Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Israel Atomics II.

This is coolbert:

"These things"

3. Seymour Hersh, again, in his book, "The Samson Option", describes how the Israelis did activate their nuclear weapons force during the Yom Kippur/Ramadan War of 1973 between Israel and the Arab powers they were at war with.

In the first few days of the war, the situation did not look good for Israel. It was possible that Israeli territory could have been invaded, with devastating consequences for the Israeli populace. And the answer might have been for the Israelis to escalate to the use of nuclear weapons.

This did not occur, to the relief of everyone.

Israeli conventional military power was able to prevail over the Arabs.

However, at the end of the war, the threat of Soviet intervention was made apparent.

How this would have played out is totally uncertain, but obviously, if confronted by a nuclear power such as the Soviets, the Israelis would have wanted to have an option available for deterrence.

Such an option would have been nuclear weapons. [This is called the Samson Option. Referring to the account of Samson, who destroyed his oppressors, the Philistines, by pulling down the pillars of the temple where he was displayed as a captive. He killed four thousand of the Philistines, while destroying himself also in the process. The Samson Option was the last option available for Israeli self-defense in the most exceptional of circumstances, when survival itself would be on the line.]

Israel does have some pretty good world-class science and technology.

Few countries in the world period surpass Israel in some areas of expertise.

Remarkable for a nation of only about four millions of persons!!

It could be that when Israeli politicians speak of not being the "first to introduce" nuclear weapons, what they are talking about here is the assembling of complete-ready-to-go bombs.

Perhaps a nation as technologically advanced as Israel has constructed modular atomic weapons.
Bits and pieces designed from the start to be put together and ready to go just prior to the moments that a missile is launched or a jet fighter-bomber takes off on a mission.

Makes sense from a security standpoint and an intelligence standpoint. Makes it hard for foreign adversarial intelligence services to pin-point the existence and location of a weapon or weapons. At a very quick notice, the bits and pieces of the modular weapon could be assembled and you have a bomb ready to go. In the meantime, you can honestly say you don't actually possess "these things".

In his book, "The KGB, the Hidden Hand", John Barron devotes an entire chapter to Hugh Hambleton, "The Man Who Loved to Spy".

Hugh was a Canadian economist who worked for NATO and spied for the Soviets all during the sixties [1960's] and seventies [1970's].

Along with illegally providing a continuous stream of classified material to the Soviets, from time to time Hugh would be given assignments that involved research and analysis.

One such assignment Hugh was given by the Soviets was to determine from, again, what is called "open source material", was to as to whether or not the Israelis could have actually built nuclear weapons.

As reported by John Barron, Hugh diligently went about his assignment, gathering for over a period of a year all the unclassified accounts he could find about Israeli nuclear expertise.

Hugh was particularly interested in whether a nation the size of Israeli did possess the material, financial, technological, and scientific resources to build nuclear weapons. After his analysis was complete, Hugh did conclude that Israel very well could build such weapons, and probably already had.

By doing this analysis for the Soviets, Hambleton was showing the Soviet intelligence services what sources were available out there at the unclassified level, how to obtain the information, and how his methodology of processing this information to obtain his conclusion was done.

This would greatly assist in the future the Soviet intelligence services own methods of gathering and processing information. It also seems to infer that the Soviets themselves were in the dark regarding Israeli nuclear capability.

The Israelis tend to be very security conscious to begin with, and in the area of nuclear capability, very, very, very security conscious.

This is deliberate. Sort of like having an ace up the sleeve in the high stakes poker game.


To be continued.




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