Bheeshma wrote:What would India have gained by testing an american device? That's a meaningless offer. Unless the design was transferred it would not help India in any way.
There have been many rumours of design transfer even in late 90s.
I have been wondering about this.
Once we jumped out of the box in 1998 (and it became clear to Clinton/Halfbright that there was no pushing us back in with sanctions, etc.)... what would the US have gained by making it more difficult for us to modernize our warheads? I mean, it was a fait accompli that we had tested at all at POK II, including a thermonuclear weapon and FBF weapon. The US would have seen that whatever they did to discourage our development of nukes from '74-'98 had completely failed, and indeed, concluded that any measures they might take to discourage our further development of nukes from '98 onwards were only MORE likely to fail in future.
What does the US typically do in such situations, when "genie is out of the bottle"? What did they do, for example, when they found out that Pakistan/ISI via the Taliban were linked inextricably to 9-11, and that Photochor Khan had been proliferating on the open market? They said "the past is the past" and left it at that. Very often the USA takes the path of least resistance, and tries to "manage" the situation to the best possible outcome for themselves.
Think about this in light of the "unilateral moratorium on testing" announced by ABV & co.
Is it possible that the US gave us, for example, proven W88/W76 designs some time between the '98 tests and the IUCNCA in exchange for this "moratorium" (rather than have us make a total and open joke out of the CTBT by going about developing our warheads the hard way through a regime of iterative testing?) Could it be that at some point, the US realized what a catastrophic mistake it was to sanction India in the background of a rising China, and went about trying to "co-opt" our nuclear weapons program as an observable and manageable entity instead?
Did discussions to this end take place during Clinton's '99 visit to New Delhi, or the Strobe-Jaswant talks, or only after the GWB administration assumed power in DupleeCity?
Given that the Chinese had already acquired W88 designs illicitly by 1999 (cf: Larry Wu-Tai Chin's espionage at Los Alamos), would the US really see themselves as having lost anything by sharing the same tech with India as well? And in turn, was it Chinese pique at the US sharing advanced warhead designs with India that inspired Beijing to increase its proliferation to Pakistan, Iran, and especially the proxy-testing NoKo?
Was the Santhanam affair a belated realization that the GOI had agreed never to test again because it had what it believed were proven US warhead designs? Did KS and his allies feel that it was worth publicly questioning the outcome of POK II as a last-ditch effort to prevent what they saw as a long-term mortgaging of India's strategic weapons initiative to the good faith of the US?
Many questions. We mere mortals will probably never know the answers.