(For those who haven’t heard, the web site Wikileaks has a dump of almost 250,000 internal US diplomatic cables, often containing frank diplomatic assessments of foreign leaders and the results of foreign diplomatic meetings.)
Some have been following US President Obama’s position on nuclear policy with glee, others with terror as the president pushes major changes in the US’s strategic nuclear stance. That’s not just about maintenance of U.S. nuclear weapons, it’s about other’s use as well. Here’s their position on Israel..
Subject: United States UnderSecretary for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher’s visit to Israel on December 1-2, 2009
OUR SUMMARY -
1. The U.S. says Israel has nukes.
2. The U.S. want’s Israel to “give up some nuke stuff” to make Egypt (who’s arming themselves to the teeth and practicing for war against Israel) happy.
3. The U.S. plans to push START renewal (nuke arms limitations with Russia which just expired) without appropriate verifications but expects a “strong follow on with verifications”. (Give them everything they want and just trust them to give you want you want later, yeah that’ll work.)
4. Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is using the leverage of Iran’s nukes to bash Israel over nukes. (This would generally be good politics unless Egypt really cares about Iran getting nukes, in which case anything that slows down addressing it is stupid. So Egypt’s public pronouncements aren’t lining up with their private political activity. Politicians lying in public, that would be unusual.)
5. A few people in Israel’s diplomatic service have figured out that “nothing satisfies them” and “they pocket every concession”, that they always “raise the bar” and “talking endlessly is not progress”. (Kol hakavod, good someone’s starting to think.)
6. On Iran there is almost no difference in the national intelligence estimates from the U.S., the UK, France, and Russia. One year ago they all agreed that “crippling sanctions” must be implemented immediately for sanctions to continue to be an option. (The US dithered and did little, implementing limited sanctions that didn’t seriously slow Iran down – removing sanctions as a REAL option.)
1. (S) Summary: Under Secretary for Arms Control and
International Security Ellen Tauscher visited Israel December
1-2. U/S Tauscher focused her visit on setting the stage for
a successful Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review
Conference (RevCon) in May 2010. She consulted with GOI
interlocutors on potential strategy in addressing Egyptian
insistence on pushing for the establishment of a nuclear
weapon free zone (NWFZ) in the Middle East, as a way to
divert attention from Iran to Israel. U/S Tauscher
reiterated that the United States will not take any action to
compromise Israel's security and would consult closely with
Israel -- which GOI officials greatly appreciated.
Nevertheless, U/S Tauscher said the United States is
interested in exploring possible small steps involving Israel
to address some of Egypt's NWFZ concerns regarding the lack
of implementation of the 1995 resolution. GOI officials for
the most part were critical of these tactics, questioning why
Israel should be portrayed as part of the problem….
3. (S) In various meetings with GOI interlocutors, U/S
Tauscher outlined an ambitious arms control and
nonproliferation agenda, beginning with the President's
Prague speech, and including other priorities such as a
follow-on to START, CTBT ratification, the upcoming NPT
Review Conference, and negotiating the FMCT. She noted that
negotiations with Moscow on START were slow to develop in
part due to delayed confirmations and Russian wariness. But
U/S Tauscher expected a START follow-on -- including a strong
verification regime -- soon.
17. (S) Chorev and Zefary-Odiz argued these steps had been
tried in the past -- and had failed. Danieli questioned why
Israel should take any steps at all. Based on experience at
the IAEA and the UN First Committee on Disarmament and
International Security, he said "nothing satisfies Egypt" as
Cairo "pockets every concession" and demands more -- "it's a
slippery slope." Danieli said Israel will not "play by
Egypt's rules." Bar concurred, noting that Egypt will "raise
the bar," and begin negotiations with these small steps as
the baseline -- he was skeptical such steps would prove
¶18. (S) Arad characterized these steps as "talking endlessly"
-- that is "not progress," he said. He was uncomfortable
discussing Israel NPT compliance, especially as Israel is not
a party to the treaty. He also raised concerns regarding the
definition of the Middle East NWFZ -- did it also include
Pakistan, India and Iran, for example? Arad said such
questions should be posed to Cairo -- if Egypt is willing to
include Pakistan in its definition of a Middle East NWFZ,
then we can take that as a signal that Cairo is ready for a
serious conversation on the matter.
25. (S) MFA DG Gal said there was not much difference in the
national intelligence estimations (U.S., UK, France, and
Russia) regarding Iran. He said the GOI takes "very
seriously" Iranian plans for ten new enrichment facilities --
"time is of the essence," and "now is the time to implement
crippling sanctions," he added. Gal likened the case for
enhanced sanctions to prescribed antibiotics from a doctor --
one must take the full course of antibiotics for the
prescribed period of time, or they will not work.
26. (S) Turning to his crystal ball, Gilad was not sure
Tehran had decided it wants a nuclear weapon -- but is
"determined" to obtain the option to build one. He
acknowledged that the engagement strategy is a good idea --
"as long as you understand that it will not work." Gilad
said it should be clear by February 2010 that engagement as a
option has failed -- the imposition of "crippling sanctions"
for the February/March/April timeframe is crucial. He said
Russian cooperation will be the key, and the current Russian
cooperative mind-set cannot necessarily be counted on in
several weeks time. By June of next year, Gilad said it
should be clear whether sanctions have worked.