Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Nuclear Weapons Key to Israeli Retention of the
By Grant F Smith
"A newly declassified 1960 report on Israel's nukes underscores
role in foreign policy "assertiveness."
"Possession of a nuclear
weapon capability, or even the prospect of achieving it, would clearly give
Israel a greater sense of security, self-confidence, and
assertiveness...Israel would be less inclined than ever to make
concessions..." are conclusions of a CIA Special National Intelligence
Estimate released on June 5, 2009.
The December 1960 intelligence
analysis, parts which are still classified, offers timely context as the
Obama administration struggles to slow booming settlement activities in
lands Israel captured during preemptive attacks in 1967.
weapons enter the calculation as Israel continues to reject pressure from
the very country providing billions in yearly foreign aid, preferential
treatment of exports and US charitable donations? Yes, is the clear
For years the CIA resisted public calls to declassify
files about the financing, development, deployment and strategy behind
Israel's nuclear weapons. This was in line with the policy of "strategic
ambiguity." Both the US and Israel officially refused to confirm or deny the
existence of a nuclear arsenal. Such secrecy has been used to justify
military aid to Israel despite explicit bans on proliferators legislated by
Senators Symington and Glenn in the 1970s. Recent public confirmations of
Israel's nuclear status by US officials could enable legal challenges and
new public scrutiny of taxpayer funds flowing to Israel.
of the 1960s CIA estimate focus on the military deterrent nature of Israel's
nuclear capability. Nevertheless the possibility of subtle nuclear blackmail
in return for diplomatic and foreign aid support was implicit. The
declassified CIA report reveals that Israeli "assertiveness" and reluctance
to negotiate could be empowered by nuclear weapons. Longstanding Israeli
rejection of UN, US and human rights initiatives partially depend upon the
influence of its secret arsenal. Success also depends on regional nuclear
hegemony, explaining Israel's ongoing drive to focus world attention on
Iran's civilian nuclear program.
Ironically, Israel may now be
driving regional nuclear proliferation as it successfully demonstrates how
such weapons bestow the ability to resist outside pressures and
international accountability. Unlike Iran, Israel has never signed the
Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty. Recent estimates conclude Israel has
deployed approximately 200 nuclear bombs and warheads.
CIA declassifies 1960 report of Israeli nuclear weapons program
CIA Special National Intelligence Estimate released on June 5, 2009.
Download the scanned original cia 1960 report from
Central Intelligence Agency declassified and released an early analysis of
the Israeli nuclear weapons program on June 5, 2009.
IRmep added to
George Washington University's multiple outstanding National Security
Archive FOIA requests for detailed information in early January of 2009.
However IRmep's FOIAs continue a long term effort to expand the Israel Lobby
Archive's documentation of the lobby's early smuggling of stolen and
reconditioned US arms to Palestine with hard data on the covert financing of
nuclear weapons in contravention of the American nonproliferation drive and
laws banning taxpayer funded foreign aid to proliferators.
A more complete American public awareness of the Israeli nuclear program
is vital for understanding its role as a driver of instability in the Middle
East and challenge to governance in the US.