Contemporary Security Policy, Vol. 16, No. 1, Spring 1995.
Over the past three decades, a global set of norms and rules of behavior has been developed in the area of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. These norms and rules can be viewed in terms of a global regime, consisting of the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the activities of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), and various supplier agreements.0
However, the global regime is currently under challenge and in the process of significant change. The 1995 NPT Review Conference will determine whether this pivotal agreement will be extended, and if so, under what conditions and for how long. Simultaneously, negotiations have finally begun on a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), and discussions are taking place on a proposed cut-off on the production of fissile material. Each measure is of major significance, and they are closely interlinked.
For the Middle East, in general, and Israel, in particular, these measures and proposals, and the future of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime are of major importance. Although Israel has never acknowledged the possession of nuclear weapons, the reactor in Dimona has been producing plutonium for many years, and Israel is generally credited with a nuclear option. Other states in the region, including Iraq, Iran, Algeria, and Libya are widely suspected to be pursuing nuclear weapons, and, unless checked, this will eventually lead to a Middle East with many nuclear powers. This article is designed to examine the Israeli position in response to the changes and initiatives in the global non-proliferation regime, and to explore the growing role of a regional approach to supplement and reinforce the global regime in areas where this regime is particularly weak.
Israeli policies and interests with respect to the NPT are mixed. On the one hand, the national interest is served by a robust NPT and the strengthening of obstacles to proliferation. Israeli national security and regional stability would be severely threatened if a number of states in the Middle East acquire nuclear weapons. To the extent that the NPT and other elements of the regime have served to slow or prevent this process, these factors have contributed to the Israeli national interest.
At the same time, Israel is a major NPT "holdout", along with India and Pakistan. In the view of continued threats to national survival, Israeli decision makers view the maintenance of an ambiguous nuclear option as necessary for deterrence. In addition, the verification framework, based on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is seen as inadequate to insure that the other states in the region do not obtain nuclear weapons.
The Middle East is still a region characterized by a high level of conflict and warfare. Although the Arab-Israeli peace process has produced some possibilities of change, the potential for conflict remains high. The Arab states maintain a major advantage in the quantity of conventional weapons, and, in the past decade, have been able to increase the qualitative level of these forces. Israeli conventional strength is generally judged to be sufficient to deter most potential attacks from individual Arab states. However, this is not the case regarding "worst case" scenarios, consisting of a large scale combined attack, led by Iraq and Syria, and, potentially, including additional forces and advanced platforms from the Saudi inventory. In the event of a major change in the Egyptian regime, the rise of a fundamentalist or radical state, and the renunciation of the 1979 Peace Treaty, Egyptian participation in such an attack cannot be ruled out.
For four decades, Israeli military and political leaders have viewed an indigenous nuclear response as the best means of deterring such threats to national survival. Israel is a small and narrow state, with no strategic depth and highly vulnerable population centers. A full scale conventional attack, particularly before reserve troops are mobilized, could readily overrun the state, and reach the major cities in a few hours. This geographic reality led Ben Gurion to initiate the development of a nuclear option and "weapon of last resort" against full-scale attacks that threatened the survival of the state.1
A number of Arab states have also developed or are seeking to develop non-conventional capabilities. Chemical weapons were used in the 1960s by Egypt in the war in Yemen, and by Iraq in the war with Iran, while Syria, Libya, and Iran have also produced large inventories of chemical weapons. Iraq, Syria, and Iran have acquired ballistic missiles capable of delivering both conventional and non-conventional warheads. Most importantly, the rate of nuclear proliferation has increased. Iraq was within grasp of a nuclear weapons capability when the United States attacked and destroyed many of the Iraqi nuclear facilities in the 1991 Gulf War, but the Iraqi program could reemerge as soon as international sanctions are lifted. Iran has also sought to accelerate the development of a nuclear infrastructure, and Algeria has sought to acquire the necessary technology. Most recently, theft of fissile material from sites in Russia and the former Soviet Union (FSU) may provide Iran, Iraq or Libya with a short cut to nuclear weapons. Thus, the Israeli nuclear option is now also seen as a deterrent against Arab non-conventional weapons.
As long as these conventional and non-conventional capabilities and threats remain, Israeli leaders will continued to see the nuclear option as a necessary deterrent and guarantee of national security. Shalheveth Freier, who was head of Israel's Atomic Energy Agency, describes the policy of nuclear ambiguity as providing "a sense of reassurance to Israelis in times of gloom" and "to serve as possible caution to states contemplating obliterating Israel by dint of their preponderance of men and material."2 In other words, the nuclear capability remains a necessary "weapon of last resort".
Beyond the issues of deterrence and national security, Israel has always viewed the international non-proliferation regime as inadequate and even counterproductive in the Middle East. The lack of confidence in the verification system operated by the International Atomic Energy Agency was clearly demonstrated in the 1981 attack on the Iraqi nuclear reactor complex. When Israeli representatives and officials voiced concerns regarding the Iraqi nuclear weapons program, they were told that Iraq was a signatory to the NPT, and there was no cause for concern.3 From the Israeli perspective, the NPT and IAEA provided legitimacy and a cover for Iraqi efforts to acquire nuclear weapons.
The Iraqi experience demonstrated that the IAEA safeguard system is unable to insure "timely warning" of a nuclear weapons program. Although some improvements in the safeguard system have been announced, the IAEA is still limited both technically and politically. As long as most states in the Middle East are non- democratic and largely closed societies, verification will continue to be particularly difficult. As became clear in the case of Iraq, and seems to true for Iran as well, under authoritarian regimes, with large areas, it is possible to hide major weapons development programs, both internally and from outside inspectors and even overhead reconnaissance.
In addition, the structure and political activities that take place within the framework of the IAEA are a source of concern. The Arab and Islamic states exploit the IAEA and other international organizations for political purposes, demanding support for anti-Israel resolutions. While many Arab states (including Iraq and Libya) have been elected to membership on the Board of Governors, and their representatives play a major role in the IAEA structure, Israel has been blocked from such activities.4 This factor has served to reduce the confidence of Israel in the IAEA even further.
Despite the continued reliance on a nuclear option, the weaknesses of the safeguards system and the reactions to violations, the Israeli government views the NPT and the related regime as important factors in slowing or blocking proliferation in the Middle East. While not an NPT signatory, the indefinite extension of the Treaty is in Israel's national interest. However, for the reasons cited above, there is no reason to expect any change in the Israeli position in the next few years.
In contrast, Egypt, along with other Arab states, have sought to link support for NPT extension to Israeli acceptance of this agreement. The Egyptian Foreign Minister, Amre Musa, embarked on a major public campaign designed to create pressure on Israel. This issue was a major agenda item in Musa's visit to Israel in September 1994, and he sought support in meetings of the Arab League and the United Nations General Assembly.
As a result of this campaign, some analysts have suggested that the US should pressure Israel into signing the NPT.5 Although Israel receives substantial aid, both military and civil, from the United States, over the past thirty five years (since US spy planes first detected construction of the reactor at Dimona), Israel has not yielded to pressures in this area, and this policy is likely to continue. Some American decision makers have sought to pressure Israel into accepting limitations on its nuclear program, but these pressures have been consistently rejected, and this situation is not likely to change.6
Alternatively, there has been some discussion of Israeli acceptance of the NPT, but as a nuclear weapons state. Bundy, Crowe and Drell argue that most countries in the Middle East tacitly view Israel as a nuclear power, and the rest of the international community should do the same. In turn, they argue that such recognition would lead Israel to be more open and transparent regarding its nuclear capability. This proposal, however, is unlikely to be acceptable to Israel, other states in the Middle East, or to the United States government.7
The security assurances that have been discussed in the context of NPT extension are also insufficient to meet Israeli security concerns. Such assurances are described as attempts to provide states that view nuclear weapons as essential to their national security with alternatives. In 1968, as part of the efforts to gain ratification the NPT, United Nations Security Council Resolution 255 specified that the nuclear weapons states would assist non-nuclear states that were threatened with attack.8 (These are known as "positive assurances', in the sense that they require positive action by the NWS, in contrast to "negative assurances", in the form of pledges not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons.) Recent post-Cold War discussions have also considered collective security assurances involving the five nuclear powers, and the US, in particular, including the possibility of an broader UN Resolution or international treaty. In addition, there have been discussions of expanding the "no first use" pledges of some of the nuclear powers.9
In considering the value of security assurances, both positive and negative, Israeli leaders recall the past cases of failure of security guarantees, even from the United States, particularly during the events preceding the 1967 war. Then, despite the Egyptian blockade of the Red Sea and the perceived threat of imminent invasion from Egypt and Syria, the US and the other major powers took no action. After the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, the U.S. did act, but only after six months of domestic and international negotiations to gain support, and this reinforced this emphasis on self-reliance. Analysts such as Dore Gold have also questioned the reliability and desirability of such security guarantees in other situations, such as the Golan Heights.10 Unless vital and immediate US interests are at stake, promises of American military involvement and security assurances are not considered to be sufficiently credible, and not an acceptable alternative to an independent deterrent. (Quester and Utgoff note that the American commitment to the defense of Israel is linked to the "persistent rumors that Israel had 'a bomb in the basement.'"11 From this perspective, if Israel were to relinquish its nuclear option, the credibility of American security guarantees would actually decline.)
In the effort to reconcile the interest in the long-term or infinite extension of the NPT regime with a refusal to sign this agreement under current conditions, the Israeli government has signalled a willingness to include limitations on nuclear weapons in a broader Middle East peace settlement. The centrality of a Middle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (MENWFZ), including all the states in region, and based on a dedicated system of mutual inspection and verification, has been reemphasized.12 In addition, Israel has taken an active role in, and expressed support for a number of new initiatives, including the proposed Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
The concept of a global Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) has been discussed for decades. Indeed, the proposal for a complete ban on the testing of nuclear weapons was considered in the 1950s, and at the time, the 1963 Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT), which banned testing in the atmosphere and under the sea, was considered as a first step towards a CTBT. However, the verification of very low yield tests, (one-tenth of a kiloton and below), as well as the Cold War and continued weapons development, blocked progress for many years.13
With the end of the Cold War and the steady reduction in nuclear stockpiles, the possibilities for the negotiation of a CTBT have increased. In July 1993, after many years of debate, the US government announced a full moratorium on nuclear testing, and the U.S. Congress has set a goal for completion of negotiations by September 30 1996. On August 10, 1993, the 38 nation Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva gave its Ad Hoc Committee on a Nuclear Test Ban a mandate to begin negotiations, and intensive negotiations began in January 1994. China, which is attempting to close the technological gap with the US and Russia in this area, and continues to test, has opposed a rapid agreement. In addition, the French government is under pressure from the military to resume testing.14 Other sources of conflict result from the proposed prohibitions on simulations and hydronuclear tests, complex verification issues and questions regarding peaceful nuclear explosions (PNEs). While a draft "rolling text" was tabled in September 1994, it is heavily bracketed and many disputes remain to be resolved.
Substantively, the CTBT is not strongly linked to the issue of horizontal proliferation and the NPT. A number of states, including Israel and Pakistan, are generally credited with having a nuclear weapons capability, even though they have never tested a weapon. Testing is not considered to be a necessary requirement for the development of first-generation nuclear weapons, and a ban on testing would therefore not pose a significant obstacle for states seeking to achieve the status of nuclear powers.
However, the CTBT is indirectly and politically linked to NPT extension. Article VI of the NPT states that the signatories agree to "undertake to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control." For many years, the non-nuclear weapons states, led by India and Mexico, have demanded that the nuclear powers meet their obligations to limit "vertical proliferation" under the NPT, and make substantive progress towards nuclear disarmament. This was a major issue of contention in the Fourth NPT Review Conference that took place in 1990. Critics argue that the continuation of testing and the production of new weapons worked in the opposite direction, increasing the gap between the NWSs and the NNWSs.15 In addition, supporters of the CTBT have argued that an end to testing would provide moral support for efforts to pressure NPT holdouts to adhere to the global non-proliferation regime. It follows that agreement on a CTBT would, to a limited degree, support the viability of the NPT.16 Indeed, initial negotiations on the preamble to the CTBT have included discussion of a specific reference to this measure as "a step towards a nuclear free world".17
For Israel, consideration of the CTBT is based on both procedural and substantive issues. Although the Israeli government has sent observers to the negotiations in the CD, Israel has been denied membership in this organization.18 In addressing the CD on the issue of the CTBT, Israel's Ambassador Itzhak Lior noted the hope that in the future, "Israel will be able to address the CD in the capacity of a full member."19 Without active participation in the negotiation process, Israeli officials will find it difficult to approve the final product. Acceptance of Israel within the CD would clearly improve the potential for Israeli ratification of the Treaty. The political importance of acceptance as a full partner and participant in international organizations and institutions, particularly those involving security issues, is a central factor in Israeli foreign policy, and outweighs the substantive impact of specific measures, such as the CTBT.
Substantively, Israeli officials support an "effectively verifiable" and universal ban on "nuclear test explosions".20 Israel has signed and ratified the 1963 PTBT, and its policy of "deliberate ambiguity" with respect to the existence of a nuclear deterrent does not require testing.21 (Indeed, testing would mark a radical change in policy and the end of this carefully developed policy, while creating numerous political problems.) At the same time, a comprehensive test ban would not have an impact on the Israeli nuclear capability.
However, for much the same reason, the benefits of a CTBT are also limited. The pace of proliferation and the nuclear programs in Iraq, Iran, Algeria, or Libya will not be affected. The impact of a CTBT on regional norms, and as a means of strengthening of the application of the global non-proliferation regime in the Middle East is also likely to be minimal.
The verification systems that are being proposed for the CTBT, in general, are also unlikely to have an impact on Israeli policy. Israeli representatives at the CD have supported "the establishment of a verification regime aimed at assuring compliance", including a system for global monitoring, detection, and identification of nuclear explosions, and "non-routine event- triggered consultation."22 However, efforts to include intrusive and challenge inspections to verify proposed bans on test simulations and other activities are problematic, and lead to fears of abuse. Here, as in other cases, challenge inspections can be used to gain access to sites that are unrelated to verification of the specific terms of the treaty. Thus, Israeli policy favors relegating such inspections to very rare cases under very precise conditions.
In addition, the institutional and organizational aspects of the CTBT are important from the Israeli perspective. As noted above, the structure and operation of the IAEA have created significant political and substantive difficulties. The Swedish draft of the CTBT proposed that the IAEA become the agency for implementing and verification, and Mohammed El Baradei argued that CTBT verification would be "fully in line with the Agency's statutory objectives."23 Israel, however, would be more likely to agree with the American and Chinese positions that call for the creation of a new and independent agency for this purpose. The Israeli position states that "the prospective CTBT organization should be ... professional and impartial. Its structure should enable each State party to exercise its rights in the various organs, on an equal and non-discriminatory basis."24
Finally, the Israeli position on the CTBT will also be influenced by the degree to which acceptance and ratification are seen as "opening the door" for increased pressure on Israel to sign the NPT. As noted, ratification of the PTBT did not have a measurable impact on Israeli policy or external pressures with respect to the NPT. However, the PTBT was negotiated in 1963, well before the NPT. In contrast, the CTBT is designed to strengthen the NPT regime. To the degree that Israeli political and military decision makers perceive the CTBT as closely linked to the NPT process, they may seek to avoid creating expectations of a change in policy.
In July 1992, the United States government announced a halt to the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, and other countries were asked to adopt this policy. President Yeltsin responded that Russia intended "to proceed with the program for the cut-off of weapon-grade plutonium production" and to open discussions with the US "concerning the cut-off of fissionable materials production for weapons."25
In a speech to the United Nations on September 27, 1993, President Clinton proposed the negotiation of an international agreement to halt fissile material production. This initiative was discussed further in the context of the annual meeting of IAEA Board of Governors and endorsed in a unanimous decision of the United Nations General Assembly.26
Supporters of this initiative claim that a "legally enforceable, multilaterally negotiated, and credibly verifiable" prohibition on the production of fissile material would be of major importance to the global non-proliferation regime.27 Paul Leventhal argues that such a cut-off agreement is the best way to prevent proliferation.28 Rauf argues that a fissile material cut- off, together with a CTBT, could provide unprecedented international oversight over the nuclear weapons states, and demonstrate their commitment to Article VI of the NPT.29
In January 1994, the Conference on Disarmament appointed Canadian Ambassador Gerald Shannon as "special co-ordinator on the issue of A Ban on Production of Fissile Material for Nuclear Weapons or other Nuclear Explosive Devices". In March 1994, the CD issued a progress report which concluded that states "are favorable to negotiations", and are interested in proceeding even before a CTBT agreement is reached.30
However, the initiative is still quite vague; fundamental questions and disputes remain regarding the scope of such a ban, as well as the status of existing stockpiles. In a report issued in August 1994, Ambassador Shannon noted that preliminary discussions in the CD had failed to produce an agreed mandate or the establishment of a negotiating committee.31 A number of states, including Egypt, Algeria, Iran, and Pakistan have demanded that the proposed cut-off include provisions for declaration and verification of existing stockpiles,32 but this is opposed by the US and other Western states. This position would require participating states to reveal the extent of their capabilities and place the under a system of international inspection. The "threshold nuclear states" (India, Pakistan, and Israel) are unlikely to accept these requirements, so that any potential benefits from the cut-off proposal for non- proliferation would be erased.
Mechanisms for international monitoring and inspections are also under discussion, and Feiveson notes, "without verification, the prospective Parties to the cut-off would have little confidence that the other nuclear weapon states or threshold countries had actually halted production."33 Remote "national technical means", such as satellite based infra-red sensors, could be used for some verification tasks, and could determine whether plutonium production reactors are in operation. In cases where the information is ambiguous or there appears to be evidence of attempts to interfere with the remote systems, on- site inspections would have to be authorized.
Alternative routes to the production of fissile material would be more difficult to detect and monitor, particularly for states that operate civil nuclear facilities. Uranium enrichment facilities, such as centrifuge bannks and plutonium reprocessing plants, would require on-site monitoring, but this could also be based on sensors and video devices broadcasting continuously to external monitors. However, as the experience of the IAEA in Iraq has demonstrated, detection of undeclared facilities is difficult, and this problem is likely to limit the effectiveness of a fissile material cut-off agreement.
In addition, the lack of an effective response to violations and the threat of "breakout" will continue to limit any international regime. The problems of enforcement demonstrated in the cases of Iraq and North Korea with respect to the IAEA will be no less complex with respect to a fissile material cut- off agreement.
As in the case of the NPT and the CTBT, Israeli policy on the proposed cut-off on the production of fissile material is based on an assessment of how this measure is likely to affect the Israeli nuclear option, and on the question of verification. No official public position has been taken, but according to press reports, Israeli officials did not reject the Clinton initiative, and are considering its potential impact as part of a large package which includes "explicit reference to parallel search for secure, just, and stable peace in the Middle East".34 One anonymous source was quoted as saying that "Israel does not have a problem with the initiative and can live with it".35
Indeed, Cohen and Miller, among others, have urged Israel to endorse the fissile material cut-off proposal.36 This initiative would allow the undeclared nuclear states - India, Pakistan, and Israel - to maintain existing capabilities and stocks of weapon- grade fissile materials. In contrast to the NPT, which would require Israel to give up its nuclear deterrent, a cut-off would leave this capability intact for a number of years, until the effectiveness of the weapons is eroded. In this way, Israel would maintain its nuclear advantage over the Arab states for a number of years.37
Israeli officials are likely to reject the proposals of Cohen and Miller that "Israel should cap its production of weapons- usable nuclear materials, while the Arab states and Iran should reinforce their declaratory commitment not to produce nuclear weapons by accepting the authority of the IAEA to make special inspections at both declared and suspect nuclear facilities."38 Declaratory commitments from Iran and Iraq are dismissed as worthless, and credible verification in these states is difficult to envision.
There is also concern that by agreeing to an unverifiable fissile material cut-off, Israel would be establishing a dangerous precedent. Former Science Minister Yuval Neeman, who is also a prominent member of the Israeli scientific and technical community, warned that Israel must avoid a process that will require dismantling of its power. In commenting on the cut- off, Neeman argued that "We must be careful not to enter into an atmosphere of Messianism .. and not to lose our protection with a single unnecessary signature."39 From this perspective, a cut-off is seen as a step "down the slippery slope" leading, in the longer term, to the end of the strategic deterrent, and endangering the survival of the state.
Israel will also pay close attention to the institutional mechanisms created to monitor and verify compliance with the cut- off. As noted above, the IAEA is viewed as a political organization, in which the Arab and Islamic states, and their allies, can successfully bloc Israeli participation in governing institutions and can gain support for anti-Israel resolutions and actions. If the IAEA is a central player in monitoring the cut- off, or a similar institution is created, this will not inspire confidence in Israel, or lead to a willingness to take major risks. If a cut-off agreement is accompanied by an entirely new institutional structure for verification and enforcement, in which Israel has the same rights as other states, and which is immune to the political manipulation that has characterized the IAEA, the Israeli view may be more favorable.
Beyond the direct implications of the CTBT and cut-off, these initiatives are designed to strengthen the NPT-based global non-proliferation regime. However, for Israel, this global regime and the international organizations that are central to its operations are problematic. Reflecting the importance of this issue, Freier notes that "Israel is especially wary of initiatives and interferences by international organizations. These lift preferred issues out of context and pass resolutions by majority votes...".40 The creation of new global institutions, or granting of new powers to existing ones, such as the IAEA, is anathema to Israeli national interest.
As a result, since the 1970s, Israeli policy makers have favored regional approaches to arms control and non- proliferation, and the government has supported the development of a Middle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (MENWFZ).41 Regional agreements and regimes can be tailored to local conditions and requirements, and verification procedures would be based on mutual and direct inspections by each of the parties. In addition, a regional framework would be able to encompass limits on both conventional and non-conventional capabilities, in contrast to the global regime.42
Following the 1991 Madrid conference and the beginning of the Arab-Israel peace negotiations, Israel and a number of Arab states have participated in the multilateral negotiations on Arms Control and Regional Security (ACRS). In addition to bi-annual plenaries, the ACRS process includes frequent intersessional activities, workshops, and demonstration projects. These meetings focus on a wide range of issues, including confidence and security building measures (CSBMs) and verification (for limitations on conventional as well as nonconventional weapons).
The ACRS, in which arms control is linked directly to progress in the overall peace process and to Israeli national security, has become the focus of Israeli arms control policy.43 In contrast, the proposed CTBT and fissile material production cut-off are part of and designed to strengthen the global regime and the NPT system, and are not linked to the ACRS agenda.
As Israeli policy makers seek to shift the focus of activity
from the global regime to regional frameworks, these new global
initiatives are steps in the wrong direction. From an Israeli
perspective, the benefits of a CTBT and fissile-material cut-off
will be minimal, the costs, at least for the cut-off, will be
high, and the overall thrust of both is misdirected. Although
forced to respond to these initiatives by external political
considerations, that have more to do with maintaining good
relations with the United States and other powers than with the
substance, the primary hope for Middle East arms control lies in
the negotiation of regional measures. Such measures, under
discussion in the ACRS, are not focused exclusively on nuclear
weapons or any other isolated issues, and can encompass the broad
security concerns that are essential to any effective arms
limitation regime. Thus, whatever the outcome of the NPT Review
Conference, and the CTBT and cut-off negotiations, the major
direction for Middle East arms control will continue to be
towards development of regional regimes.
Research assistance for this article was provided by David Litvack.
0- For an overview of regime theory, see Robert Jervis, "Security
regimes", International Organization 36, Spring 1982, pp.357-78;
Charles Lipson, International Cooperation in economic and
security affairs", World Politics 37, October 1984, pp.1-23; and
Janice Gross Stein, "Detection and Defection: Security 'Regimes'
and the Assessment of International Conflict" International
Journal 40, 4, Autumn 1985, pp.599-627. For an application of
regime theory in arms control, see Gerald M. Steinberg, "U.S. Non-
proliferation Policy", Arms Control: Contemporary Security
Policy, Volume 15, No. 3, December 1994
1- The limitation of the nuclear option as a "weapon of last
resort" is widely recognized, even by critics of Israeli policy.
For example, Bundy, Crowe and Drell note that, "... the
underlying motivation for the Israeli bomb is clearly the reality
of vastly outnumbering unfriendly neighbors. The fact that the
Israeli bomb is not for casual use is evident both in the
desperate conventional battles that have been fought without its
use and in the intense Israeli commitment to conventional
strength." McGeorge Bundy, William J. Crowe Jr., Sidney D.
Drell, Reducing Nuclear Danger: The Road Away from the Brink (New
York: Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1993), p.84
2- Shalheveth Freier, "A Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (NWFZ) in the
Middle East and its Ambience", unpublished manuscript (Revised 14
3- Freier, ibid
4- The exclusion of Israel in the decision making process is
inconsistent with the assumption that in international security
regimes, decisions are collective and all participants play a
role in creating norms and rules of behavior. See Stein,
"Detection and Defection: Security 'Regimes' and the Assessment
of International Conflict", p.604
5- See, for example, Bundy, Crowe, and Drell, Reducing Nuclear
Danger: The Road Away from the Brink
6- Yitzhak Rabin reports that in 1965, the US first sought to make
the supply of conventional weapons conditional on Israeli nuclear
restraint. Similarly, in 1968, the US sought to link the supply
of F-4 combat aircraft to an Israeli agreement to resume American
inspection of all military research and development
installations. The implication is that the primary focus of the
American demand was the nuclear installation in Dimona. See
Rabin, Pinkas Sherut, (Hebrew),(Tel Aviv: Ma'ariv), pp.129; 236-
7- Bundy, Crowe, and Drell, Reducing Nuclear Danger: The Road Away
from the Brink p. 67. A similar option is considered and
rejected by Molander and Wilson, who note that such a policy
would stimulate the nuclear programs of the Arab states and Iran.
Roger C. Molander and Peter A. Wilson, "The Nuclear Asymptote: On
Containing Nuclear Proliferation", RAND/UCLA Center for Soviet
Studies, Santa Monica, 1993, pp.42-45.
8- George Bunn and Roland M. Timerbaev, "Security Assurances to Non-
Nuclear-Weapon States", The Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 1, No.
1, Fall 1993
9- George H. Quester and Victor A. Utgoff, "No-First-Use and
Nonproliferation: Redefining Extended Deterrence", Washington
Quarterly, 17:2, Spring 1994, pp.103-114
10- Dore Gold, US Forces on the Golan Heights and Israeli-Syrian
Security Arrangements Memorandum no. 14, Jaffee Center for
Strategic Studies, Tel Aviv University, August 1994
11- George H. Quester and Victor A. Utgoff, "U.S. Arms Reductions
and Nuclear Nonproliferation: The Counterproductive
Possibilities", The Washington Quarterly, Winter 1993, p.131
12- The Israeli government initially endorsed the concept of a
MENWFZ in the 1970s, but this was considered a very distant and
unrealistic goal under the conditions that existed at that time.
With the peace process and the meetings of the working group on
arms control and regional security, the importance of the MENWFZ
has grown. See Israeli Foreign Minister Mr. Shimon Peres,
Address at the Signing Ceremony of the Chemical Weapons
Convention Treaty, Paris, January 13 1993. For a detailed
history of Israeli policy, see Daniel Mustacchi, Can a
Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone be Established in the Middle East? If
so, under what conditions? M.A. Thesis, Department of
International Relations, Hebrew University, Jerusalem; September
13- In 1974, the US and Soviet Union agreed on the Threshold Test
Ban Treaty, setting a limit of 150 kilotons on underground tests,
but ratification was blocked by the absence of reliable
14- The French position is that universal acceptance of the NPT must
precede the CTBT, for as long as small states and regional powers
are able to acquire nuclear weapons, France must be able to
expand its arsenal in order to stay ahead. Policy makers argue
that only when the nuclear efforts of other states are frozen
will France be able to halt its own nuclear program.
15- For a counterview, see Donald G. Boudreau, "On Advancing Non- Proliferation" in Strategic Review Volume 19, Number 3 (Summer 1991), pp 61-67. Boudreau rejects the "unproven nexus between testing and proliferation."
16- For a strong presentation of this case, see Bundy, William J.
Crowe, and Drell, Reducing Nuclear Danger: The Road Away from the
Brink (New York: Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1993); and
SIPRI Yearbook 1990: World Armaments and Disarmament, (Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 1990), p.548.
17- Nuclear Proliferation News, Vol. 94, No.5, 10 June 1994
18- An august 1993 proposal submitted by Australian Ambassador Paul
O'Sullivan to admit an additional 23 states, including Israel,
was blocked by US, since this would also have admitted Iraq. In
subsequent discussions, Iran has opposed admission of Israel.
The US and Russia have indicated a preference for keeping
membership limited in order to avoid creation of procedural
problems resulting from a much larger group of participants. It
should be noted that the CD operates by consensus, so that
additional participants could complicate decision making. See
Nuclear Proliferation News, Volume 94, Issues 1 to 8, 1994.
19- Statement by Ambassador Itzhak Lior to the Conference on
Disarmament, June 2, 1994
21- In 1979, US early warning satellites detected a "mysterious
flash" in the South Atlantic near South Africa. This has often
been attributed to a joint Israeli-South African nuclear test,
but no evidence of this has ever surfaced, and the technical
information does not indicate that the signal was caused by a
23- Arms Transfer News, Special Issue 18 March 1994
24- Ambassador Itzhak Lior, June 2, 1994
25- Cited by Harold A. Feiveson, "A cut-off in the production of
fissile material", in Strengthening the Non-Proliferation regime:
1995 and Beyond Oxford Research Group, Current decisions Report
Number 13, Oxford, December 1993, p.35. Feiveson notes that
three Russian production reactors were still operating in 1994.
26- United Nations General Assembly Resolution 48/75L, 16 December
27- Tariq Rauf in "Should the NPT be Extended Indefinitely?: A Panel
Discussion on Nuclear Non-Proliferation: The Challenges of a New
Era", Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC,
November 17-18, 1993, p. 42-44
28- Paul L. Leventhal, " Plugging the Leaks in Nuclear Export
Controls: Why Bother?" in Orbis Volume 36, Number 2 (Spring
1992), pp. 174-175:
29- Rauf, pp.28-49
30- Nuclear Proliferation News 15 April 1994
31- Gerald E. Shannon, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of
Canada, "Report of the Special Co-ordinator on Cut-off to the
Conference on Disarmament:, Geneva, August 4, 1994
32- Nuclear Proliferation News, Volume 94, Issue 11, 16 September
33- Feiveson, "A cut-off in the production of fissile material",, p.
34- Ha'aretz, October 5, 1993 p.1
35- Aluf Ben, "Conflict in Israel regarding the Clinton Initiative
to Freeze Plutonium Production" Ha'aretz, December 28, 1993 p.1
36- Avner Cohen and Marvin Miller, " How To Think About - And
Implement - Nuclear Arms Control in the Middle East" The
Washington Quarterly Volume 16, Number 2 (Spring, 1993)
37- The have been a number of reports of minor radioactive leaks at
the Dimona reactor, and the Israeli press has published
allegations that cancer rates among Dimona are higher than the
national average. Such problems are not deemed sufficient to
lead to pressure to shutdown the reactor, or to provide a reasons
for acceptance of a fissile material cut-off agreement. See
Ha'aretz, January 11, 1994; and Ma'ariv, 29 April 1994, (Musaf
38- Cohen and Miller, p.110
39- Ha'aretz, May 18 1993
40- Freier, 1993
41- See Avi Beker, "A Regional Non-Proliferation Treaty for the
Middle East", Security or Armageddon: Israel's Nuclear Strategy,
Louis Rene Beres, editor, Lexington, Ma., Lexington Books, 1985
42- See Gerald Steinberg, "U.S. Non-proliferation Policy", Arms
Control: Contemporary Security Policy, Volume 15, No. 3, December
43- Gerald M. Steinberg "Arms Control and Regional Security in the Middle East", Survival, Vol. 36, No. 1, Spring 1994; pp.126-141