The Israeli policy of nuclear ambiguity was developed in the 1960s, and is still followed by the Israeli government. This study seeks to uncover the origins of this policy and the domestic and external factors that helped crystallize it. To this end, the paper investigates the US's impact on this policy by tracing the exchanges and negotiations between the US government and Israel regarding the Israeli nuclear program and the understandings that were made between the two states during the 1960s pertaining to Israel's ownership of nuclear weapons, culminating in the Meir-Nixon Pact of 1969. The paper also discusses the debates that have taken place among Israeli researchers and experts regarding Israel's nuclear policy since the 1980s, analyzing both the views of those who support the policy of nuclear ambiguity and those who call for a policy of nuclear deterrence. This analysis concludes with an investigation of Israel's preparations for a nuclear second-strike and an exploration of the goals behind Israel's nuclear policy.
*This study was originally published in the second Edition of Siyasat Arabia (May-June 2013, pp. 60-72). Siyasat Arabia, published by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, is a bi-monthly, peer-reviewed journal that specializes in political science, international relations, and public policy.
It was translated by the ACRPS Translation and English Editing Department. The original Arabic version can be found here.
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