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July 6, 2002
4:48 AM   Subscribe

Israel has about 400 nuclear weapons, according to an air force report. (via fark)
posted by delmoi (21 comments total)

 
Unfortunately they don't seem to want to use them on their neighbours.
posted by dagny at 4:54 AM on July 6, 2002


Even though their neighbors have already stated that they'd nuke Israel the first chance they got...
posted by techgnollogic at 5:07 AM on July 6, 2002


Like all the other nuclear nations, Israel has long stated that it would only use nuclear weapons in response to a nuclear, chemical or biological attack. Only India, Pakistan and... the United States have made any noises about changing that policy.
posted by riddley at 5:18 AM on July 6, 2002


Unfortunately they don't seem to want to use them on their neighbours.

Now, y'see, when I was young and carefree and the world was going to end imminently in a nuclear holocaust, we kept being told about this thing called fallout, like a whole bunch of radiation (possibly as much as a "shitload" of radiation) which you got, apparantly, after a nuclear bomb went off, and which had a terrible effect on the survivors of the explosion and could be blown this way and that over quite a large area. Terrible devastation. That sort of thing. We all saw the docudramas, even the people who then wrote to the TV stations to complain about leftist bias. I think it's telling that the weapons were originally developed to be used against people a very long way away indeed or not at all.

Why would anyone generally considered sensible enough to possess an atomic bomb want to use it on their neighbours, if they are just going to get caught by the fallout?

Or was fallout just a communist lie?
posted by Grangousier at 5:30 AM on July 6, 2002


Not to refute any of its assertions, but the linked paper is not exactly an official US Air Force report:-

The views expressed in this publication are those solely of the author and are not a statement of official policy or position of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, or the USAF Counterproliferation Center.
posted by brantstrand at 6:52 AM on July 6, 2002


whats new ? Every body knows they posess nuclear weapons. Does the number really matter ? And Grangousier is right. The area is so small, Isarelites can never use it on their neighbor, "unfortunately".
posted by adnanbwp at 7:16 AM on July 6, 2002


Why would anyone generally considered sensible enough to possess an atomic bomb want to use it on their neighbors, if they are just going to get caught by the fallout?

Particularly when it isn't the neighbors they are currently having problems with. It is Palestinians within the heavily colonized occupied territories. Even if they were completely insane genocidal hardliners they would have to nuke their own colonies to eradicate the Palestinians. Then there would be the fallout issue. Israel may have nukes but it cannot use them even if they decide to be genocidal.
posted by srboisvert at 7:21 AM on July 6, 2002


And I helped pay for them against my will! Did Israel make a statement that they were going to get off the US teet in the next few years? I am well overtired of funding them.

I fund possible nuclear horror, I pay my taxes. Makes those kids in the drug commercials look pretty tame.
posted by thirteen at 8:48 AM on July 6, 2002


srboisvert, of course, the point of a second-strike capability is deterrence of being hit by a first strike. You guarantee that the enemy who destroys you will be destroyed themselves.

At the present time it seems passingly unlikely that the Palestinians themselves would have nuclear weapons or any other kind of weapon of mass destruction, unless they acquire it from one of their sponsors. Those sponsors include Iraq and Iran, which both are furiously attempting to become nuclear states. Israel's capability here is obviously intended to warn those states against supplying WMDs to the Palestinians, in that they would be considered to have delivered it themselves.

As for the paper, it's in the realm of "open source intelligence", i.e. something written from publicly available materials and intended to represent something of a group knowledge base. The officers at the various war colleges and study centers (like this one, from the non-proliferation center) write these things all the time. They don't represent secret knowledge because they can't. There's nothing here that is derived directly from secret materials collected by US intelligence. One can assume that other national intelligence services already know most of the contents, and have a better idea which parts are reliable or not. What's in here is basically what anybody could find out with some diligent research in a good university library.
posted by dhartung at 8:51 AM on July 6, 2002


Qui' c'est vrai
posted by Kodel at 9:57 AM on July 6, 2002


Didn't everyone know that Israel has nukes? If their enemies could replace bluster with military skill it wouldn't surprise me to see Israel use nuclear weapons to avoid being overrun, much less as a response to WMD. Fallout really isn't an issue...consider the hundreds of nukes 'tested' in Nevada. And it really is their neighbors and not the Palestinians who keep this hostility going; as the old saying goes, the other Arabs will fight the Israelies to the last Palestinian.
posted by Mack Twain at 11:35 AM on July 6, 2002


I knew they had nukes, but I thought the numbers were more like 50 or 60. Not 400.

Obviously, they wouldn't use them on the Palistineans, that would be retarded. And they wouldn't need to either. Iran and Iraq could be nuked though.
posted by delmoi at 12:11 PM on July 6, 2002


>> Unfortunately they don't seem to want to use them on
>> their neighbours.

> Now, y'see, when I was young and carefree and the
> world was going to end imminently in a nuclear
> holocaust, we kept being told about this thing called
> fallout, ...

There's that whole morals / mass murder thing as well.
posted by vbfg at 3:40 PM on July 6, 2002


I knew they had nukes, but I thought the numbers were more like 50 or 60. Not 400.

It only takes one nuke to ruin your day.
posted by briank at 4:44 PM on July 6, 2002


I can see it now...Israel launches nukes at the United States, killing millions of innocent Americans and then claiming it was an "accident". We all die, and the bombs that were used to destroy us were paid for by our own tax dollar...what irony that would be. :)
posted by GrooveJedi at 4:47 PM on July 6, 2002


They can use them against their neighbors. Not the Palestians of course or even Jordan, Lebanon or Syria but I'm certain a few of those 400 weapons are small enough to bomb strategic sites in Egypt with very limited fallout. Probably Iraq too.
posted by skallas at 4:55 PM on July 6, 2002


hopefully they'll use them to kill god.
posted by Satapher at 5:27 PM on July 6, 2002


If anyone doubted that Mefi has gone from feeling like a discussion amongst 30 year-olds and grad students to a BS session of college sophomores, this thread proves it. Too bad.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:14 PM on July 6, 2002


I'm not with you on everything, PP, but you're spot on there. MeFark.
posted by dhartung at 8:47 PM on July 6, 2002


...then again, PP, i assume there's not much else to say aside from what's written above or you would have contributed it thoughtfully (in the style of a grad student or a 30 year-old) instead of writing what you did...


during my festive and youthful middle school years, i participated in a hike through havasupai canyon in the grand canyon with my boy scout troop. it was a fine time, except for one night, when six or seven of the boys--including me--were huddled around a small sand bar near the edge of the creek.

while talking we literally dug in and eventually each of us was perched in a little pit. being young and foolish we started tossing small pebbles at one another. a temporary no-fire was called after a while to install reinforcements, battlements if you will, around our respective pits.

two of the older boys busted out with the zippo lighter fluid. one of them sprayed down the rock wall around their pit, and also inadvertently sprayed down his pant leg and the mosquito coil and votive candle burning nearby. he lit himself on fire and burned.
posted by carsonb at 1:19 AM on July 7, 2002


Yeah, and you had plenty to do with the MeFark decline, ParisParamus. This thread started badly with a shithead comment wishing for the total destruction of Palestinians. You wouldn't say anything like that would you?
posted by mblandi at 9:31 AM on July 8, 2002


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