In the latest salvo against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the state of Israel, the United States declassified a 1987 report outlining Israel’s top secret nuclear program.
The Elephant in the Room
While this caused a furor in the media and some diplomatic circles, this has pretty much been an open secret. Israel being a nuclear power was always the “elephant in the room” in geopolitics. (The elephant in the room is that big issue that everybody sees, but no one wants to talk about.)
More telling about the declassification of the document is the signal the Obama Administration is putting out toward Israel. After Benjamin Netanyahu’s comment before the election rejecting a two-state solution with the Palestinians, President Obama had said that the United States was going to have to “reassess” its relationship with Israel. In fact, the reassessment had been going on long before both Bibi’s pre-election statements and his address to the U.S. Congress.
The process of declassifying documents is a lengthy process, usually taking several months, depending on the amount of material to be declassified. Given that timeline, the declassification of the outline of Israel’s nuclear research program was planned out long in advance and speaks more to the general attitude of the Obama Administration towards Israel, rather than a tit-for-tat based on the Prime Minister’s comments.
The 130 page report titled “Critical Technology Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations” has some interesting content. The report that covers the period between October 1985 and May 1986 was compiled by the Institute for Defense Analyses (an NGO or in the vernacular, a “beltway bandit”) This period was during the Reagan administration and is concerned with the identification and assessment of those technologies in Israel that are relevant to Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (or “Star Wars”) and possible independent tactical nuclear capability.
Since this report is thirty years old, one can only imagine how much more advanced Israel’s program is three decades later.
The first thing one will notice is that all of the information on the nuclear programs of France, Italy, West Germany and other NATO countries has been redacted. So, the report is only revealing the Israeli program details.
Another interesting observation was that much of United States SDI program came as a byproduct of Israeli weapons technology. This also infers that there was a close sharing of information between the two countries, something that is deficient today.
Another telling comment in the report was the following:
The technology is in some instances more advanced than in the U.S. An example may be found in tactical spread spectrum systems that are not yet operational within our DOD but are already fielded in Israel. All levels of electronic warfare provide secure communications with developmental programs at companies such as Tadiran in HF, VHF, and UHF providing secure operations for all levels — ship, aircraft, tactical forces on the ground, and communications centers. (Page 10)
A spread spectrum system is a frequency hopping radio system that is very hard to jam. This brings to the battlefield constant communications between field commanders and headquarters which would allow for close communication between infantry, artillery and air units. One of the things that accounted for George Patton’s race across Europe during World War II was a new FM Radio communication system.
In 1941, the laboratories at the former Fort Monmouth developed the SCR–300, the first FM backpack radio. This device provided front-line troops with reliable, static-free communications. While Germany was still using WWI-style messengers at times to communicate between units, the United States and its allies were able to coordinate their activities over longer distances though then jam-proof, clear FM radio communication. It was possible for an infantry squad, for example, to call in the artillery within minutes of meeting an enemy unit.
Israel is also very good at providing communication between branches of the IDF so that all the units can act in unison.
The United States was doing a fairly good job at coordinating activities between service branches, but lost ground after the Korean War when squabbling between the service branches reached a fever pitch.
Reach Out and Touch Some Cubans
A scene from the Clint Eastwood movie, “Heartbreak Ridge” took a real-life communication issue and brought it to the silver screen. If movie goers did not know it was an actual event, they wouldn’t believe it. In the scene, Eastwood’s platoon is encountering fierce resistance from Cuban troops during the invasion of Grenada in 1983. To get fire support to repel the Cubans, the platoon had to call the Pentagon instead of being able to radio the ships anchored offshore. The Pentagon then relayed the message to the Navy which provided the needed support.
To contact the Pentagon, Eastwood’s platoon had to wire up a phone in the bunker they were holed up in and use a credit card to make the call.
The use of a credit card to place a long distance call for fire support was based on an actual event in the Operation Urgent Fury Grenada action. In the actual battle, a U.S. Navy SEAL rescuing the governor general placed a calling card call to SOCOM (United States Special Operations Command in Florida) which brought an AC–130 gunship to bear on an armored personnel carrier that was firing on them.
Can You Hear Me Now?
After his retirement as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell once told this writer that one of the worst things that happened to the armed services during the Reagan years was the amount of money that was lavished on them. The military branches had so much money that they didn’t have to worry about coordinating their efforts; if they needed a communication system, for example, they’d just build their own. This type of attitude lead to the “credit card” incident, where the Army and Navy had to use the “sneaker network” to relay information between the service branches, rather that communicate directly with the assets needed.
Israel has avoided that. Israel has developed “Network IDF,” linking the three military branches to one another to produce the most advanced combat communications network of its kind in the world. Not only can various units communicate with one another directly through a common digital map, they can pass along visual intelligence, enabling each unit to see the combat arena from the perspective of other units in the air, sea and in the field.
Today’s Weapons Yesterday
Also, according to the report, the Soreq Nuclear Research Center was developing an electron beam discharge gun to accelerate projectiles to hypervelocity using existing weapons. Such a gun would be capable of discharging large caliber projectiles at a target at over 1 mile per second, making it impossible with current known technology to jam, intercept, or destroy. This, combined with shaped charge weapons, would produce an array of “tank-killers” that would stop an armored unit in its tracks. (Remember, this was technology Israel was working on over three decades ago.)
Israel was also doing advanced work in the mid–80s in laser radar tactical weapons (or directed energy weapons) that could be a game changer on the battlefield.
Israel was also doing advanced research in EMP defense, protecting their military and commercial electronic systems in the event of a war with a nation with electromagnetic pulse weapons.
These and many other nuggets are tucked into the report, but it is not quite the sensation the media has made it out to be. Locations and the amounts of Israel nuclear arsenal are not revealed, nor are maps with red x’s saying “strike here” on display.
Again, this report was met by most in the intelligence community with a yawn. What it did do is serve as a shot across the bow at Israel, putting Netanyahu on notice that he had better toe the line with the United States or face more serious consequences.
The United States may play this game and try to shape Israel’s destiny, but to do so is to poke their finger in the Eye of God. As God told Abraham:
“I’ll make a great nation of your descendants, I’ll bless you, and I’ll make your reputation great, so that you will be a blessing. I’ll bless those who bless you, but I’ll curse the one who curses you, and through you all the people of the earth will be blessed.”
— Genesis 12:2–3, ISV
- Administration Declassifies Top-Secret Doc Reveals Israel’s Nuclear Secrets — Breitbart
- Obama’s ‘jihad against Jews’ spills Israel’s nuke secrets — WND
- What the Pentagon Recently Did Regarding Israel Is So ‘Strange’ One Outlet Is Wondering If It’s ‘Revenge’ — The Blaze
- U.S. Declassified Top-Secret Doc on Israel’s Nuclear Program Ahead of Netanyahu’s Congress Address — MRCTV