Israel's nuclear capability is shrouded in calculated ambiguity: its existence will never be officially confirmed, but occasional revelations are helpful in giving its deterrent value a boost at appropriate moments (for example, in a time of superterrorism and Iranian nuclear aspirations). The Israeli nuclear program's basic history -- the French giving Israel the wherewithal to become a nuclear power, the discovery of the Dimona reactor and the resulting tensions with the United States in the early 1960s, the development of the Jericho missile -- was told by Avner Cohen (Israel and the Bomb) in 1998. The novelty of this account lies in Karpin's ability, as a journalist, to get participants in the project to talk on the record and in its addition of many fascinating details to what was already known. Karpin is good on the interaction between the nuclear decisions and the wider strategic debates under way in the Israeli government today, as well as on how its policy of ambiguity has been developed and sustained.
In This Review
In This Review
Most Read Articles
What Really Happened in Iran
The CIA, the Ouster of Mosaddeq, and the Restoration of the Shah
How America Lost Faith in Expertise
And Why That's a Giant Problem
Why the Strait of Hormuz Is Still the World’s Most Important Chokepoint
And Why the United States Should Guarantee Its Security
When Stalin Faced Hitler
Who Fooled Whom?
The Democratization of Space
New Actors Need New Rules