Israel’s nuclear deterrent force would never be used except in defensive reprisal for massive enemy first strikes. In practice, this means primarily Iranian attacks involving nuclear, and/or certain biological weapons.
If it should actually have to face nuclear enemies one day, most likely in Iran, Israel could choose to rely upon its own nuclear weapons to reduce the risks of unconventional war, but only insofar as the newly-nuclear enemy state(s) would (1) remain rational and (2) remain convinced that Israel would retaliate with nuclear weapons if attacked with nuclear and/or devastating biological weapons.
(Continued Next Week)
Louis René Beres, strategic and military affairs columnist for The Jewish Press, is professor of political science at Purdue University. Educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), he lectures and publishes widely on international relations and international law and is the author of ten major books in the field. In Israel, Professor Beres was chair of Project Daniel.