Saad Al Ghawas and Nabil Al Khaled

The" Indian Nuclear Testing


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Honorable judge, fellow students, attentive audience, principled timekeeper, worthy opponents, and most helpful partner: Good Morning/Afternoon, my name is Nabil Al-Khaled/Saad Al-Ghawas, and I will be debating the first affirmative speaker for the BBS Debate Team.

Resolved: The United States Government should substantially change it’s foreign policy towards the Indian Subcontinent.

Let me define the terms of the resolution:

These definitions are extracted from Webster Third New International Dictionary 1998:

Ø United States (of America): The Federation of 50 republics forming a united nation in North America.

Ø Government: The group of people who are responsible for governing a country or state at a particular time

Ø Should: Obliged to, had to, implying necessity, and alliance or various combinations of or approaches to these.

Ø Substantially: Adequately.

Ø Change: To make over to a different form.

Ø Foreign Policy: The underlying basic direction of the activity and relationships of a sovereign state in its interaction with other sovereign states typically manifested in peace, war, neutrality.

Ø Towards: In relation to, in the treatment or handling of.

Ø Indian Subcontinent: Geographical region including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Ø Sanction: A penalty, specified or in the form of moral pressure, that acts to ensure compliance or conformity.


Harm #1:

The testing of nuclear warheads in India has resulted in the realease of toxic by-products.

According to the definition of toxic, these by-products are capable of causing permanent injury or death, especially by chemical and radioactive means. After uranium or plutonium warheads are detonated toxic by-products accumulate in the test zones, contaminating water supplies, soil, and the atmosphere.

Evidence #1:

"At present there are over 220 test sites in India around the Bhopal nuclear testing grounds which release lethal levels of radioactivity," Brian Punyarmed, a Greenpeace spokesman said. (

"The land around the test zone is gray and lifeless. The radioactivity levels are lethal and the fallout is reaching an uncontrollable status." Indian Interior Minister of the Environment and Secretary of Social Care, Kamaa Punjabi Sutra said. ( J


Harm #2:

Radiation and other toxins from nuclear test facilities is injuring and killing people in India.

Nuclear test facilities such as test grounds and research bases are releasing toxic radioactive wastes that pollute water sources and contaminate agricultural operations. This radiation causes many diseases some of which are fatal and most of which cause permanent injuries such as blindness and brain damage in humans.

Evidence #2:

"The total number of people affected is approximately 70 million, most of which live in the affected Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Fatalities associated with radiation or toxic wasters have reached 4.2 million people. This is 6% of the total population being killed by toxic wastes caused by nuclear testing." Diana Carrion, spokesperson for the UNHCHR, said on October 3rd 2000, "India’s Nukes."

"The level of radiation is high enough, in the Madhya Pradesh region of India at least, to cause serious, permanent and possibly fatal, injuries including including blindness and brain damage. In Bhopal, India, the amount of people affected has exceeded 4.2 million" Virginia Ingraad of The Atomic Bulletin said during an interview on CNN chat. (

Harm #3:

The highly toxic wastes emitted from nuclear test facilities found in India have lead to the destruction of more than 154,000 sq kilometers of farmland, jungle, and fresh water reserves. This mass habitat destruction has killed thousands of animals and destroyed the flaura and fauna of the region for decades to come due to the radioactive fallout that will remain for over 200 years. It has also crushed Bhopals economy because agriculture is the mainstay of their economy.

Evidence #3:

"Many animals and acres of farmland were destroyed when the facilities began to dump toxic wastes [from nuclear test] into the rivers and valleys. 154,000 square kilometers have been claimed in India by the radioactivity.. the fallout will last for decades to come." Dotson Zed, spokesman for Zoologists United, said during and interview with BBC on October 12th of 2000 about the effects of radioactivity on the environment.



Harm #4:

The testing of nuclear warheads and the establishment of nuclear test facilities have severly impaired the Indian economy. For India, the total cost has surpassed $600 million, This is mainly due to the huge percentage of the Indian annual budget that is devoted to the nuclear research and testing department.

Evidence #4:

"The amount of money being allocated to the nuclear department is appalling. The government is spreading itself too thin in terms of economic wellfare and the system is bound to fail sooner than later." Jim Wannabe, chief financial officer, Willinghamshire Estates and Investments Limited. (

"In India, hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on the research, production, and testing of its nuclear arsenal." James Unbound, Investment Manager, Real Investments Firm Co.


Need #1:

We need to significantly lower or halt nuclear research and testing that result in the production of toxic wastes.


"The first step in reclaiming the environment and negating the effects of the radiation is obviously to stop the testing." Gerald Basin of Greenpeace said during a telephone interview with CNN correspondant Wolf Blitzer on April 4th 2000.

Need #2

We need a system where the people in India are not harmed by toxic wastes from nuclear testing and dumping.

Need #3:

We need a system where the farmlands, water reserves, and atmosphere are not destroyed by nuclear toxic wastes.

Need #4:

We need a system that will shift India’s budget for the expensive nuclear testing field to more economically constructive fields, such as agriculture.








For these reasons we would like to propose the following plan:



Plank #1:

The United States Senate will hold a congressional meeting on May 1st, 2001, ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).


Plank #2:

As a result of Plank #1, India will sign and ratify the CTBT, therefore placing the CTBT into force (according to Article XIV of the Treaty).

Evidence that India will sign:

Ø "Following the five tests, India has signalled its willingness to adhere to the one and only operative clause of the CTBT: stop N-testing. However, it has also made it clear that this cannot be done in a "vacuum" and demands a measure of "reciprocity" "

New Delhi, India

May 25, 1998, pp. 12-20

"Nuclear Shock Waves"
by Manoj Joshi

Ø "We are in no way opposing the CTBT. In factIndia is willing to sign AND ratify it, but only after the United States does so." – Indian Prime Minister Vajpyaee

Sept. 1996, pp. 8-14
"The Signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty"

Plank #3:

After India sign and ratifies the CTBT, the United States will lift the economic aid sanctions from India. Further, the US will donate the technology for computer simulation nuclear testing to India, so India can establish one nuclear testing center.


This plan will cost $65 million. This figure was extrapolated from the average cost of a sitting of the US Senate, which is $10 million. This figure was added to an additional $55 million, which is the cost of a single computer simulation testing system.

Ø "Enter Intel, the computer chip giant. Sandia and Intel jointly developed the world's first "teraflop" computer--a $55 million machine with more than 9,000 individual processors coupled together. It has ten times the memory (some 600 billion bytes) and ten times the speed (more than 1.8 trillion operations per second) of any previous computer." – Linda Rosthstein. "Belliens." Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, March/April 1997

Inherent Block

Our inherent block is systemic. The United States has not been able to ratify the CTBT due to the lack of a majority vote in the Senate. The Senate has traditionally voted against the wishes of President Clinton. The Treaty could not beratified except by a majority vote in the Senate.

Workability/Working Models

According to the evidence we have presented, India will sign the NTBT after the US ratification of the Treaty. As a result, nuclear testing in India will cease immediately. In addition, The United States offers an incentive for India to sign. In Plank #3, the United States donates computer simulation testing technology to India to ensure India’s compliance with the first clause of th CTBT, which states, "Each State Party undertakes not to carry out any nuclear weapon tes explosion or any other nuclear explosion, and to prohibit and prevent any such nuclear explosion at any place under its jurisdiction or control."

There are several working models to our plan. The first is when President Kennedy submitted to the Senate the request of ratification of the Limited Test Ban Treaty on August 8th, where its advice and consent to ratification was approved on September 24th. A two-month ratification process--not a bad model to go back to. A model of a "donation" of equipment that minimized nuclear waste is the "Agreed Framework of 1994," where the United States and South Korea gave North Korea new nuclear reactors to replace the old, inefficient, waste-generating reactors.

Ø Source for Ratification Working Model:

Sept. 1996, pp. 8-14
"The Signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty"

Ø Source for Korean Working Model:

Survival, Spring 1999

"Impasse in Korea: A Conventional Arms-Accord Solution?"

by Michael O'Hanlon, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, and
Pedro Almeida, a Master's Degree student at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.


This plan meets our needs because it solves the problem of nuclear waste in India. After India stops testing its nuclear arsenal, the people will no longer be affected by the nuclear waste generated by testing. The harm to the agriculture will also be solved. Also, since India will stop testing its nuclear weapons, the costs described in Harm #4 will be eliminated.



The problem of the status quo is significant, in both Indian and American aspects. For India, the nuclear tests have had massive negative impacts on its economy, and affected more than 70 million of its population, which forms 7% of the total population. Also, 154,000 square kilometers have been consumed by radiation, yielding land hat is infertile and useless. The testings in India have also strained India’s relations with the international community. Some nations, like the United States, imposed sanctions on India, while others, such as Japan, cut off economic aid and loans. To the United States, the problem is significant because the nuclear testing has damaged its relationships with India. This statement is supported by this quote from a foreign polcy expert, "It is also important that we act to preserve the U.S.-India relationship. What is at stake here are ties with a country with a billion people, a large and growing market and a robust democracy. Isolating India will not serve U.S. economic or strategic interests; nor would it weaken a government that has taken a step applauded by most Indians, who wonder why the world is prepared to live with China's nuclear arsenal but not India's."

Ø "The U.S. Role in India's Tests"

The Washington Times, May 14, 1998

By Richard N. Haass, Director, Foreign Policy Studies

Additional Evidence

Ø "Pakistan, which voted in favor of the treaty, indicated that it could not sign the treaty under existing conditions--widely interpreted to mean that it would be unable to sign unless India signed."

Sept. 1996, pp. 8-14
"The Signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty"

Ø International response to India’s nuclear tests:

US: "Our laws have very stringent provisions and we intend to implement them."
ACTION: Imposed sanctions.

CANADA: "We ask India to renounce its nuclear weapons programme."
ACTION: Future aid talks off.

SWEDEN: "It is both tragic and frightening thatIndia should choose to invest in nuclear weapons."
ACTION: All aid stopped.

FRANCE: "Expresses its concern and calls for restraint in the region."
ACTION: Cautioned the US against sanctions.

RUSSIA: " India has let us down with its tests."
ACTION: No sanctions but no overt support as in the past either.

GERMANY: "We will check carefully to see what US sanctions mean."
ACTION: Aid frozen to last year's level.

JAPAN: "It is extremely regrettable that India has conducted the tests."
ACTION: Grants frozen, loan talks suspended.

CHINA: "We are deeply shocked and condemn this action."
ACTION: Nothing obvious. But worries remain.

AUSTRALIA: "We express utter disgust. India deserves to be punished."
ACTION: Suspended all aid and official visits.


(New Delhi, India)
May 25, 1998, pp. 12-20

"Nuclear Shock Waves"

by Manoj Joshi