweetie asked, I got a mail from my friend from US. It says "A favour please .Bush...why don't you guys keep him."
Walter Andersen answers, Believe me, George Bush is one of the strongest friends of India that you will find in the US.

myths asked, GM/GE Walter Dependency on US is what US diplomats always try to work with any country in a deal Be it saudi, pakistn, Iraq, Afgan. They are very much dependedt on US for everything. Now it is india. If the complete nulclera deal goes into operation in future how much india has to depend for its Nuclear technology on US. Will it have an open ended option for india to go for technology with any other Nuclear country. Will india have a wayout from US anytime
Walter Andersen answers, Good question. The issue is dependency on the US. Many countries could supply the high tech available in the US and India is free to choose. I doubt it would become too linked to any one supplier.

ineedyou asked, Hello Dont you think that US is over acting and playing the role of self declaired police of the whole world ???? Why ???
Walter Andersen answers, A good question. The debate of course is to what extent the US should use its power with world problems. I can think of many cases where we should have moved and did not -- or at least not quickly enough. One is the genocide in Dafur now -- or the earlier genocide in Ruanda. We should have acted and did not. So the issue is complex and rightly subject to debate.

websan asked, Why does America turn a blind eye to what is very obvious state-sponsored terrorist activities by Pakistan?
Walter Andersen answers, Short answer I referred to earlier. We do not ignore it.

Ravindran asked, Post-independance India has a good record of 'doing what it says' and 'saying what it does'. I hope that Indo-US relations never again suffer from Kissenger style double-talk. In this context, what is your opinion on India cooperating with the US on balancing Chinese influence in Asia through the promotion of democratic values and trade instead of creating a new 'Cold War' situation.
Walter Andersen answers, The US certainly wants a balance of power in Asia and India can play an important role in that. This does not mean an anti-chinese policy as that would be destabilizing. But strength on its own will do the necessary. The US is working with India internationally in the promotion of democratic values.

myths asked, GM/GE Walter Dependency on US is what US diplomats always try to work with any country in a deal Be it saudi, pakistn, Iraq, Afgan. They are very much dependedt on US for everything. Now it is india. If the complete nulclera deal goes into operation in future how much india has to depend for its Nuclear technology on US. Will it have an open ended option for india to go for technology with any other Nuclear country. Will india have a wayout from US anytime
Walter Andersen answers, As I noted earlier, India could purchase its technology from any country with a good offer and there are several possibilities.

Sameer asked, Bush sounded a alert few days ago with regard to India and China emerging as a economical threat to US interests. In view of this the measures sought to be taken by the US may hurt Indian interests . Your comment?
Walter Andersen answers, I have not seen the statement. But economically robust China and India, I would think, is good for US business. There of course is a challenge in trade, but that is the nature of economic development. Competition forces us to do something better and we all benefit from that.

dasho asked, Isn't it a fact that US has large defense industry and to run it and to seek money from its own congress and show to its own taxpayers that money is going for important wars.....these wars are theatre made by US run its own defense industry
Walter Andersen answers, The defense industry as "guide" to policy is an old issue. I have not seen any convincing analysis to show that this is the case. There are many competing interests and this is just one, and not necessarily among the most powerful.

james asked, I have a 007 question...all the criteria which led to Iraq invasion exists in Pakistan..1) Existence of WMD 2) Unreliable and anti-west, muslim and anti-US population 3) Non-democratic regime
Walter Andersen answers, Short answer, one and three were issues for the action that was taken. On one, the US was wrong but then so was everyone else at the time.

Rahul1 asked, A different topic - I Believe that a UNSC Nod (from USA) would be too much for the World to take alongwith the Nuclear Deal. But I foresee it coming sooner than later. What is your view? Thanks, Rahul
Walter Andersen answers, Not sure if I ansswered this. Yes, I think it is coming. How can you have a security council reflecting the real world without India?

mukund asked, Mr.Anderson do u have notia about Mahtama Gandhi?
Walter Andersen answers, I am no expert. Mahatma Gandhi certainly made a positive impact in India in the freedom struggle and internationally as well (e.g., the civil rights movement in the US and elsewhere). For me his bottom line was respect for the individual.

Neo asked, Do you really believe Bush's Iraq war is for the sake of "democracy" ? What about anarchy in Africa(Congo) etc where there is no OIL and hence no liberation ??? Doesn' it mean he is trying to deceive the whole world with big words like spreading democracy ...
Walter Andersen answers, We clearly did not go in to implant democracy. There were more conventional strategic reasons for the US move. But I think the President (and others-including many in India) see democracy as a system that works to benefit of the population and probably has a positive impact on better international relations. I am not one of those who say democracies don't have tensions or even go to war. But the democratic process of debate forces leaders to reflect on tensions.

Phanidhar asked, With reference to Your answer to abhilashmanvikar's question "do u think attack on iraq is fair??" How safe do u think the world should feel if it is controled by a lone superpower -- which fucks up a whole nation -- and says oops I am sorry -- its a small mess up!!!
Walter Andersen answers, In international relations theory, we may be in a situation of a single superpower, but there are real limits to the exercise of that power. The US in short does not control the world and would not want to, even if it were in a position to do so. That would be too costly and the American public would not support it. At the end of the day, if you lose public support for a policy, a government will have to back track -- and that in my view is a healthy thing.

anish asked, India was a Nuclear armed state which uses its power with great responsibility. I wonder why US is hesitant in acknowledging India as one of the Nuclear powers. I believe that India and China has more say in the word arena than any other nation for they represent 3/5 th of the total population. And more so India, for its the greatest democracy. When Us congress is still debating on the unlimited powers of the president and what not, I believe that the Indian parliment is constitutionaly more powerful than the American congress. Then why US is hessitant to acknowledge Indias responsible acts and value of democracy?
Walter Andersen answers, The Bush admininstration recognizes India's nuclear responsiblity and that is the reason it is pushing to make it an exception to US nonproliferation legislation.

Ahuja asked, Mr. Andersen, I am an INDIAN living in US. How do think, a common american will percieve this new relationship between US and India in present environment, where americans ususally hate indians for stealing jobs. Will that hatered ever go down?
Walter Andersen answers, Look at the cover and the story in this week's Newsweek. This is a popular magazine and a rising India is viewed very favorably. In fact the information technology revolution is giving Indians and Indian culture a growing reputation in the US as "smart". My wife, an Indian, would tend to agree with this growing popular perception!

ROCKS asked, Dr. Anderson, dont you think that the US-India nuclear treaty is just a utopian paradise and a trick by Mr. Bush to woo Indian government to stand by it on the Iran Issue and refrain from going ahead with the gas pipeline issue. Is it not really going to be a Herculean task for Bush to get the deal approved by Congress as well as the NSG?
Walter Andersen answers, Short answer no. The reason for the nuclear deal has to do with a larger strategic issue that Iran. Getting Congress to approve will take work, but I think it will happen.

dasho asked, Hey Mr. Anderson....Why is US ready to kind of bypass NPT today and change its laws for India, what has changed between situation from 1998 when India exploded Nukes and Today.
Walter Andersen answers, The record of a responsible Indian policy on nonproliferation is what happened

sraiyer asked, Ohhhhh, Dr. Anderson you have disappointed me. You mean, you are "Left of Centre". Marxism is the greatest fraud perpetrated on human race (next only to we all know what...)
Walter Andersen answers, I am not a Marxist. If anything, I trace my ideas to a north European socialist tradition. I am a democratic socialist by inclination and temperament.

ProudIndian asked, Sir, during your long association with India, what is the most obvious change you have noticed in the country over the past, let's say, a decade? Given that poverty and corruption are still major factors, is the curent mood of optimism justified?
Walter Andersen answers, Good aquestion. The most obvious change I have seen is much greater self confidence and hope in the future among Indians. Indians increasingly see the future as theirs and they may be right if the government makes the right moves to help make this happen. The economy is robust, building up a dynamic middle class. I think Indians in the past assumed that things would just go wrong, because they so often did. That is changing and I can see it in the great self-confidence I see.

dasho asked, Sir, Won't you agree honestly to the point that USA is interested in India today only because it does not want to lose the status of a Unipolar Power. And is really afraid of a India-China-Russia Tri-Axis will be a serious dent to its stature in Asia. When it knows that 20th Century is definately going to revolve around Asia and Not europe.
Walter Andersen answers, World powers is increasingly revolving around Asia, changing a pattern that goes back some 400 years.

Walter Andersen says, This was very enjoyable and I need to go and teach a course!

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