So, how is the Arab-Israeli war of 1973 possible? The Israelis had what is now estimated to be 30 nuclear bombs and 10 missiles in 1973. How is it possible that Assad and Sadat persuaded themselves to launch an attack on Israel?
According to most Americans, nuclear deterrence “works.” This is largely based on the American experience of the Cold War in which US nuclear weapons seem to have restrained the Soviet Union a number of times. Certainly the Soviets launched no nuclear attacks against the US. It’s also an example of the unfortunate habit of Americans to assume that what is true for us is what is true in general. If deterrence worked in the Cold War, it must just work.
But consider Assad and Sadat. What were they thinking? They must have known that Israel had nuclear weapons. Both of … Read More »