By Adam Raz
Translated By Danielle Morris
2 June 2013
Edited by Daye Lee
Israel - Maariv - Original Article (Hebrew)
There are plenty of hints of Obama’s support for abolishing the nuclear ambiguity policy. However, this move may actually reinforce the nuclear situation in the Middle East and harm Israel’s defense abilities.
The main editorial in The New York Times on May 27, 2013, “Throwing Money at Nukes,” heavily criticized the increase in the United States’ budget allocated to the renewal of American nuclear weapon stocks, some of which are still located in Europe to protect NATO allies from various threats.
The questions raised about Obama’s nuclear policies are numerous. The reason for this lies within the discrepancy between his words and his actions. Since his April 2009 speech in Prague, in which he announced a far-fetched vision of a world free of nuclear weapons, it’s safe to say Obama’s strategy has aimed to reduce the world’s nuclear stockpile, strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and prevent additional countries from obtaining nuclear weapons, primarily Iran.
The 2014 budget allocated to renewing the Europe-based American nuclear arsenal stands at $537 million — 45.5 percent more than the previous year. America’s criticism of Obama not only concerns the investments in hydrogen bombs outside of the continent, but also the tremendous funds Obama is allocating to strengthening the arsenal within the U.S. and to various means of launching and dispatching.
The gap between word and action is apparent not only in Obama’s domestic nuclear policies, but also in his stance on Israel’s nuclear policies. It has been claimed that Obama’s maximalist vision of a nuclear-free world could lead to completely opposite results for Israel and Iran. The first evidence of this showed up at the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit, where Obama refused to veto the Arab ultimatum and demanded that the international community apply pressure on Israel’s nuclear capacities. Some viewed this as proof that Obama does not stand behind the agreement between Israel and the U.S. regarding the nuclear ambiguity policy.
Reuven Pedatzur published an article in Haaretz on May 18, 2013, titled “Disperse the Nuclear Ambiguity,” which discussed a research paper recently published in the U.S., quoting, “It would be wrong of Washington to stand in Israel’s way toward an open nuclear policy.” Pedatzur wrote, “Unavoidably, the writers of this research paper are expressing the views of the American president.” Though an unsupported statement, there are plenty of indications of its truth.
The abolition of the nuclear ambiguity policy, if granted Obama’s support, will lead to the reinforcement of the nuclear issue in the Middle East, encouraging more Arab nations to purchase nuclear weapons and hindering Israel’s ability to defend itself with conventional force. Furthermore, in research recently published in the U.S., Israel’s nuclear project expenditure was estimated to be around 7 billion shekels. Explicit nuclear deterrence will force Israel to invest much, much more in nuclear arms in order to try and keep a stable nuclear balance, the possibility of which is both doubtful and disputed.
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