Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Does Israel Need Nuclear Weapons?
Robert Farley, National Interest: The Worst-Kept Military Secret Ever: Israel Has Nuclear Weapons (But Does It Need Them?)
This isn’t to say that Israel was wrong to embark on a nuclear program, or that it should unilaterally give up its nukes now. The political developments of the 1970s and 1980s, including the defanging of Egypt, the cauldron of the Iran-Iraq conflict, and the end of the Cold War, were difficult to foresee from the vantage point of the mid-1960s. Perhaps most importantly, the ironclad relationship between Israel and the United States did not exist when the Israelis established their program. Given the decision, taken in the late 1940s, to try to make Israel the epicenter of Jewish global life, nuclear aspirations to defend that epicenter hardly seem unreasonable.
Since the early 1970s, Israel has informally maintained a nuclear deterrent. In order to prevent the activation of a variety of legal instruments that would disrupt Israeli relations with the United States and Europe, Israel has not acknowledged the program. It remains, however, the worst-kept secret in international politics.
But a country always has options. What if Israel had never developed these nukes? What impact would a different decision have had on Israel’s security, and on regional politics more broadly?
Read more ....
WNU Editor: I can understand why the Israeli leadership wanted nuclear weapons decades ago. They were always under constant threat, and there was no guarantee that they could stop an invasion from the Arab states .... hence a deterrent was necessary. Flash forward to today .... much of the Middle East is now in a state of war and conflict .... and who knows what will arise when all of these conflicts have finally ended. A shattered Middle East more focused on peace and rebuilding .... or something far more dangerous and threatening. In the worst case scenario .... maybe a nuclear arsenal and the deterrence that it gives will become a necessary evil.