The main result of the meeting between Presidents Putin and Biden in Geneva on June 16 was the joint statement that “we reaffirm the principle that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”
This welcome recognition that nuclear war would probably destroy the world is especially relevant now, because August sees the 76th anniversary of the first — and so far the last — use of nuclear weapons in war.
On 6 August 1945 a U.S. atomic bomb exploded over the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing some 70,000 people. On August 9 another bomb destroyed Nagasaki city, causing about 40,000 deaths.
Japan surrendered on August 15, thereby ending a world war that resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of mostly Russian and Chinese people (70%), mainly civilians.
Estimates vary from 35 to 60 million, but whatever the number, the war was a major catastrophe — but not as great as the cataclysm that would befall the world if nuclear weapons are ever again employed.
While many of us may be confident that the USA and Russia will not make use of nuclear weapons against each other, even in the event of major confrontation.
However, that sanguinary cannot extend to other situations, and it is notable that there are four nations (including Israel) that refuse to abide by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The UN describes as “a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology.
Global nations must promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.
The nuclear-armed nations that refuse to adhere to the NPT are North Korea (which signed but then withdrew), India, Israel and Pakistan.
Of these, only Israel denies having nuclear weapons and it is notable that neither the U.S. State Department nor the CIA makes mention of Israel’s nuclear arsenal, program or capabilities in any of their public material.
The State Department writes effusively that “Israel is a great partner to the United States, and Israel has no greater ally than the United States.
Americans and Israelis are united by our shared commitment to democracy, economic prosperity, and regional security. The unbreakable bond between our two countries has never been stronger.”
The CIA, whose Israel Factbook was updated on July 20, states that “the USA is by far the leading supplier of arms to Israel” which “has a broad defense industrial base that can develop, produce, support, and sustain a wide variety of weapons systems.
Washington City sees no evil and hears no evil where Israel is concerned, and when Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman met Israel’s National Security Advisor, Dr Eyal Hulata and Senior Foreign Policy Advisor Shimrit Meir on August 3, 2021.
She reiterated U.S. policy and made yet more Arab enemies by emphasizing the U.S. government’s unwavering support for Israel. Which presumably includes support for its nuclear weapons’ program.
In February the Times of Israel carried an Associated Press report that “a secretive Israeli nuclear facility, supposedly at the center of the nation’s undeclared atomic weapons program, is undergoing what appears to be its biggest construction project in decades.
There was much international speculation concerning the clandestine development, which was detected through satellite imagery, but nothing consequential was revealed.
The 2021 Yearbook of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) records that “Israel has a long-standing policy of not commenting on its nuclear arsenal” and estimates it has ninety warheads of which about 30 “are estimated to be gravity bombs for delivery by F16 aircraft.
According to the Times of Israel, the IAF now operates 27 F-35 multi-role strike aircraft, with a total of 50 to be in service by 2024.
Defense World reported that “in a dozen photos published by the F-35 Joint Program Office, the U.S.AF stealth fighter can be seen testing its ability to deploy the latest iteration of the B61-12 thermonuclear gravity bomb.
The weapon, with a maximum explosive yield of 50 kilotons, is small enough to fit inside the F-35’s internal bomb bay.
It is hardly coincidental that both Israel and the USA are energetically opposed to Iran and are determined that its government be overthrown and replaced by something along the lines of the corrupt regime of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi who ruled as a U.S. puppet until his ousting by an equally autocratic Islamic theocracy.
To this end, the administrations in Washington and Jerusalem are endeavoring to make life for ordinary Iranians as difficult and miserable as possible, with one of their targets being Iran’s nascent and inconsequential nuclear power program.
As the BBC reports, in 2015 Iran reached a deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with the USA, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany that saw it limit its nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief, which never materialized.
Iran, understandably, remains intent on developing nuclear power, but the USA and Israel affect to believe that this is a road to speedy production of nuclear weapons.
Accordingly, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz declared that “Iran has violated all of the guidelines set in the JCPOA.
However, Israel’s “abilities” include the capability to strike Iran with nuclear weapons. Given that Bennet and Gantz claim that Israel is threatened by Iran.
It is far from inconceivable that Israel would employ its nuclear arsenal. After all, for what other reason does it have ninety nuclear weapons?
Strategic Culture / ABC Flash Point News 2021.