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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Israel to use nukes against Iran?

Shavua tov, a good week to everyone.

Now, it's getting really crazy. UPI is claiming that Israel is going to use nuclear weapons to take out Iran's nuclear weapons.
The 208-page report, by veteran Middle East analysts Anthony Cordesman and Abdullah Toukan, argued that Israel's air force does not have the firepower to knock out the Iranian facilities and that low-yield tactical nuclear warheads would be the only way to destroy them.

Israel, of course, has made no comment on this at all, in line with its policy of deliberate ambiguity about its nuclear arsenal, believed to total some 600 warheads, bombs and artillery shells.

Nor does it discuss its inventory of Jericho II -- and probably some Jericho III -- ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. These are placed in heavily fortified silos in the Judean Hills and near two or three Israeli air bases.

But if Israel elected to launch a nuclear strike, it is likely that the Jerichos would be the chosen means of delivery.

They would eliminate Israeli casualties, of which there would be an appreciable number if the air force was thrown at Iran's heavily protected nuclear infrastructure, and the loss of valuable strike aircraft.

One assessment estimated Israel would need 90-100 long-range F-15I and F-16I aircraft for such strikes, of which around 20 percent would be lost.

In an assessment in March 2009, Toukan estimated that 42 Jericho IIIs, with 1,650-pound conventional warheads, would be needed to "severely damage or demolish" Iran's core nuclear facilities at Natanz, Isfahan and Arak.

That, according to most estimates, would be enough to set back Iran's nuclear arms project by two or three years.

But it would also run the risk of retaliatory attacks on Israel, either with Iran's Shehab-3 intermediate-range ballistic missiles -- Tehran has threatened to unleash 600, although there's no evidence it has that many -- or using local proxies Hezbollah and Hamas.

Israel could also use its three German-built Dolphin-class submarines, reportedly adapted to launch nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, firing from the Arabian Sea to add to the mayhem.

Little is known about the Jericho III, but it is believed be a three-stage, solid-fuel missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead for a minimum range of 2,980 miles.

Israel has never even hinted at using nuclear weapons against Iran.
Why should we when other people do it for us? Isn't that what deterrence is about?



At 9:19 PM, Blogger John Hellein said...

I think th nuclear option makes the most sense for Israel. It minimizes resource drain and no matter what Israel does it will be made to look the bad guy and isolated disproportionately by the nations of the world. It will also send a "strong horse" message to the Arabs and other Moslems that may help mitigate retaliatory actions from arabs in Gaza and Judea & Samaria as well as surrounding nations.

Keep up the isolation vis-a-vis Israel, President Obama, I believe doing so will make it all the more likely that Israel will overcome its concern with appearing politically correct and actually deal with Israel's enemies as necessary.

At 5:34 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Why not? If you're going to destroy them for a long time, try not to endanger any lives when its not necessary. We're not talking about using tactical nuclear weapons on cities; just on the nuclear installations. And that may preferable on an EMP in the sense that it lets them go on with a minimal standard of living. Either way, the threat is so extensive and so grave in import that extreme methods may be required to address it.


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