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Global SwinG StateS workinG PaPer 2012

Global SwinG StateS and the non-Proliferation order
MeGan Garcia

© 2012 The German Marshall Fund of the United States. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). Please direct inquiries to: The German Marshall Fund of the United States 1744 R Street, NW Washington, DC 20009 T 1 202 683 2650 F 1 202 265 1662 E This publication can be downloaded for free at Global Swing States Project This working paper is part of an ongoing project undertaken by the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) and the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). The project, co-led by Daniel M. Kliman and Richard Fontaine, examines how the United States and its European allies can partner more closely with Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Turkey to strengthen international order. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the project leaders or their respective institutions. about GMf The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) strengthens transatlantic cooperation on regional, national, and global challenges and opportunities in the spirit of the Marshall Plan. GMF does this by supporting individuals and institutions working in the transatlantic sphere, by convening leaders and members of the policy and business communities, by contributing research and analysis on transatlantic topics, and by providing exchange opportunities to foster renewed commitment to the transatlantic relationship. In addition, GMF supports a number of initiatives to strengthen democracies. Founded in 1972 as a non-partisan, non-profit organization through a gift from Germany as a permanent memorial to Marshall Plan assistance, GMF maintains a strong presence on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition to its headquarters in Washington, DC, GMF has seven offices in Europe: Berlin, Paris, Brussels, Belgrade, Ankara, Bucharest, and Warsaw. GMF also has smaller representations in Bratislava, Turin, and Stockholm. GMf’s asia Program The German Marshall Fund’s Asia Program addresses the economic, foreign policy, and security implications of Asia’s rise for the United States and Europe through research, publications, commentary, conferences, fellowships, study tours, and collaborations with other GMF programs. The Program’s initiatives include the Stockholm China Forum, India Trilateral Forum, the Global Swing States Project, the Young Strategists Forum, Trilateral Forum Tokyo, Transatlantic Workshop on Pakistan, and high-level conversations at GMF’s major conferences. The program also publishes independent analysis by more than 15 in-house experts on Asia and externally commissioned papers looking at American and European approaches to the Asia-Pacific and on deepening cooperation between democratic Asia and the West. about the center for a new american Security The mission of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is to develop strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies. Building on the expertise and experience of its staff and advisors, CNAS engages policymakers, experts and the public with innovative, fact-based research, ideas and analysis to shape and elevate the national security debate. A key part of our mission is to inform and prepare the national security leaders of today and tomorrow. Cover photo: © Fornaxus

Global Swing States and the Non-Proliferation Order

Global Swing States Working Paper November 2012

Megan Garcia1

1 Megan Garcia is a Program Officer at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation where she manages the foundation’s Nuclear Security Initiative, a portfolio of grants aimed at increasing nuclear security. Before joining the Hewlett Foundation in 2010, she worked as Legislative Assistant to U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, where she was responsible for a portfolio of issues that included national security, foreign affairs, international trade, and homeland security. She has also worked as a policy fellow for U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown during his time in the House of Representatives, as a consultant to USAID’s Office of Military Affairs, and for Public Citizen California. Ms. Garcia holds a master’s in public policy with a focus on international policy and national security from the University of California, Berkeley, and an undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard University.


razil, India, Indonesia, and Turkey are now making critical decisions about how to orient themselves to increase their influence in world affairs. This is especially true regarding the intertwined issues of nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament, and nuclear energy — issues of practical and symbolic importance to each of these four countries. There is currently a disconnect between the proliferation concerns of many Western countries and the more immediate concerns of these nations. Western countries have traditionally defined the terms of the nonproliferation and disarmament debate and driven the accompanying agenda. To move beyond this pattern, the model of engagement will have to shift. Observers interested in the future of nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament could constructively ask: What benefits do Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Turkey receive from the current regime? What price does the current regime exact from them? What changes to the existing regime — structural, policy, or attitudinal — would meet their security and political needs? Encouraging these powers to participate more extensively in the formal and informal agreements that constitute the nonproliferation and disarmament regime starts with increasing mutual understanding. Nuclear issues are often a source of intense domestic debate, something that is largely missed by outside observers. The four “global swing states” are all nationalistic democracies with varied histories of engagement with the non-proliferation and disarmament regime. Their leaders have made different decisions about whether to acquire nuclear power and nuclear weapons; their experts have expressed different views about what role they might play in setting global nuclear standards. The complex interaction of geography, threat perception, economic policy, domestic politics, personalities and bureaucratic tendencies has taken each country down its own path.

The Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Regime The non-proliferation and disarmament regime is made up of a series of institutions and informal agreements. At the heart of the regime is the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), in place since 1968. The treaty’s three pillars are nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy. It states that countries without nuclear weapons will not seek to acquire them and will accept International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards on their nuclear activities and that nuclear weapons states will not transfer nuclear know-how to other countries. The NPT is supported by review conferences every five years in which countries discuss the state of the treaty and agree on steps to advance disarmament and non-proliferation. For a time, these review conferences were lackluster affairs. However, the 2010 review conference, sparked in part by renewed worldwide interest in disarmament, produced a consensus document amid an atmosphere of optimism. The IAEA serves as the non-proliferation regime’s locus of inspection and safeguards capability, as well as a source of training and technical information for countries that seek to use nuclear energy for power generation, helping to ensure that nuclear power is used safely and securely. The IAEA has been criticized for not having the teeth to decisively pronounce when its scientists believe that a nation is illicitly pursuing nuclear weapons production or to state clearly when its experts are concerned about the public safety impacts of nuclear incidents.1 The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is the world’s leading rulemaking body for nuclear trade. The NSG was established in London in 1975 by seven advanced nations in response to concerns that

Nuclear issues are often a source of intense domestic debate.

See, for example, “A Watchdog with Bite,” Nature, 472 no. 7344 (April 28, 2011), 389.

Global Swing States and the Non-Proliferation Order


The global nuclear order is under increasing pressure as the perceptual gap grows between nations with nuclear weapons and those without.

existing nuclear technology trade rules and the NPT would not prevent proliferation. The NSG now has 46 members and establishes guidelines that govern transfers of nuclear-related materials, equipment, and technology via a consensus system. Beyond the NSG, three other multilateral export control regimes exist: the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Australia Group, and the Missile Technology Control Regime. A host of other agreements form the remaining patchwork of the non-proliferation regime. These include the Convention on Nuclear Safety, the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, the Proliferation Security Initiative, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, the Seabed Arms Control Treaty, the Hague Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation, the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, the Container Security Initiative, the Megaports Initiative, and various resolutions of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). These agreements and initiatives have often been generated in the aftermath of a crisis to fill gaps in the existing suite of tools available to the international community to deal with a nuclearrelated threat. The UNSC plays a key role in the non-proliferation regime by voicing the negotiated views of its five permament members — all of which are nuclear weapon states — along with the ten rotating non-permanent member countries. The UNSC is, for example, where much of the international diplomacy concerning Iran’s nuclear program plays out on the world stage. The global nuclear order is under increasing pressure as the perceptual gap grows between nations with nuclear weapons and those without. Members of the Non-Aligned Movement criticize nuclear weapon states for slow progress toward

disarmament, as enshrined in the NPT. Nuclear weapon states maintain that they are making good faith efforts to fulfill their treaty obligations. This disagreement colors official and unofficial discussions on nuclear policy and threatens to keep progress from being made on either nonproliferation or disarmament. Testing the Limits of the Regime: India No country holds a more unique and contentious place in the non-proliferation regime than India. A nuclear-armed state that has not signed the NPT, India has an agreement with the United States in which it can purchase fuel and technology for its nuclear program, and it is now seeking membership in the NSG. From the beginning of the nuclear age, Indian leaders saw themselves as choosing a path outside the Cold War paradigm in which states aligned with either the United States or the Soviet Union. Instead, India’s leadership — deeply troubled by China’s 1962 attack and 1964 nuclear test, as well as India’s ongoing wars with Pakistan — developed its nuclear program as a way to ensure its own security and independence.2 The dominant view in Indian leadership when India first tested a nuclear device was that the current non-proliferation regime was discriminatory, and this view continues to dominate the Indian security establishment today. As one Indian national security advisor asked, “If the permanent five’s possession of nuclear weapons increases security, why would India’s possession of nuclear weapons be dangerous?”3 Indian leaders have viewed their pursuit of nuclear weapons as the country’s right and have staunchly defended the right of all countries to nuclear technology.
2 For one discussion of the motivation of Indian leaders’ development of a nuclear program, see Jaswant Singh, “Against Nuclear Apartheid,” Foreign Affairs, 77 no. 5 (September/ October 1998), 41-52. 3

Ibid., 43.


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Indian statesmen and experts have also pointed out that because the United States does not have a “no first use” policy for its nuclear arsenal,4 its doctrine implies that nuclear weapons can legitimately be used.5 India has adopted a “no first use” policy and therefore sees U.S. resistance to do so as hypocritical and a symptom of the United States’ tendency to ask more from other nations than it is willing to undertake. The fact that India’s policy has exceptions in the event of attack with chemical or biological weapons is seen by Indians as irrelevant to the argument. In addition, several Indian decision-makers have argued that the indefinite extension of the NPT in 1995 was a key factor in India’s decision to move forward with its nuclear weapons program.6 The indefinite extension of the NPT signaled to India that the nuclear weapon states were not serious about working toward disarmament. Therefore, Indian leaders were compelled to develop a fullfledged nuclear weapons program both to arm themselves against China and as an indicator of their power on the world stage. As a result of these conclusions, India surprised the world by testing five nuclear devices in 1998. As of July 2012, experts estimated that India has 80 to 100 nuclear weapons.7 India’s nuclear doctrine has changed over time through fierce debate inside the Indian government and between military and civilian organizations.8 India’s current policy is to maintain what is deemed a credible minimum
4 A “no first use” policy binds a state not to use its nuclear weapons against another country unless under nuclear attack. 5 K. Subrahmanyam, “No First Use: An Indian View,” Survival, 51 no. 5 (October/November 2009), 32.

deterrent — just enough weapons to reliably deter an adversary and a doctrine of “no first use” except in the event of a biological or chemical weapons attack. India’s role in the non-proliferation and disarmament regime is now greatly tied to the deal it struck with the George W. Bush administration, with bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress, for fuel and technical support for its nuclear program. The deal, coupled with earlier outreach from the Bill Clinton administration, greatly thawed India’s relationship with the United States,9 but it has also generated assertions by other emerging power leaders that India is receiving preferential treatment. Since the initial debate about the NPT, India has carved its own path, building an indigenous nuclear program on the fringes of the non-proliferation regime, opting not to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and continuing to produce fissile material for weapons production. This role as a model for independent behavior was strengthened by the U.S.-India nuclear deal. India has demonstrated — to the consternation of many non-proliferation advocates — that countries that do not accede to the nonproliferation regime can ultimately benefit if their economies are strong and their relationships with the great powers are robust on other fronts. Debate on the U.S.-India nuclear deal also highlighted the tension around India’s relationship with Iran, both within India and from the U.S. perspective. The U.S. legislation that implemented the deal contained a statement of policy requiring the president to report to Congress on whether India had taken actions to “dissuade, isolate, and if necessary, sanction and contain Iran for its efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction, including a nuclear weapons capability and the capability to
9 S. Paul Kapur and Sumit Ganguly, “The Transformation of U.S.-India Relations,” Asian Survey, 47 no. 4 (August 2007), 642-656.

Since the initial debate about the NPT, India has carved its own path.

Ibid.; and Singh, “Against Nuclear Apartheid.” Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, “Indian Nuclear Forces, 2012,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 68 (July/August 2012), 96-101. 8 Scott D. Sagan, “Evolution of Pakistani and Indian Nuclear Doctrine,” in Inside Nuclear South Asia, ed. Scott Sagan (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2009), 245.
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Global Swing States and the Non-Proliferation Order


Brazil has also been a stalwart champion of generating regional solutions to nuclear security problems.

enrich uranium or reprocess nuclear fuel and the means to deliver weapons of mass destruction.”10 This language satisfied those members of Congress who viewed the U.S.-India deal as a tool that would allow the United States and other countries to push India toward more aggressive moves to contain Iran’s nuclear activities. Since the end of 2010, India has begun to decrease its oil imports from Iran, ceding to pressure from the United States and the European Union to do more to limit Iran’s exports.11 Two large energy deals that India signed with Iran — one to export liquefied natural gas and the other to construct a 1,700-mile pipeline to carry natural gas from Iran to India — have both stalled. Indian leaders seem poised to continue to support efforts to discourage Iran from pursuing its nuclear program. Blazing Trails: Brazil Brazil has a very different history with regard to nuclear weapons — a history that may have included a secret weapons program, has had an intense focus on domestic technological capacity, and has been dominated by the outsized personalities of its leaders. Each of these factors has shaped Brazil’s engagement with the nonproliferation and disarmament regime. Initially, Brazilian leaders were unwilling to join the NPT and viewed it as discriminatory because it forced less-developed nations into accepting permanent technological disadvantage.12 Between 1964 and 1985, Brazil was governed by a military dictatorship that both acquired its own nuclear technology capacity and relied on technological assistance from the United States because of
22 U.S.C. § 87, “United States and India Nuclear Cooperation.” 11 Jay Solomon and Subhadip Sircar, “India Joins U.S. Effort to Stifle Iran Trade,” The Wall Street Journal, December 29, 2010. 12 Diego Santos Vieira de Jesus, “The Brazilian Way,” Non-proliferation Review, 17 no. 3 (December 2011), 551-567.

energy shortages and the 1973 oil shocks. Because the United States was unwilling to transfer the entire nuclear fuel cycle to Brazil, the Brazilian government secretly negotiated with West Germany for nuclear power reactors and uranium processing facilities, as well as technologies for conversion, enrichment, and reprocessing. By the time the military regime ended in 1985, Brazil’s navy had an indigenous program to develop a naval reactor, its army was developing a graphite-moderated reactor to create weapons-usable plutonium, and its air force had a program to develop laser enrichment and breeder reactors.13 With the fall of the military regime and the emergence of democratic governance in Brazil, the country has emphasized the peaceful nature of its nuclear activities. Its 1988 constitution bans any use of nuclear weapons — a major step for a country that had been developing the capabilities to develop a weapon. In 1998, Brazil completed its accession to the NPT, despite heated internal debate, and ratified the CTBT. Brazil has also been a stalwart champion of generating regional solutions to nuclear security problems. In 1991, after years of seeing each other as nuclear rivals, Brazil and Argentina created the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials to monitor each other’s nuclear activities and facilities and ensure that they remain exclusively for peaceful use. The Brazilian government has articulated several reasons for its refusal to sign the Additional Protocol (AP), which provides the IAEA with the ability to conduct more comprehensive inspections in a country. At the 2010 NPT Review Conference, Brazilian delegates argued that they would not support the AP without progress on disarmament, including the establishment of a timetable for disarmament. Other Brazilian nuclear experts argue that the AP is unnecessary because Brazil’s

Sharon Squassoni and David Fite, “Brazil’s Nuclear History,” Arms Control Today, 35 no. 8 (October 2005), 16.


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constitution commits the country not to develop nuclear weapons.14 Brazil is reluctant to give the IAEA additional access to information concerning the history of its nuclear program. If Brazil agreed to implement the AP, it would be obliged to disclose to the IAEA any high-level radioactive waste inventories, which would testify to historical processsing of undeclared nuclear material in the country. Brazil’s nuclear energy and nuclear policy decisions are made by a variety of actors — the president, navy, foreign ministry, and national commission of nuclear energy — without much oversight from the National Congress. All of these bodies, and the actors within them, represent a range of views about the role Brazil should play with regard to nuclear policy. Some argue that Brazil should not have signed the NPT and that it should focus on its own burgeoning nuclear capacity15 and not engage with a regime that is inherently discriminatory. Others argue that although the regime is discriminatory, it is worthwhile for Brazil to sign onto the agreements that will allow it to become a major player and reap economic benefits. Brazil’s approach to nuclear issues has, in the recent past, been deeply influenced by the foreign policy approach of the administration in power. Luiz Inácio Lula de Silva’s administration sought a greater international role for Brazil, including a foray into nuclear diplomacy with Iran.16 At the same time, Lula’s administration established its support for the idea of protecting access to
Mark Hibbs, “Nuclear Suppliers Group and the IAEA Additional Protocol,” Nuclear Energy Brief (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, August 18, 2010). 15 Brazil began enriching its own uranium at Resende after formerly having sent its uranium to Canada for enrichment. “Brazil to Start Enriching Uranium at Resende,” World Nuclear News, January 14, 2009, newsarticle.aspx?id=24321. 16 Tullo Vigevani and Marcelo Oliveira, “Lula’s Foreign Policy and the Quest for Autonomy through Diversification,” Third World Quarterly, 28 no. 7 (October 2007) 1309-1326.

technology and keeping states free of additional verification obligations. Dilma Rousseff ’s presidency has so far been less focused on generating a role for Brazil on nuclear issues. Balancing Regional and Global Relationships: Turkey Turkey has never possessed nuclear weapons of its own — in part because, as a NATO ally, it has hosted U.S. nuclear weapons since 1961. As a result of decisions made at NATO’s 1957 Paris summit, the weapons were placed in Turkey to serve as a deterrent to the Soviet Union. They later acted as a deterrent to Iran, Iraq, and Syria, each of which had, or was believed to have, unconventional weapons.17 The missiles were removed in 1963 after the Cuban missile crisis, and since then, Turkey has hosted bombs that could only be delivered by U.S. aircraft.18 Turkey has been a supporter of the nonproliferation and disarmament regime and has signed the NPT and the CTBT. It is also a member of the four export-control regimes and has ratified the AP. In general, Turkish leaders have promoted nuclear disarmament for decades, and several Turkish experts argue that it is in Turkey’s self-interest not to build nuclear weapons. The decision to do so would likely draw sanctions, hurt its impressive economic growth,19 and deeply complicate its security situation with its neighbors.20

Turkish leaders have promoted nuclear disarmament for decades.

Mustafa Kibaroglu, “Reassessing the Role of Nuclear Weapons in Turkey,” Arms Control Today, 40 no. 5 (June 2010), 8-13. Ibid.

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According to the International Monetary Fund, Turkey has the world’s 18th-largest economy. According to the World Bank, Turkey had a 9.2 percent rate of GDP growth from 2002 to 2006 and a 8.5 percent rate of GDP growth from 2007 to 2011. Sinan Ulgen, Illhan Or, Hasan Saygin, Izak Atiyas, and Gurkan Kumbaroglu, “The Turkish Model for Transition to Nuclear Power” (EDAM Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies, December 2011), 169.


Global Swing States and the Non-Proliferation Order


The Iran Fuel Swap Deal
As a singular case of global swing states taking a high-profile role in addressing a non-proliferation challenge, the fuel swap negotiations with Iran undertaken by Brazil and Turkey warrant close attention. In 2009, Iran raised concerns by revealing that it had built a secret nuclear facility near Qom, and outside experts said that the plant could produce enough nuclear material to fuel one bomb per year.1 The permanent members of the UNSC responded by pushing the IAEA board of governors to adopt a resolution demanding that Iran immediately stop building the facility and freeze uranium enrichment.2 Amid the concern about developments in Iran’s nuclear program, the UNSC permament members and Germany began discussions about whether to hold talks with Iran. With support from the Obama administration, Brazilian President Lula and Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan began discussions about how they might be able to negotiate a deal with Iran. On May 17, 2010, Brazil, Iran, and Turkey agreed on a plan in which Iran would export 1,200 kilograms of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey in return for fuel for a medical research reactor. The terms of the arrangement were nearly identical to a proposal that France, Russia, the United States, and the IAEA had proposed to Iran the previous October.3 One day later, the five permanent members of the UNSC forwarded a draft sanctions resolution on Iran to the council’s ten rotating members, which included Brazil and Turkey, putting the future of the fuel swap in question. In addition, the permanent members reacted coldly to the deal negotiated by Brazil and Turkey. Western leaders indicated that Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium had grown since the previous October, and removing the 1,200 kilograms would thus account for a smaller percentage of Iran’s total stockpile, reducing the deal’s value as a confidence-building measure and leaving an unacceptably high amount of low-enriched uranium in Iran. The Turkish and Brazilian governments were caught off guard, having expected their role as mediators to be heralded. Heavily criticized by the domestic press, Lula was lambasted as a pawn of the major powers. Turkish leaders were also viewed negatively at home. Particularly in light of Obama’s earlier encouragement of Turkey and Brazil playing a role in discussions with Iran, Lula and other Brazilian policymakers publicly and privately fumed when the permament members of the UNSC disavowed the deal, arguing that “the traditional centers of power will not share gladly their privileged status.”4 In the end, the UNSC adopted new sanctions against Iran, effectively taking the agreement negotiated by Brazil and Turkey off the table. The deal — and the subsequent Brazilian and Turkish decision to vote against UNSC sanctions — sent ripples through the established powers by providing an example of how emerging powers could negotiate on a highly charged issue like nuclear policy.


David Albright and Paul Brannan, “Critique of Recent Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Article on the Fordow Enrichment Plant” (Institute for Science and International Security, November 30, 2009). 2 George Jahn, “Nuclear Agency Comes Down on Iran,” Associated Press, November 28, 2009. 3 Peter Crail, “Brazil, Turkey Broker Fuel Swap with Iran,” Arms Control Today, 40 no. 5 (June 2010). 4 Celso Amorim, “Let’s Hear From the New Kids on the Block,” International Herald Tribune, June 14, 2010.


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In 1993, Turkey announced its intention to acquire nuclear reactors as part of its goal to have a diversified energy supply.21 In 2010, Turkey signed a deal with Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned nuclear power company, to build, own, and operate a nuclear power plant on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. The first of four reactors at the site is expected to come online in 2019.22 According to the deal, Rosatom will provide the nuclear fuel rods, operate the plant, and remove the spent fuel. Turkey will not have access to the fuel; thus, the plant poses relatively little proliferation risk. Turkey, like some of the other global swing states, remains a staunch supporter of the right of all countries to possess civilian nuclear technology. Its defense of Iran’s ability to obtain such technology has been a source of friction with the five permanent members of the UNSC. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party came to power in 2002 and put in place a “zero problems” foreign policy focused on promoting regional stability through dialogue and economic cooperation.23 This has included balancing growing trade and diplomatic interaction between Turkey and Iran with Turkey’s longstanding relationship with the West — a relationship that was temporarily strained by Turkey’s attempt to broker a nuclear agreement with Iran in 2010. Forging a Regional Leadership Role: Indonesia Indonesia is playing a growing regional and global leadership role, both in general and with regard to

nuclear issues. Since the 1950s, its engagement with the non-proliferation and disarmament regime has waxed and waned, from an exclusive focus on the effects of radiation to potential interest in developing a nuclear weapons program to pursuit of a leadership role in promoting disarmament and non-proliferation. In the 1950s and 1960s, Indonesia developed an agency for research and development of atomic energy that was dedicated to the peaceful application of nuclear science and was focused almost exclusively on studying the effects of radiation. The agency sought out cooperation with the IAEA, the Soviet Union, France, West Germany, and Japan and received its first research reactor from the United States under the Atoms for Peace program.24 Indonesian leadership swung dramatically away from this peaceful approach to nuclear policy when, in response to China’s 1964 nuclear test, Indonesian President Sukarno alarmed many in the region and in the West by publicly proclaiming that Indonesia would develop the ability to follow suit.25 When Sukarno was removed from office by a coup in 1965, the Indonesian leadership swung in the other direction, abruptly supporting IAEA safeguards and accepting U.S. funding under the Atoms for Peace program. Ever since, Indonesia’s nuclear policy — as articulated by General Suharto — has continued to be based on support of non-proliferation and the quest for nuclear energy.26 Indonesia has been a longtime member of the NPT and an adherent to the AP and has also signed onto other conventions and arrangements. The
Michael S. Malley and Tanya Ogilvie-White, “Nuclear Capabilities in Southeast Asia,” Non-proliferation Review, 16 no. 1 (March 2009), 30 25 Robert M. Cornejo, “When Sukarno Sought the Bomb: Indonesian Nuclear Aspirations in the Mid-1960s,” Non-proliferation Review, 7 no. 2 (Summer 2000), 35.
24 26

Electricity demand in Turkey has grown at more than 8 percent per year, on average, in the past decade, prompting Turkey to import almost 75 percent of its fuel to meet internal demand. Natural gas makes up 48 percent of Turkish energy imports, making Turkey extremely susceptible to price fluctuations and market disruptions and driving Turkey’s interest in nuclear energy production. Sinan Ulgen, “Turkey and the Bomb,” Carnegie Paper (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, February 2012), 21. Ibid., 11.



Malley and Ogilvie-White, “Nuclear Capabilities in Southeast Asia,” 30.

Global Swing States and the Non-Proliferation Order


The most dramatic and recent instance in which Indonesia forged a role as a nonproliferation leader was its ratification of the CTBT.

IAEA has commended Indonesia for bringing its nuclear power industry in line with internationally recommended safety and security practices.27 In addition, Indonesian leaders used their role as the 2011 chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to press the permanent members of the UNSC to accept the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapons Free Zone, under which all ASEAN countries have committed to forego the acquisition of nuclear weapons. The most dramatic and recent instance in which Indonesia forged a role as a non-proliferation leader was its ratification of the CTBT. In 2010, after the first Nuclear Security Summit, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa announced, in a major policy reversal, that Indonesia would move forward with CTBT ratification without waiting for the United States to ratify. The announcement provided the Obama administration with a tangible victory after the first summit, strengthened the U.S.-Indonesia relationship and provided momentum to the stalled effort to bring the CTBT into force. Indonesia’s foreign minister faced an uphill battle in his attempt to ratify, finally winning agreement from parliament in 2012, when he remarked that the ratification demonstrated Indonesia’s “commitment to realize the vision of a world without nuclear weapons.”28 During the run-up to the 2012 summit, Indonesia again played an important role, leading the working group on accelerating ratification and adherence to nuclear security treaties and conventions.29 In its nuclear energy acquisition, Indonesia has maintained its effort to demonstrate its adherence

to non-proliferation best practices, working with the IAEA to ensure that its personnel are adequately trained — a major hurdle for countries seeking to acquire commercial nuclear reactors — and that its safety and security infrastructure are robust. After working with the IAEA, Indonesia is recognized as one of the more prepared countries currently seeking nuclear power and a model for other Southeast Asian countries, like Vietnam, that have contracts in place for reactors.30 Moving Forward There are two ways in which the West and the global swing states may be able to bridge the current impasse on nuclear issues. The first change is largely attitudinal. Many in the national security field have yet to recognize several ongoing global shifts that affect security: the strong economic growth of countries like the four examined here, the rapid increase in technology use and its impact on information awareness, the transnational nature of many security threats, the rise in non-government actors, the increasing impact of regional conflict on global institutions, and demographic shifts favoring the global south. In part, this lack of recognition stems from the uncomfortable nature of acknowledging that these shifts, in many ways, require a change in how Western governments operate to achieve their non-proliferation and disarmament goals. Once decision-makers in the West internalize the changes afoot globally, what will follow is a natural adjustment in approach. Many diplomats in Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Turkey have expressed frustration with the manner in which their Western counterparts think to include them in negotiations only at the last minute, or seek their assistance in selling a particular policy without including them in the development of that policy. If and when the majority of Western decision-makers recognize that

Stephanie Lieggi, “The Non-proliferation Tiger: Indonesia’s Impact on Non-proliferation in Asia and Beyond” (Nuclear Threat Institute, March 5, 2012), 2. Indonesia Foreign Ministry, “FM Submits CTBT Instrument of Ratification to UN Secretary General,” press release, February 7, 2012. Lieggi, “The Non-proliferation Tiger.”



Jennifer Jett, “Indonesia Could Be Major Regional Player in Nuclear Power: IAEA Official,” Jakarta Post, December 10, 2010.


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emerging powers are necessary for the achievement of policy goals, rather than occasional stumbling blocks, they may be more likely to view their colleagues from the global swing states as partners in addressing shared problems. The second way in which the West and global swing states can move forward is practical. It will have to be based on the understanding that for growing democracies, there are pressing economic and social problems that often, for good reason, trump non-proliferation and disarmament. For example, a large segment of India’s population remains in poverty, and Brazil is struggling to build the infrastructure that will allow it to keep up with industrial growth. Meanwhile, Indonesia faces severe problems curbing terrorism and Turkey is grappling with potential constitutional changes while struggling with a volatile Middle East. Given the complex and daunting challenges faced by these countries, Western leaders can take the following steps to engage the four swing states in the nonproliferation and disarmament regime: • Combine non-proliferation initiatives with other programs of value to global swing states. One example to follow is the joint effort of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the United States, which have jointly funded the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative to reduce illicit trafficking across the region. The effort addresses Caribbean concerns about illicit trafficking of drugs while also reducing the probability of the illegal sale and

shipping of weapons of mass destruction,31 thereby offering lessons for how future nonproliferation initiatives might be made more applicable to the domestic challenges that rising democracies confront. • Encourage instances in which global swing states serve as mediators or negotiators on nuclear issues. The fuel swap deal that Brazil and Turkey negotiated with Iran is one example of a missed opportunity for established powers to encourage the participation of the global swing states in non-proliferation and disarmament affairs. As the global swing states rise in economic weight and political influence, they are having an immediate impact on the intertwined issues of nuclear security and nuclear energy. Western nations can no longer pressure these countries forward; they must couple leadership on nuclear policy with collaboration in order for progress on non-proliferation and disarmament to continue.

For growing democracies, there are pressing economic and social problems that often, for good reason, trump non-proliferation and disarmament.


U.S. Department of State, “The Caribbean Basin Security Initiative: A Shared Regional Security Partnership,” Fact Sheet, May 20, 2010; and Brian Finlay, “Proliferation Prevention: Bridging the Security/Development Divide in the Global South,” Global Studies Review, 7 no. 3 (Fall 2011).

Global Swing States and the Non-Proliferation Order


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