New Article: Rodman, American Arms Transfers to Israel, 1962–1970

Rodman, David. “American Arms Transfers to Israel, 1962–1970: The Nuclear Weapons Dimension.” Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs (early view; online first).

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23739770.2015.1114769
 
Extract

The American-Israeli relationship underwent a dramatic transformation during the 1960s. From its establishment in 1948 and throughout the 1950s, Israel had largely been kept at arm’s length by the administration of Presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Both feared that an intimate relationship with Israel would alienate the Arab world, and therefore threaten access to Middle Eastern oil, as well as encourage Soviet penetration of the region. The truncated logic in formulating its Middle Eastern policy, but eventually came around to adopting a more favorable attitude toward Israel. Presidnet Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration deepened the trend begun by its predecessor. And, by the early 1970s, during the administration of President Richard M. Nixon, Israel had come to be seen as a strategic asset to the United States in its quest to contain Soviet influence in the Middle East.

 

 

 

Research in Progress: Scoping Study of U.S.-Israel Dialogue (Chen Kane, Middlebury Institute of Int’l Studies)

Scoping Study of U.S.-Israel Dialogue
Performer: Middlebury Institute of International Studies
Project Lead: Chen Kane
Project Cost: $70,000
FY15-16

URL: http://calhoun.nps.edu/handle/10945/45427

Objective:
Over the last twenty years, there has been an increase in security-related Track 2 dialogues in the Middle East. Yet, with Israel, one of the region’s most important states and a nuclear power, few Track 2 dialogues addressing mutual security concerns have been held. They are needed to foster a more open exchange and discussion of emerging mutual security issues. This study will evaluate the feasibility and scope of a future Track 2 dialogue between the United States and Israel within the 2016 timeframe.

Approach:
This project involves background research and analysis, including of past attempts to establish Track 1.5 strategic dialogues and the reasons they have failed. Additionally, researchers will conduct in-depth consultations with current and former U.S. government and non-government personnel. They will also travel to Israel to discuss the project’s objectives with a select group of Israeli government and non-government interlocutors. Subjects for discussion will include Iran’s nuclear program, Syria’s civil war, a Middle East WMD-free zone, extended deterrence, missile defense, and other emerging security issues.

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New Article: Rabinowitz & Miller, U.S. Nonproliferation Policy toward Israel, South Africa, and Pakistan

Rabinowitz, Or, and Nicholas L. Miller. “Keeping the Bombs in the Basement: U.S. Nonproliferation Policy toward Israel, South Africa, and Pakistan.” International Security 40.1 (2015): 47-86.
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/ISEC_a_00207

 
Abstract

How has the United States behaved historically toward friendly states with nuclear weapons ambitions? Recent scholarship has demonstrated the great lengths to which the United States went to prevent Taiwan, South Korea, and West Germany from acquiring nuclear weapons. Yet seemingly on the other side of the ledger are cases such as Israel, South Africa, and Pakistan, where the United States failed to prevent proliferation, and where many have argued that the United States made exceptions to its nonproliferation objectives given conflicting geopolitical goals. A reexamination of the history of U.S. nonproliferation policy toward Israel, South Africa, and Pakistan, based on declassified documents and interviews, finds that these cases are not as exceptional as is commonly understood. In each case, the United States sought to prevent these states from acquiring nuclear weapons, despite geopolitical constraints. Moreover, once U.S. policymakers realized that prior efforts had failed, they continued to pursue nonproliferation objectives, brokering deals to prevent nuclear tests, public declaration of capabilities, weaponization, or transfer of nuclear materials to other states.

 

New Book: Rabinowitz, Bargaining on Nuclear Tests

Rabinowitz, Or. Bargaining on Nuclear Tests. Washington and Its Cold War Deals. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

 

9780198702931_450

 

Most observers who follow nuclear history agree on one major aspect regarding Israel’s famous policy of nuclear ambiguity; mainly that it is an exception. More specifically, it is largely accepted that the 1969 Nixon-Meir understanding, which formally established Israel’s policy of nuclear ambiguity and transformed it from an undeclared Israeli strategy into a long-lasting undisclosed bilateral agreement, was in fact a singularity, aimed at allowing Washington to turn a blind eye to the existence of an Israeli arsenal. According to conventional wisdom, this nuclear bargain was a foreign policy exception on behalf of Washington, an exception which reflected a relationship growing closer and warmer between the superpower leading the free world and its small Cold War associate. Contrary to the orthodox narrative, this research demonstrates that this was not the case. The 1969 bargain was not, in fact, an exception, but rather the first of three Cold War era deals on nuclear tests brokered by Washington with its Cold War associates, the other two being Pakistan and South Africa. These two deals are not well known and until now were discussed and explored in the literature in a very limited fashion. Bargaining on Nuclear Tests places the role of nuclear tests by American associates, as well as Washington’s attempts to prevent and delay them, at the heart of a new nuclear history narrative.

Table of Contents

1: Introduction
2: The Paradox of Hegemony
3: The NPT, Nuclear Tests and Their Changing Legal Status
4: The American Test Ban Debate
5: Israel
6: South Africa
7: Pakistan
8: India
9: Conclusions

Cite: Shaw, Middle East Nonproliferation. Toward a Zone of Inclusion

Shaw, Douglas B. “Middle East Nonproliferation. Toward a Zone of Inclusion.” Nonproliferation Review 19.3 (2012): 357-363.

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10736700.2012.734184

Abstract

The Middle East is a crucial region for the global nonproliferation regime. In 2010, the state parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons proposed a conference on a Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Zone. The nuclear weapon-free zone model, on which this idea builds, has achieved important results in other regions, but faces especially stark challenges in the Middle East. However, the attempt to apply the boldly imaginative zone approach to the Middle East holds promise for building a more inclusive dialogue on nonproliferation and regional security.

Cite: Evron, Extended Deterrence in the Middle East

Evron, Yair. “Extended Deterrence in the Middle East.” Nonproliferation Review 19.3 (2012): 391-400.

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10736700.2012.734186

Abstract

With the exception of Iran, no Middle Eastern state has an operating nuclear power reactor. Several states, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Israel, Syria, Jordan, Turkey, and Egypt are considering constructing such reactors; some have even taken steps towards commencing nuclear power projects. There exist, however, considerable economic, technical, safety, and security challenges to achieving these goals, many of which are acute in the Middle East region. Regional and international cooperation on nuclear technology could not only help regional states meet their energy objectives, but it could also help to build trust among states as a basic step towards a future Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Zone.

Cite: Asculai, Nuclear Power in the Middle East: Risks and Opportunities

Asculai, Ephraim. “Nuclear Power in the Middle East: Risks and Opportunities for Regional Security.” Nonproliferation Review 19.3 (2012): 391-400.

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10736700.2012.734187

Abstract

With the exception of Iran, no Middle Eastern state has an operating nuclear power reactor. Several states, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Israel, Syria, Jordan, Turkey, and Egypt are considering constructing such reactors; some have even taken steps towards commencing nuclear power projects. There exist, however, considerable economic, technical, safety, and security challenges to achieving these goals, many of which are acute in the Middle East region. Regional and international cooperation on nuclear technology could not only help regional states meet their energy objectives, but it could also help to build trust among states as a basic step towards a future Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Zone.

Cite: Kaye, The Middle East WMD-Free Zone Conference

Kaye, Dalia Dassa. “The Middle East WMD-Free Zone Conference. A Reset for Regional Arms Control?” Nonproliferation Review 19.3 (2012): 413-428.

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10736700.2012.734189

Abstract

This article reviews the origins and evolution of the Middle East weapons of mass destruction-free zone (WMDFZ) concept and the proposal for a 2012 conference on the subject, and explores new challenges and opportunities for regional arms control in the current regional environment. It suggests that new models may be necessary to revitalize regional arms control efforts. The establishment of a broad regional security forum could include, but should not be limited to, curtailing weapons of mass destruction through the zone approach. Even if the 2012 conference fails to materialize, or is limited to a one-time event, the proposal for such a conference has provided an important opportunity to rethink future options for a regional arms control and security process.

Cite: Kumaraswamy, Israel: The Non-Parallel Player

Kumaraswamy, P. R. “Israel: The Non-Parallel Player.” Strategic Analysis 36.6 (2012): 976-986.

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09700161.2012.728866

Abstract

Political tensions and rivalry between Iran and Israel have cast a shadow over India’s bilateral relations with both these countries. While one offers energy security, the other provides military–security capability towards ensuring greater Indian influence in the Middle East. Conscious of their relative advantages and challenges, India has managed to maintain a fine balance in its relations with Iran and Israel. Despite the suspected involvement of Iranian citizens in the 13 February 2012 terror attack on the Israeli embassy vehicle in New Delhi, Israel could continue to be a marginal player in Indo-Iranian relations. The same, however, will not be true for the US, which seeks to limit and if possible change the substance and direction of Indo-Iranian relations.