By Walter Pincus
June 17, 2009 “Washington Post”
The 1960 report defends Israel’s nuclear ambitions, offers guidance on handling today’s nuclear-hopefuls.
“We do not believe that Israel will embark on the development of nuclear weapons with the aim of actually starting a nuclear war,” reads the declassified 48-year-old CIA Special National Intelligence Estimate.
The estimate, publicly released June 5 by George Washington University’s National Security Archives, continues, “Possession of a nuclear weapon capability, or even the prospect of achieving it, would clearly give Israel a greater sense of security, self-confidence and assertiveness.”
“In any public announcement concerning their nuclear reactor program, the Israelis would almost certainly stress the peaceful nature of their efforts, but they would also, as time goes on, make plain that henceforth Israel is a power to be accorded more respect than either its friends or its enemies have hitherto given it,” reads the estimate.