I ought to have mentioned that Manmohan Singh regime’s moves to sign CTBT and get going on FMCT is in the context of Obama’s declaration in Berlin yesterday that he’d like to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin nuclear drawdowns to the 1,000 weapons-level. Like the reductions negotiated so far in the START (Strategic Arms Reduction Talks), most of the weapons that go off-line will not be decommissioned in the sense of being destroyed but very likely moved to the category of weapons that will be disaggregated and stored in separate sections with plutonium cores kept separate, etc., all of which nuclear armaments can be speedily reconstituted if the situation so demands.
It also needs to be pointed out that originally the Obama White House had thought of unilateral reductions to the 300 weapons level but then thought better of it. Putin is unlikely to agree to any such shrinkage of the Russian weapons inventories, in the main, because the large nuclear arsenal today solely defines Russia’s strength and power. This means that this initiative is going nowhere.
But it will be enough to kickstart Manmohan Singh’s attempt to “disarm an unarmed” India as the Late KC Pant once aptly and ironically described all Western arms control and disarmament efforts.
P.S. On an unconnected subject, why is the United States, in its haste to depart Afghanistan, not gifting its fleet of massive mines-resistant trucks costing a million dollars a piece to its local ally Afghanistan, or even Pakistan, which would benefit from such transport, rather than reducing it to small scrap metal at considerable expense? What a waste!