Bombs and rockets

Avner Cohen provides a great summary of writing history (here under the particular limitations of studying Israel’s nuclear arsenal): The narrative I offer, then, is by nature incomplete and interpretative. Like all narratives, it is not written from God’s-eye view; rather, it is a story told through incomplete human and archival sources. Cohen, Avner. “Before […]

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The scope of the Israeli request for French technological assistance, the details of which Shimon Peres spelled out in Paris in 1956/1957, was tantamount to a national proliferation commitment. Enough is now known about the extent of the Dimona deal to appreciate how determined Ben-Gurion was to pursue it. The Dimona nuclear complex was designed […]

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In September, the US, Australia, and the UK announced the trilateral AUKUS security pact, a key element of which is for the US and UK to provide nuclear propulsion technology for Australian submarines. From an arms race and proliferation perspective, the development is somewhat worrying. To limit their size and maximize the time period between […]

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On a global level, bin Laden’s 9/11 attacks set the course of U.S. foreign policy for the first two decades of the twenty-first century and reshaped the Muslim world in ways that bin Laden certainly didn’t intend and that few could have predicted in the immediate aftermath. The Authorization for Use of Military Force, which […]

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It’s worth mentioning here that there is simply no evidence for the common myth that bin Laden and his Afghan Arabs were supported by the CIA financially. Nor is there any evidence that CIA officials at any level met with bin Laden or anyone in his circle. Yet the notion that bin Laden was a […]

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It seems that after a recent computer failure the Hubble Space Telescope is back online in a backup mode.

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In Rhodes’ energy history I came across an interesting parallel with the 1988 STS-27 and 2003 STS-107 space shuttle missions, in which the national security payload and secrecy in the first mission may have prevented lessons from being learned which might have helped avert the subsequent disaster. Specifically, the STS-27 mission was launching a classified […]

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I’ve noted before the exceptional and enduring influence Hyman Rickover (‘father of the nuclear navy’) has had over the subsequent use of nuclear technology. Richard Rhodes’ energy history provides another example: At the same time, Rickover made a crucial decision to change the form of the fuel from uranium metal to uranium dioxide, a ceramic. […]

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China has landed a rover on Mars and launched the first module for a space station.

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This week’s issue of The Economist has Taiwan on the cover and describes it as the “most dangerous place on Earth”. It is widely reported that a central purpose behind China’s military buildup and particularly the acquisition of naval and amphibious warfare capabilities is the country’s ambition to conquer its democratic neighbour. The implications thereof […]

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