Publication:
Israel's attack on Osiraq a model for future preventive strikes

Loading...
Thumbnail Image
Authors
Ford, Peter Scott.
Subjects
Advisors
Lavoy, Peter R.
Date of Issue
2004-09
Date
Publisher
Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
Twenty-three years ago, Israeli fighter pilots destroyed the Osiraq nuclear reactor and made a profound statement about global nuclear proliferation. In light of the recent preventive regime change in Iraq, a review of this strike reveals timely lessons for future counterproliferation actions. Using old, new, and primary source evidence, this thesis examines Osiraq for lessons from a preventive attack on a non-conventional target. Before attacking Osiraq, Israeli policymakers attempted diplomatic coercion to delay Iraq's nuclear development. Concurrent with diplomatic actions, Israeli planners developed a state of the art military plan to destroy Osiraq. Finally, Israeli leaders weathered the international storm after the strike. The thesis examines Israeli decisionmaking for each of these phases. The thesis draws two conclusions. First, preventive strikes are valuable primarily for two purposes: buying time and gaining international attention. Second, the strike provided a one-time benefit for Israel. Subsequent strikes will be less effective due to dispersed/hardened nuclear targets and limited intelligence.
Type
Thesis
Description
Series/Report No
Organization
Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.)
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
Sponsors
Funder
Format
xiv, 63 p. : ill. (some col.) ;
Citation
Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
Collections