Ex-US President Jimmy Carter declares "Israel has 150 or more" nuclear weapons

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by BoyBach, May 26, 2008.

  1. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

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    #1
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7420573.stm


    I find the response by Aharon Zeevi-Farkash to be particularly, er... insightful. :rolleyes:
     
  2. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #2
    I always thought it was a fact that Israel had nukes. I thought we armed them decades ago. I never even thought about it, I just assumed.
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #3
    The problem with it is that Israel's actions in this regard are in every respect what we'd call "rogue state" or "pariah" behavior were any other country doing it. So the West, and the US in particular, needs Israel's secrecy more than Israel does, in order to save face while still trying to persecute other countries that pursue nuclear armament...

    So yes, everyone has known that Israel has nuclear weapons for many years, but no, no one generally talks about it.
     
  4. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #4

    There was a 1999 DIA estimate that the Israelis could have 60-80 nuclear weapons. This was based on previous estimates (including information from Edward Teller) and on the capability of the Dimona reactor. So, Carter's estimation might have been high, but within the bounds of possibility.

    Link.
    Also, from the FAS article:

    Does this pattern seem familiar?

    Link.
     
  5. Queso macrumors G4

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    #5
    Considering it's a well-documented fact that Israel gave South Africa the bomb in the Apartheid years I don't regard this as new information at all. We saw the South African test flashes from satellites, and De Klerk admits where the help came from in his autobiography.
     
  6. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #6
    Well, being able to build a bomb and actually having a bomb (or a few dozen) are two different things, though closely related. For example, I would think that Japan would be able to assemble their own weapons rather quickly if circumstances dictated.
    That said, the whole thing is a public secret, a system the Israelis certainly like to keep and the US obliges.
     
  7. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #7
    true that ... and japan is by far not the only country ... the netherlands or germany with their high uranium enrichment capacity come to mind
    germany actually even has experimental reactors running on weapon grade uranium

    as long as they are allied the US won't care what their allies do .. just like the nuclear weapons in pakistan turned 'uninteresting' by magic ;)
     
  8. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #8
    Except for shelf life problems, how many do they really "need".

    One for each country that wants to push them into the Mediterranean.
     
  9. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #9
    I'm afraid it wasn't only the French who were selling heavy water to Israel:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4743987.stm

    BTW, Jimmy Carter talks a lot of sense.
     
  10. és: macrumors 6502a

    és:

    #10
    It's no secret that they have many, many more than that.

    We have Mordechai Vanunu to thank for that, for which he spent over a decade in solitary confinement.
     
  11. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #11
    Well, to a certain extent, the IAF is the primary delivery vehicle, so in the event that a nuclear attack was necessary, the Israelis would want some redundancy.

    Also, we're not sure of the yield of these weapons, some could be tactical and some could be the strategic nukes for destroying a city. Hard to tell without more specific information, which if known would probably come with a visit from Mossad.
     
  12. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #12
    The Israelis were testing in South Africa using missiles, so I doubt that the IAF is the primary delivery system. Besides which it is well-known that they have German submarines in the Gulf armed with nuclear cruise missiles, so massive redundancy is not essential.
     
  13. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #13
    Maybe it was atonement for this sad event?

    To be fair, both Havana and Miami turned one particular ship back to face the Holocaust.
     
  14. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #14
    As President of the United States, Carter was probably well advised about how many nukes Israel had. I find it impossible to believe that the US government doesn't have intimate knowledge of Israel's military capabilities.


    It's good that Carter is using his waning years to support the Palestinians.
     
  15. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #15
    I doubt it. The British were committed by their mandate in Palestine to preventing large-scale unregulated immigration.
     
  16. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #16
    Indeed, if Israel were replaced by Iran, and France replaced with Pakistan, we'd have an entire DC pundit class Brodering themselves in a rush to have someone else's kids dying to fix the problem.

    That depends on who you ask. For a time there, Herr Bush was quite insistent that "nuclear weapons program related activities" were sufficient justification for invading Iraq.
     
  17. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #17
    The Israelis know how to play the intelligence game, they have a very good CI arm and a lobby in Washington. We don't know if the DIA estimate is intentionally low, middle, or high. I'd guess that the DIA estimate is somewhere in the middle and Carter's is higher, but there's no specific information out there, AFAIK.

    Exactly.
     
  18. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #18
    This isn't really news, though it is something we rarely hear about.

    The fact that it never comes up is especially convenient in light of recent developments in Iran, at least for the Bush administration.
     
  19. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #19
    And looky here!
    Iran not allowing inspections of facilities suspected to be for nuclear weapons development. Expect the hawks among us to seize on this information and use it as a rationale for attacking Iran -- while Israel also hides their facilities from inspection and refuses to admit they have a weapons program -- and no one suggests that we must attack them. I wonder why that could be?
     

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