The Conclusive Solution For Lasting Peace In The Middle East
We live in a world which is in continual crisis. War and strife is rampant throughout our planet, but nowhere is it as pronounced as in the Middle East. Since the creation of Israel in 1948, this area has been the focus of the world's attention as the displaced Palestinians rallied Arab nations against the existence of the Jewish state. This situation has festered in the past forty years, to the point where Muslims are not only at war with Israel, but also with their fellow Muslims: the Afghani struggle against the Taliban has spilled over into neighboring Pakistan, and within striking distance of the country's significant nuclear weapons caches.
These developments would be enough cause for concern were it not for the proliferation of nuclear weapons within the Middle Eastern nations. Pakistan is by far not the only nuclear-armed nation.
Israel's nuclear capability may be the worst-kept secret of the 20th century. It has long been acknowledged by both Israel's allies and her enemies that the Jewish nation has an extensive nuclear weapons program, backed up by a comprehensive delivery system which can strike at will any prospective target in the Middle East.
Since it is more or less common knowledge, why does Jerusalem continue to deny its capability? The official line is that Israel does not have nuclear weapons, yet as then-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan claimed in 1981, the country has the capacity to manufacture them "in a short time" if necessary. This statement has been widely interpreted to mean that.officially Israel has no completely assembled A-bombs in its military inventory, but has them in a "partially assembled" stage. In other words, the bombs are there, ready to go, but require the installation of, say, a timing device to make them operational. Such an installation could be performed in a matter of seconds, so effectively Israel can be said to constantly be "a minute away from nuclear capability."
How many bombs comprise this nuclear capability? The best estimates available to the intelligence community indicate no less than 50 bombs of at least 500 kilotons each. This claim was recently challenged by a "defecting" Israeli nuclear engineer. According to Mordechai Vanunu, who allegedly was an Israeli nuclear technician for nine years, Israel has "at least 100 nuclear weapons": an arsenal which would rank Israel as the world's sixth-ranked nuclear power. This may be an exaggeration, and several observers, including Newsweek magazine speculated that Vanunu's "defection" may have been an elaborate effort by the Israeli government to warn Syria's Assad. Damascus had recently stepped up its hostilities towards Israeli interests, and if Vanunu's testimony was a ruse, it worked. Syria backed off, and a potentially dangerous situation was defused.
But why does Israel even bother with nuclear weapons? As has been repeatedly proven in the past twenty years, her conventional military forces easily outclass her Arab neighbors. What she may lack in manpower, she easily makes up for in quantity and quality of military hardware which Israel not only purchases from other nations, but actually builds herself. It cannot be disputed that a major reason that any semblance of restraint exists in Middle Eastern warfare is due to the sheer power of the Israeli military. Like all other armies, it can get bogged down while fighting a politically-limited cat and mouse game with guerillas, but on a wide-open battlefield, with clearly marked military targets, Israel's might is awesome, and her enemies know it.
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