The US president announced to scrap that he Ballistic Missile Defense deployment in Eastern Europe. It has been welcomed by Russia and peace activists in India.


The Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP), India notes with some satisfaction and cautiously welcomes the decision by the incumbent US Administration under President Barack Obama to scrap the US missile defense deployments under way in the Czech Republic and Poland. The CNDP also on this occasion recalls that the government of India under the BJP(Bhartiya Janata Party)-led NDA  (National Democratic Alliance) Government was amongst the very first to endorse the utterly deplorable decision of the Bush Administration in May 2001 to go ahead with its Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system. Further spurred by such supports, the Administration would soon thereafter, in following December, unilaterally scrap the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty with Russia in clear violation of accepted international norms. The Obama move now goes only to partly knock off that project.


The CNDP further notes that while the decision made public on September 17, 2009 has taken large sections of the US establishment by surprise and evoked sharp negative reactions from some quarters including the Republican camp, both the Russian President and Prime Minister have warmly welcomed it. Consequently, the move puts an end to one of the most controversial legacies of the Bush regime. It would hopefully help building better understanding and cooperation between the US and Russia geared towards a nuclear weapon free world, the first promise of which was held out in the joint statement issued earlier this year on April 1st, as a consequence.


The CNDP fervently hopes, and urges, peace movements all over the globe, taking advantage of this favorable turn, would raise their pitch for global nuclear disarmament and an early convening of a Nuclear Weapons (Abolition) Convention towards that goal.  The CNDP also calls upon the government of India to join force with such a move in tune with the spirit of the celebrated Rajiv Gandhi Action Plan presented to the United Nations General Assembly on June 9 1988.  The Government of India  must reverse its regrettable obstructionist role as regards global nuclear disarmament adopted since.


(Achin Vanaik, N. D. Jayaprakash, Sukla Sen: 20 09 2009)

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