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An Israeli nuclear preemption is highly improbable, effectively inconceivable, and could be expected only if: (1) Israel’s enemy or enemies had unexpectedly acquired nuclear or other unconventional weapons presumed capable of destroying the Jewish state; (2) this enemy state had been forthright that its genocidal intentions paralleled its capabilities; (3) this state was reliably believed ready to begin a final countdown-to-launch; and (4) Israel believed that non-nuclear preemptions could not possibly achieve levels of damage-limitation consistent with its own national survival.

To reject altogether this particular argument on Israeli nuclear preemption would require an antecedent assumption that national self-preservation is not always Israel’s highest priority.

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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.

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Louis René Beres (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) is Emeritus Professor of International Law at Purdue. He is the author of many books and articles dealing with nuclear strategy and nuclear war. He was Chair of Project Daniel, which submitted its special report on Israel’s Strategic Future to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, on January 16, 2003.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Mutual Nuclear Deterrence works and works well.

    Mutual Nuclear Deterrence does not need Mutal Assured Destruction to work.

    Mutual Nuclear Deterrence is Civilized Deterrence.

    with MND you have it or you don't.

    technically Iran has already acheived MND with Israel and the US.

    MND makes both venues unsafe for war…

    MND civilizes both governments towards each other.

    Israel would like to be the one undeterred nuclear power in the mideast.

    good for Israel bad for all other mideast nations…

    a few nukes can deter many nukes….

    It will be a good day when it becomes clear to all the world that Iran has indeed acheived Mutual Nuclear Deterrence MND with Israel.

    And yes I believe Iran can be trusted with Nukes….

    I worry more about Israel than I do about Iran.

  2. You have missed a 'hell of a lot' regarding the mindset of the Iranian Apocalyptic-minded leaders.

    Can't you grasp the fact that Iran's Islamofascist leaders actually plan and PRAY FOR Nuclear Conflagration, as required to usher in The Mahdi or Islamic Messiah?

  3. Did you miss this very simple understanding?

    No nation needs or wants Nukes except to deter sociopathic belligerent governments from attacking.

    Nations do not seek nukes to nuke their enemies.. to do so would be to nuke themselves…. they seek NUKES to DETER their enemies.

    I can tell you are heavily steeped in sociopathic propaganda.

    I prefer clear thinking and having a fully functional humane social conscience and my own self respect.

    "These are they who when the saving thought came shot it for a spy."… Auden

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