If the North Korean pseudo-tests have demonstrated anything, it is that a Nukilar Middle-East is still far away.
There is much talk about the Israeli nukilar arsenal, but no clear determination has been made of the program’s extent. Mordechai Vanunu’s revelations uncovered much, but key doubts remain:
1- The Extent of the Arsenal: Any numbers can be based on indirect estimates of the potential production of the reactor at Dimona. If we consider that the operational average of the reactor is about 200 days annually, and that the capacity of the reactor does not exceed 200 MW (based on the size of the cooling towers), we can estimate a production of about 18 kg/yr of Plutonium. Since
2- Do the Nukes Work? No matter how good your technology is, this still requires testing. That is where the Israelis have a problem; there is only evidence for a couple of tests, if any. On
As far as non-conventional forces,
This is as far as the similarity goes. Because of the lack of support for its program, it has to deal with a single technology supplier; Putin’s
This is all money that could go on to develop the country’s much beleaguered economy; the experience of Soviet Russia taught us that the most performing missiles do not a country feed. In addition to all the money spent,
USD 1 Billion for a few refurbished Anti-Aircraft tanks that still need an integrated radar system (sold separately). Even more for a few used Russian submarines…
This frenzy suits Russia very well; it needs to retool an industry that, for the past 50 years, was focused on weapons development. The Russians can dump much soon-to-be-outdated euipment, in exchange for hard cash. Thanks to all this cash, the Russians are increasingly able to churn out more and better quality washing machines, PC’s, cars... etc. Those "additional" pumps and valves that teh reactors still need are going to be pricy.
Your petro-dollars at work for others. The British took the oil in exchange for supporting the Shah’s dream of Grandeur, the Russians are now taking the cash is exchange for supporting the Mullah’s dreams of Grandeur.
Different regimes, same delusion.
Under its Atomic Energy Commission,
And even if you have the reactors, where do you get the Uranium? The Syrians are hoping for extracting it from phosphates, using the Russian D2EHPA-TOPO process. They do have fertilizer plants at
But this will yield too little; the Israelis tried something similar, with little effect, and soon had to resort to some creative gymnastics to supplement their paltry production. Back in November 1968, when the Liberian-flagged “Scheersberg A” left
Still, even if you could start the process, where do you get the funds? Geld ist er den Nerv des Krieges gesichert, and with Syrian oil set to run out by 2010, and Syria's economy in the doldrums, the shortage of funds is not far away. To recoupe all the investment in military hardware, there is still the option of selling ad space on their new equipment...
Recall that, in 1978, Bachir Gemayel was riding high after a similar “victory” against another foreign enemy. 4 years and much blood and destruction later, he was sacrificed on the altar of greater interests. Today, there is much Arab money shoring up Hezb’s rivals, and compensating for
The Hariri assassination has demonstrated plainly that no man can be “larger” than his country. In time, Hezb will similarly learn that no community can be “greater” than its country.