Apr 12, 2007

Launch of India's Agni-III Successful; World Snoozes

Estimated range of the Indian Agni-III ballistic missile, capable of carrying a 300 kiloton nuclear payloadGraphic demonstrating the range of the Agni-III ballistic missile courtesy of The Hindu Times (click for larger image)

(New Dehli) Nuclear power India successfully test-fired its long range ballistic missile Agni-III today. The launch occurred from Wheeler Island, off the coast of Orissa in the Bay of Bengal.

The successful test also announced India's move into an elite group of nations that have the ability to hit targets up to 2,000 miles away. In India's case, this means the Indian military has the ability to deliver a nuclear payload of up to 300 kilotons from Egypt to Japan and all points in between.

I have yet to see a response from the Bush administration, which unilaterally gave India the green light to continue its rogue nuclear operations in 2006 with the happy-sounding United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act.

India, along with Israel and Pakistan, is among the nations that the U.S. government seems content as nuclear states. All three of these nations, by the way, have steadfastly refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Yet the American government obsesses over Iran's nuclear aims, which to this point have yet to yield even one nuclear device.

I guess it is acceptable for some nations to flout international conventions on nuclear weapons, but for others it is a sign that such a nation intends to annhilate its neighbors. I have trouble understanding the criteria for determining "rogue" and "non-rogue" nuclear powers; if this means a politically unstable Muslim nation ought not to possess nuclear weapons, we should start with Pakistan.

But hey, what do I really know? I am just a Midwestern rube who is going to wind up on a no-fly list or something with this kind of crazy talk.


Anonymous said...

B-b-b-but Iran is part of the AXIS OF EVIL. When you are part of the AXIS OF EVIL there are different rules, Mike. It's like being Boris Badenough & Natasha Fatale from the "Rocky & Bullwinkle Show", except nobody laughs.


mist1 said...

I am part of an elite force. I can usually spit without it coming back and landing on my own big toe (although that happens from time to time). My group is not yet recognized for our power.

And, I missed a flight once because my travel companion's name was Salaa. Sure, he was offended at first, but we laugh about it now.

mist1 said...

Incidentally, Salaa means "peace."

I find that ironical.

I like to use the non-word ironical. Shuttup.

Praguetwin said...

I thought they tested this missle last year.

Balaji said...

Calling a 1 billion+ nation that had an impeccable proliferation record and a 3000 year long history of peaceful military as a rogue nation with no justifiable reason, is a simple example of midwest redneckism.

For a long time India stood for elimination of nuclear weapons and missile systems and we were living in our own dream world that all the big boys will respect laws and morality. Due to this, we gave up our nuclear ambitions and a much less developed China overtook us and now that is a nuclear power and we are a pariah now! All for non-proliferation. We had enough of this mess and finally went nuclear.

And the big boys set up a date such that anyone who set off the bomb a day before India did were in the prestigious club of NPT. And India hardly bothers about this unjust treaty as this club was set exclusively to prevent India from entering the club. Its time that this historic injustice is corrected and US reallized a bitter too late.

In essense, a country that holds one sixty of humanity is too big a nation to be bossed out by idiotic treaties and if the US or any other country wants to keep India out, India can easily show it the middle finger. Indian homegrown nuclear and missile program precedes far beyond this last year's cooperation with US and new US controls will just make one less ally, with very little effect on Indian nuclear/missile prgorams.

US time you guys know to judge nations and people on merit. And if you are indeed a historian, kindly reread Indian history.

historymike said...


1. Read again: I said "rogue nuclear program," not "rogue nation." India, Pakistan, and Israel have never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (with North Korea pulled out of the NPT in 2003). This, in my opinion, makes each of these nations "rogue" nuclear powers. Rogue, as in operating outside normal or desirable controls.

2. I have great affinity for the non-violent traditions of the Hindu faith. Your claim of a "3000-year long history of peaceful military" is ridiculous, though. Can you not recall even the recent wars with Pakistan? Now, I admit that European and Mogul imperialism triggered quite a bit of the military conflicts in the subcontinental warfare of the past 1000 years, but India has hardly been the land of peace that you dream it has been.

3."Redneckism" on my part? Hardly. If India does not wish to be seen as a rogue nuclear state, then it should sign the NPT. Nice try ith the ad hominem attack, though.

4. I suggest that YOU reread Indian history and acknowledge that the record of warfare exists. And, if India is so peace-loving, then I suggest that officials in New Dehli arrive at a peaceful solution to Kashmir with the Pakistanis before full-scale nuclear war breaks out.

Shiva said...

History Mike:

Do you know the terms and conditions laid out in NPT ? I guess "Not" from your words. We are a "Rogue" nuclear power , only because we chose not to test nuclear weapons well before 1965. We sign the NPT and lose our right to have Nuclear Weapons whereas the Permanent Five get to keep them.

As for our record of peace is concerned, history has proved that we have always stood for peace. But this has caused much pain as we kept welcoming gringos into our motherland only to be later regretting it. So when the pakistanis thought they could mess around with the Indians, we hit them where it hurt the most..not even in World War 2 so many POWs been captured.

We let them go after we signed a peace treaty with Pakistan.

As for settling Kashmir peacefully, how will you feel if Spain lays its claim on your California state ? or the British think they can get another hand at New York ???

Will you hold peaceful negotiations with the British and Spanish ??

historymike said...

Dear Shiva (I am noting the irony in your Blogger name):

1. Agreed that the NPT in one sense is unfair, but the option to sign it is still open. The point is that a truly "peaceful" nation ought to be able to eschew building nukes. Also, the history of Indian nuclear weapons can be traced back to as far as 1945, and by 1959 the Indian nuclear research industry employed over 1,000 people. This was well before the NPT got off the ground.

2. One can read Indian history in many ways, but to claim that "Indians have always stood for peace" is quite ethnocentric.

3. Kashmir has traditionally had a high percentage of Muslims, yet in the 1947 partition Indian forces won out over the Pakistanis. India has also refused to hold the UN-mandated plebiscite.

4. If any nation might make claims to California, it would be Mexico, not Spain. And both Britain and the Mexican government signed treaties turning over land to the U.S. India and Pakistan have never signed a treaty over the disputed Kashmir lands, so the comparison does not hold.

5. Do I think India has suffered under centuries of European imperialism? Most definitely. Still, don't you think Kashmiris should be able to decide for themselves whether to join India or Pakistan? Or are you afraid the Muslim majority will fall in with their co-religionists?

Bala. said...

Dear Mike,

A nuclear program with self-defense in mind is not a "rogue nuclear program".

The Indians have an impeccable nuclear non-proliferation record. No technology has been given out or sold. Compare that to the AQ Khan nuclear walmart of Pakistan.

The NPT is bullshit. If you care to read it, it says the Big 5 get to keep their weapons while the rest of the nations should give up their weapons program.

To give you an american midwest analogy : Its like saying the 5 big guys in your neighborhood can have guns but you wont be permitted to carry your own gun. Would you sign such a document ?
(Dont start talking about the evils of gun culture here...coz this is just an analogy to make a point)

Dont scream at India because india did not sign an unfair treaty.
Had the treaty been fair we would have signed.

What is fair you ask? Its been a long discussed issue in India. "If the big 5 set a time-deadline by which they would destroy their entire arsenal of Nuclear Weapons, India will sign." Can America or any of the other "Nuclear powers" even imagine giving up their nuclear weapons?? You love your Nukes. You have your nukes. You can shoot your nukes at any country. Thus, we need our Nukes.

You can talk all that you want about how America will never use her nuclear weapons for no reason and India should not fear America because America has a great system to regulate and control your Nuclear weapons usage. But thats hardly the point. The bottom line is : If my neighbour has a gun, I need a gun.

Face the reality.

Kart said...

China, Libya, North Korea - all NNPT signatories. They dont for one second hesitate to violate it. The NNPT is bullshit. Its not working. And you talk as if you are the greatest authority on NNPT and you dare not call the only country that maintains a 100% clean record even when when it is outside the NNPT - a "rogue program".

Please stick to your posts on video games, boats, dogs and flowers. The issues of world politics and nuclear treaties are beyond your intellect.

historymike said...

Did you even read my post? Or are you such an Indian nationalist that you cannot understand my point, which is that the Bush administration is quick to label the Iranian nuclear program as a "rogue" program, while other nations who possess nukes get treated differently.

Of course, it is easier for you to resort to the tactic of the ad hominem attack on my intellect than to address the argument.

Re-read the post, sir, instead of jumping to stupid conclusions.

Sayan said...


If you talk about Muslim population in Kashmir and you claim Kashmir should be part of Pakistan...then Please read the following points carefully.

1. During partition of India Bangladesh was part of Pakistan as it had muslim population but it could not hold over Bangladesh more than 24 years.
2. If there are muslims in Kashmir, then there are Hindus and Sikhs and Buddhists in large number who never went for violent means.
3. Before the muslims entered Kashmir, it was not a muslim dominated state.
4. When India was divided in 1947, it was decided India cannot be further divided on the basis on Religion, language, culture.
5. Will you accept independence of any American state if it reaches Hindu/Sikh or Muslim majority?
6. If Britain and the Mexican government signed treaties turning over land to the U.S, then that is nice of Mexico and Britain. And as mexico shown leniency to USA, that does not give you right to suggest India should go into treaty with Pakistan. Because unfortunately Mexico and England is not even closer to the evilness that Pakistan posses. Pakistan is a country which took AID from India and while distributing aid to countrymen replaced “Made in India label” with a “Made in Pak”.

The best way to gain peace is not to mess with the nation called India because then the most of the big nations might have to hang their heads in shame.

Anonymous said...

shut up u biased mike . iran is a rogue state not india . dont show ur bloody inclination towards iran.

Anonymous said...

shut up mike . dont be biased . u know very well who is rogue(iran & pak). and dont u use the word rogue against india.