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Thread: The need for an Israeli nuclear doctrine

  1. #31
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    Based on history,geopolitics and interests.Iran may manage to control the area or not,but it will try.
    Can you elaborate some more.

    history, when has Iran tried to march to mecca ?

    geopolitics, most active during Khomeni's time. Tapered off since. Khomeni was the charismatic driving force not IRI. Saddam played this card a lot with the GCC to ensure adequate funds for his war. It's unclear to me whether Iran planned to march to Baghdad during that war, though Saddam was certainly looking for territorial gains.

    interests, both Shia's & Sunni' revere Mecca. There have been some restrictions on Iranian pilgrims over the years due to political activity that had more to do with condemning the US & Israel but otherwise not much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    I don't recall saying the Arabs needed nukes against Israel so I don't see what I conceded.
    You didn't, i saw the chance to make a general point to the board.

    It's wierd the Arabs ratified the NPT in the late 80s, early 90s. A time when it was known that Israel had a nuke. Ambigious or not makes no difference here does it. These guys don't think whether israel will occupy their land, the point is nuke in the region , ZOMG, ZOMG.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 12 Apr 12, at 19:12.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    - Arabs will not go for nukes if Iran does. At least not Egypt.
    They won't? Not Egypt. But what about the Saudis?

    I would have thought it would be the perfect catalyst for an Arab nuke. The Arabs are probably just as wary of Iran as Israel is.

  3. #33
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firestorm View Post
    They won't? Not Egypt. But what about the Saudis?

    I would have thought it would be the perfect catalyst for an Arab nuke. The Arabs are probably just as wary of Iran as Israel is.
    Down to whether the Saudi's think Iran will march to their country. Mihais seems to think so.

    I don't know.

    Would the US extend an umbrella to them if they asked for one. What would the Russians make of that ?

    If we take GW1 as an example, any attack on the Saudi's by Iran will get NATO involved. NATO can handle a nuclear Iran. So where is the need for Saudi's to have nukes. In this scenario there isn't even a need for an umbrella.

    There is an additional point here, the kingdoms forces are kept purposely weak so they may never be in the position to mount a coup against the royals. Where is the possibility of having nukes in the kingdom in that case. Whomever controls the bombs has all the power. The royals will be very happy to outsource their security requirements to NATO.

    Therefore so long as NATO remains viable in the Gulf there is no need for a Saudi nuke. If NATO retires from the area and leaves the various countries to their own devices then the picture changes. But this may happen only in the distant future.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 12 Apr 12, at 20:08.

  4. #34
    Officer of Engineers
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    People,

    There's a friggin loop hole in the NPT that the Saudis can use. They can ask the Pakistanis for warheads to be mated to their DF-3s. As long as the warheads remain the property of Pakistan and a dual release mechanism put into place (ie, Pakistan must give its ok for the warhead to be armed but Saudi Arabia decides go-no-go for the missiles).

  5. #35
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Doesn't this apply only if Pakistan was a NPT member as well.

    The dual key you refer to is what the US & soviets used during the cold war. They put that loophole in.

  6. #36
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Doesn't this apply only if Pakistan was a NPT member as well.
    KSA is a member.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  7. #37
    Officer of Engineers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Doesn't this apply only if Pakistan was a NPT member as well.

    The dual key you refer to is what the US & soviets used during the cold war. They put that loophole in.
    No, if Pakistan is a member, then she would not be allowed nukes and hence deny a weapons source for Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia needs a nuke source and since none of the N5 would oblige, she needs other legal nuclear weapons powers and out of the four non-NPT sources (Pakistan, India, North Korea (included for argument sakes), and Israel), only Pakistan is a viable source.

  8. #38
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    So even though the NPT prohibits the Saudis from accepting nukes from a third party, you are saying that the loophole exists to allow Pak nukes to be stationed in KSA in the configuration you stated.

    I thought the loophole is open only for the P5. NPT is to prevent countries from going nuclear, I'd like to think NPT would also prevent those that do not sign from stationing their nukes beyond their territories as a given, least of all, on that of a NPT member. That is to say if there's to be any nukes in KSA they can only be from the P5. Otherwise to accept Pak nukes KSA has to quit the NPT.

    Because there is no difference between KSA developing nukes on their own or accepting Pak nukes.

    have thought this idea of Pak nukes in KSA was just Pak propaganda because they leave out the part that KSA will have incur a cost to avail of them
    Last edited by Double Edge; 13 Apr 12, at 14:47.

  9. #39
    Officer of Engineers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    So even though the NPT prohibits the Saudis from accepting nukes from a third party, you are saying that the loophole exists to allow Pak nukes to be stationed in KSA in the configuration you stated.
    That's just it. Saudi Arabia is not accepting nukes. She is allowing Pakistan to station nukes in Saudi Arabia. She is also allowed to deliver nukes in times of nuclear war and hence allow to own a nuclear delivery vehicle, ie a battery of dual use Chinese DF-3s.

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    I thought the loophole is valid only for the P5.
    There's nothing in the NPT that states a non-nuclear weapons country can only accept stationing by the P5.

    There are a lot of other loop holes that are well exploited by the N5. Russia for example lease, not sell, India nuclear weapons command systems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Otherwise do you think the US will allow it ?
    I don't know. This is on the assumption that the times have changed and Saudi Arabia feels that she needs a nuke. Instead of developing one herself, this is a fast track methodology that frankly would put Iran behind in the arms race.

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    have thought this idea of Pak nukes in KSA was just Pak propaganda
    I'm pointing out that there are options.

  10. #40
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Very good OOE

    Chain Reaction:Avoiding A Nuclear Arms Race In The Middle East | Report To The Committee On Foreign Relations United States Senate | Feb 2008

    Talks about KSA, Egypt & Turkey. The summary on KSA

    The development of a Saudi nuclear weapon represents one of the most serious and most likely consequences of an Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons. If Iran obtains a nuclear weapon, it will place tremendous pressure on Saudi Arabia to follow suit. The only factor that would likely dissuade the Saudis from pursuing a nuclear weapon would be a restored United States-Saudi bilateral relationship and a repaired Saudi perception regarding the reliability of the U.S. security guarantee. If the United States does not take deliberate actions in the coming years to achieve both of these objectives, an Iranian bomb will almost certainly lead to a Saudi bomb.

    The vast majority of individuals interviewed believe that Saudi Arabia represents the country most likely to pursue a nuclear weapon in response to an Iranian bomb. Significant disagreement among many parties exists regarding the Saudi’s final decision, as well as their capability to obtain a nuclear weapon. However, highlevel U.S. diplomats in Riyadh with excellent access to Saudi decision-makers expressed little doubt about the Saudi response. These diplomats repeatedly emphasized that an Iranian nuclear weapon frightens the Saudis ‘‘to their core’’ and would compel the Saudis to seek nuclear weapons.

    Those who believe Saudi Arabia would not respond to an Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons by pursuing a weapon of its own usually emphasize one of three arguments.

    The first suggests the value the Saudis place on their relationship with the United States would dissuade them from taking a nuclear decision that would severely damage their most important bilateral relationship. Undoubtedly, Saudi Arabia values its relationship with the United States. The United States has served as Saudi Arabia’s most important security guarantor since 1945. However, Saudi Arabia values its relationship with the United States because the United States has served Saudi Arabia’s interests. If Saudi Arabia comes to believe the United States cannot or will not protect the Kingdom and its core interests, the Saudi regime will not hesitate to develop the independent means to deter its enemies. If the United States does not take assertive steps now to restore Saudi faith in the U.S. security guarantee, this will increase the likelihood that the Saudis will respond to a perceived decline in the reliability of U.S. security guarantees and the emergence of an Iranian nuclear threat by pursuing an independent nuclear deterrent.

    The second argument frequently cited relates to the character of the regime. Some argue the Saudi regime is too conservative, too timid to take such a bold and controversial step. However, the Saudi regime’s undoubtedly conservative and occasionally timid approach to foreign relations has not kept Saudi Arabia from taking covert and controversial measures in the past in order to protect its interests. The Saudi acquisition of 50–60 CSS-2 missiles, 10–15 mobile launchers, and technical support from China at a cost of about $3 to $3.5 billion in the late 1980s provides an example. These missiles, which represent some of the longest-range missiles in the world, were acquired by the Saudis after the U.S. decision not to sell the Saudis surface-to-surface missiles. This Saudi move apparently conducted without the knowledge of Israel or the United States-reflected anything but a conservative or timid approach. While the acquisition of a nuclear weapon would represent a much greater challenge to the bilateral relationship, the CSS-2 affair demonstrates that in order to ensure its own security, Saudi Arabia will not hesitate to aggressively bypass or risk alienating the United States in order to protect Saudi interests.

    The third argument often cited relates to Saudi Arabia’s nuclear technology capabilities. Saudi Arabia lacks the human expertise and the technical knowledge necessary to develop a nuclear weapons program on its own. Experts consistently describe Saudi Arabia’s nuclear infrastructure and know how as far inferior to Egypt and Turkey. However, many individuals emphasize that the U.S. should not underestimate Saudi Arabia’s ability to buy the technology required. Many scholars and U.S. diplomats believe Saudi Arabia may have some sort of formal or informal understanding with Pakistan regarding nuclear weapons. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have common interests and complementary assets. Pakistan has a nuclear capability and limited money, while Saudi Arabia has no nuclear capability and virtually unlimited money. While no solid evidence exists to confirm the formalization of such an agreement, some circumstantial evidence suggests an agreement or ‘‘understanding’’ may exist.

  11. #41
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    CHAPTER 6 Saudi Arabia: The Calculations of Uncertainty THOMAS W.LIPPMAN | The Nuclear Tipping Point: Why States Reconsider Their Nuclear Choices | 2004
    This chapter which google books has in its entirety has a lot of interesting nuclear background on KSA.

    KSA did not want to join the NPT because of Israel but did so in '88 to placate the US, for KSA having acquired Chinese IRBM's. But KSA has not signed the IAEA's safeguards agreement or CTBT.

    The US refused to sell them those missiles because if they could hit Tehran then they could also hit Israel. So they had to do it on the sly and when the US found out Regan was not impressed. KSA joining the NPT was therefore a political decision rather than a strategic one, taken by a handful of people along with the king. The Israeli's had already told the US if they did not handle this affair they would take care of it themselves. KSA signing the NPT made it all go away. The missiles could stay but the King had to promise never to go nuclear. One man's word, the monarch.

    Whether KSA goes for nukes is highly dependent on their confidence whether the US can guarantee their safety. Specifically the House of Saud.

    They had a rude surprise in '79 when the US installed Shah was deposed and the US proceeded to do nothing. They faced a Khomeni who challenged their legitimacy as guardians of Mecca. This was the time they went in for the Chinese missiles because they were flying fast & furious between Iran & Iraq. And at certain points were targeted by Iran.

    Then came GW1, where sagging confidence was built up. Only to be let down by 9/11 and the US public's opinion thereafter of KSA. Then came Iraq and the resultant Shia dominant leadership in place and the Arab Spring recently which indicated the US was not so keen on protecting the old guard.

    KSA has no confidence in facing an attack by Iraq, Iran, Israel or Yemen and this is despite a 13% GDP spend on defense. There is another point about Saudi's having nukes and that is whether Israel will agree not to destroy them.

    For KSA to go for nukes risks placing themselves in the category of nuclear outlaw. At a time when they are facing deficits and are highly dependent on oil revenues to get by. If the US witholds arms & military advisors or freezes the hundreds of billions the KSA has invested in the US and the Israelis threaten a strike KSA might face an untenable position. Not to mention sanctions on Pakistan by the US for aiding & abetting KSA. Pakistan will also be jeopardising any interests they might have against this foe of KSA.

    The preferred weapons of KSA are cash & diplomacy. Confrontation & defiance are not the Saudi way.

    KSA did have a small contingent of Pakistani troops stationed between '80 - '87 in two remote parts of the country in the north (near the Jordanian border) & south. When oil prices hit a low at that time the arrangement was discontinued.

  12. #42
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    That's just it. Saudi Arabia is not accepting nukes. She is allowing Pakistan to station nukes in Saudi Arabia. She is also allowed to deliver nukes in times of nuclear war and hence allow to own a nuclear delivery vehicle, ie a battery of dual use Chinese DF-3s.

    There's nothing in the NPT that states a non-nuclear weapons country can only accept stationing by the P5.

    There are a lot of other loop holes that are well exploited by the N5. Russia for example lease, not sell, India nuclear weapons command systems.

    I don't know. This is on the assumption that the times have changed and Saudi Arabia feels that she needs a nuke. Instead of developing one herself, this is a fast track methodology that frankly would put Iran behind in the arms race.

    I'm pointing out that there are options.
    Am thinking of numbers Pakistan will need in reserve to make this work.

    Pakistan isn't a warfighting arsenal so they will need reserve nukes in addition to Iran targeting themselves. They will need enough to counter India & Iran.

    Saudi's are going to need enough to counter Iran.

    So does Pakistan need in the region of twice the number of nukes it has today to be able to defend the KSA as well as themselves ? or can Pakistan do this with fewer.

    Otherwise this option will not be feasible for the next ten years if not longer
    Last edited by Double Edge; 18 Apr 12, at 10:01.

  13. #43
    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    I thought they already had a doctrine, specifically "Attack us and if it looks like we are 'going down' then all you Arab and Iranian f@&$%*&s!s are going down with us - every single one of you."
    Last edited by Monash; 20 Oct 14, at 12:41.

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