The Fourth Leg

Elements of Caution and Prudence

av The Fourth Leg | Publicerades 10/11/2019

Israel is a unique case among the current nine nuclear weapons states. It is the sixth state—and the first and only one in the Middle East—to develop, acquire, and possess nuclear weapons. And yet, to this day, it has never openly acknowledged its nuclear weapons-state status. Nor has the outside world, friends or foes alike, pressed Israel to come clean publicly about its nuclear status. As a long-held policy, Israel neither confirms nor denies possession of nuclear weapons. Instead, ever since the mid-1960s—a time in which Israel did not yet possess nuclear weapons capability—Israel has declared, first privately and then publicly, that “it will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East.” This formula became the essence of Israel’s policy of nuclear opacity. In this segment Avner Cohen traces and exposes Israel’s two most fundamental principles of the Israeli NC3 thinking: first, insisting on strict physical and organizational separation between nuclear (e.g., pits) and non-nuclear assets (e.g., military delivery platform); second, creating a two- tier governance architecture at various levels.

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The Institute for Security and Technology designs and advances solutions to the world’s toughest emerging security threats. It is a nonpartisan, nonprofit network based in the San Francisco Bay Area dedicated to solving critical international security challenges through better technology and policy. For more information, visit securityandtechnology.org.