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The Daily Nightly began on May 31, 2005. As Brian wrote in his first post it aims to provide a narrative of the broadcast day and a window into the editorial process at NBC Nightly News. Brian weighs in every weekday and NBC News correspondents and producers post regularly.

Brian Williams became the seventh anchor and managing editor in the history of NBC Nightly News on December 2, 2004. Read his full biography.

With the president in India

This is the President’s first full day in Delhi. How is he being received? Well, the lead editorial in The Times of India says the President’s schedule has been designed to created "maximum nuisance."

Big news here today is that the U.S. and India have reached an agreement on nuclear energy. This is actually a big deal. India needs nuclear energy if its economy is going to continue to grow at such high rates. American companies know that as Indians get richer they will buy more of what we produce. Consider this: the emerging Indian middle class is estimated at 300 million people -- bigger than the  entire U-S population. That is a rich prize for America’s export market.

I spoke today with Ron Somers, who heads the U.S.-Indian business council and is part of the delegation of American CEOs on this trip. He imparted some interesting facts. India uses 400 kilowatts of electricity per person, per year. By comparison, the U.S. uses 11,000 kilowatts. India is a country of 1.1 billion people. That means that the country is going without adequate electricity. Brown-outs are not uncommon around the country. As India gets wealthier, the demand for energy will only grow. That’s where nuclear energy comes in. Somers said this deal, if approved by Congress, would allow India to import nuclear fuel and equipment from nuclear providers like the United States and others. Why have U.S. CEOs accompanied the President on this trip? Because India’s appetite for fuel and equipment creates, as Somers put it, "A $60 billion price tag of opportunity" for companies around the world selling those products. 

While India needs energy, it has also developed nuclear weapons. The U.S., through the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT), is trying to contain the spread of nukes around the world. It is giving India a pass, however, because the world’s largest democracy has agreed to let international nuclear inspectors look over their shoulder and has agreed not to let nuclear know-how fall into the hands of dangerous countries like Iran or North Korea.

The former ambassador to India, Robert Blackwill, who more recently coordinated Iraq policy for the White House, has written a very interesting piece on the deal and why it matters.

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The Only diff the Indo-US deal will make if its signed now, as every one knows that there is big crunch of power in india, its matter of some time that either india will try to buy nuclear reactors or start making them. India can make them but it would be slow and resources to make that at Very Large Scale will be a big problem. So Its clear India would have to buy nuclear reactors from other countries. Thats why not even US but EU and Russia r trying to get the the orders. Its said that initial orders will get to 50-60 Billion US$ but in long term it would be much more than that ! Also the peaple who gets more orders will make more money and jobs from them self from selling and then supporting them.
The issue now is not that if US passes the bill, Its that if US has a well placed policy. As it was seen earlier in 60s and 70s when US sold radar and nuclear reactors and then backed out from supporting then due to diff issues.

ya somebody please spare india. how can anyone compare India with any other country, especially to Iran. wow that's amazing. India never harboured any terrorist or help anyone. And also we are always a target. Still We keep our coolness. anyway India deserved to be a Nuclear Power with it's exploding economy. So paly along people. Jai hind . Bharat mahan.

Not to let the "nuclear know-how fall into dangerous hands like Iran and North Korea"? Okay, first off, these people are not stupid because no matter what, these countries will figure out a way to learn how to deal with nuclear stuff. You see this is why I hate reading about the news, it just makes me mad.

It's obvious that David Gregory has bought what President Bush and Ambassador Blackwill are selling, hook, line, and sinker. As someone who used to follow South Asia closely as my paid profession, I can tell you that this is a bad deal. Will it help India's energy concerns? Yes, but India has proven that it can develop most of this technology itself or will be able to do so in the near future. and most of its current energy problems are overstated as it is still overwhelmingly agricultural and doesn't improve in bureaucratic mess. Will India proliferate nuclear weapons to Iran and others? Probably not, but India's possession of these weapons is bad enough when taken in the context of South Asian politics. As ambassador to India, Blackwill constantly pushed pro-India policies we disagreed with, including closer military ties, weapons sales and assistance with its nuclear program. It was well-known in our circle that he was an Indo-phile. Sure, India has a no-first strike policy, but with Blackwill pushing the sale of anti-ballistic missile technology (such as Patriot PAC-3 or Israeli Arrow II) to India, that effectively removes any Pakistani deterrent to India's conventional military superiority. When seen with the Indian military's willingness to attack Pakistan in 2001-02 (only the clear thinking of PM Vajpayee deferred full-scale war and limited the IAF to small attacks along the LOC), it's clear that deterrent is necessary.

Does the world really need more nuclear weapons? Does it matter if India shares it's nuclear technology with anyone or not? The United States and Russia have made tremendous strides in reducing their formerly gigantic nuclear arsenals - the U.S. topped out at about 32,500 individual nukes in the late 1960s, and the Russians (as the former Soviet Union) reached over 40,000 during the mid 1980s. If those numbers sound absolutely insane, that's because they are! Especially considering the fact that it would only take about 250 well-placed nuclear explosions - targeted on fuel extraction, refining, storage, and distribution facilities - to completely shut down the entire U.S. (see Caging the Nuclear Genie by R. Stansfield Turner).

So, I ask this: do you want a country like India to posess the capability to destroy the U.S.? How about Pakistan, who will then build enough nukes to counter India's arsenal? THEN what happens if radical Islamists take over THAT country and are no longer friendly but rather very hostile to the U.S.?

The Bush administration's nuclear deal with India is simply a ploy to make sure WE get all the oil instead of THEM - so we can continue to pollute our planet and promote global warming. And the complete lack of oversight of India's military nuclear facilities will of course allow, if not encourage, them to build more weapons.

Now that we have a declining number of nuclear weapons in the arsenals of the world's major powers, it is NOT the time, nor will it ever be, for the "up and coming" contries to start making up the difference by building their own! My God, we just barely survived the possibility of total global destruction during the Cold War, during which fortunately cooler heads prevailed. Do we expect cooler heads to prevail the next time India and Pakistan come face-to-face in anger? Or how about a Taliban-style government in Islamabad? It isn't all that far to our military bases in Afghanistan...

While I agree that there are some pratfalls to the transfer of nuclear technology to India without oversight on military facilities, I believe that we have to look at the "Big Blue Arrows" here and come to an understanding that without the technology, India will become an even greater customer for a shrinking world oil market. By facilitating a nuclear power capability, India's energy demands can and will be minimized and, as the US moves towards alternative resources for its fuel consumption demands, we too will be put in less of a pinch. This is a good deal for all - not just India and the US, but for the entire world.

It's always interesting to hear or read comments against the Bush administration when a deal such as this nuclear one would improve the economic well-being of some of the poorest people in the world. Everyone knows that an economy cannot grow without sufficient energy supplies and that nuclear energy will provide power for India for years to come. Growing economies in both India and China are helping to pull millions of people out of poverty. People are so blinded by their hatred for Bush that they cannot see when his administration actually does something good. And let's not forget that one of the purposes of this deal is to counter the rising power of China, which could present more of a threat than just an economic one.

President Bush has shown that he understands world politics well. Free India has been close to Russia (Soviet Union)and off late she has improved relations with China despite border disputes. The threesome (Russia, China and India) could be a major challenge to the Western powers and their economy. President Bush has just tried to counter the contemplated alliance between Russia, China and India. It may sound simplistic but that's the way it goes. As an Indian I see no wrong in the Indo - US treaty. Hope the US Congress understands it. It will be foolish to sidetrack India with her impeccable record of nuclear non - proliferation; NPT or no NPT.

Wow - what a surprise; all the people who read Gregory's spin on hi sopinion, disguised as news, are all drinking from the same Kool-Aid cup

King George needs to worry about our own economy, and our own energy problems before he runs off to India making deals that will eventually cost our people jobs. If our companies set up shop in India there goes the exporting of more american jobs. I thought George's plan was to stop the proliferation of nuclear technolagy not exploit it. If it is alright for India, Pakistan, and Isreal to have nuclear capabilities than what is the gripe about other middle eastern countries having nuclear technolagy? This guy has sold the american people so far down the river it may take 20 years for us to recover. He is a first class nut, and the republican party getting in lock step with him is a sham to the american people. If they were doing right they would put a halt to what he is doing and vote to stop all the wrong he has done.

In reading all that has been written today about the nuclear weapons deal between the US and India, I find the reaction, especially the congressional response has been so negative. Although we are trying to dismantle Iran's nuclear program, the comparison between India and Iran is disturbing. India is a developing country, both econonically and socially, but it is the world's largest democracy. Furthermore, despite its location, among Pakistan and other Muslim countries, India is the only country that has not harbored terrorist and has not been a haven for Al Qaida. The development of nucelar weapons therefore, is no different from that in China or the various other countries that have nuclear weapons progams.

The real story has to do with Bush going to Afghanistan prior to his going to India. When his polls are down, you can anticipate Bush going to a friendly backdrop, mention that we are going to get bin Laden, and then press on to India. Instant 10 points rise on the Bushometer. This antic was anticipated without the fake turkey this time. But isn't it interesting that vaudeville has returned in this type of Bush process. It is kind of like having bin Laden relegated to a "sideshow" status, calling him out when needed, and then shuffling him off to another closet to be callled upon when needed. One can almost here the fanfare and drum solo when Bush does this silly mechanism. The nuclear agreements with India are a secondary matter as energy is most needed in this country. Don't forget about Union Carbide and its Bhopal incident, large corporate involvement has been ongoing here for quite sometime. With India getting the bulk of offshore jobs, of course it will require more energies to fulfill these additional job functions, but the real story was in Afghanistan. Vaudeville has returned!

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