The Lessons of Israel’s 2007 Strike on a Suspected Syrian Nuclear Reactor

The Lessons of Israel’s 2007 Strike on a Suspected Syrian Nuclear Reactor
An Israeli F-16 warplane takes off for a mission from an air force base in southern Israel, July 23, 2006 (AP photo by Ariel Schalit).

Last week, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz published a long investigative report on how Israel discovered and then destroyed a nearly completed plutonium nuclear reactor in Syria’s eastern desert in September 2007. The episode, including the ups and downs of the intelligence process that led to the decision to strike in what Haaretz called a “daring, hair-raising operation,” provides a window into how to think about intelligence and policy challenges in other cases involving nascent nuclear programs. After a decade of secrecy, military censors in Israel lifted the ban on journalists publishing the details of the attack. Haaretz reporters Amos Harel […]

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