An Ounce of Prevention - A Pound of Cure? The Reagan Administration’s Nonproliferation Policy and the Osirak Raid
Journal of Cold War Studies , forthcoming, accepted for publication on 21 December 2018.
37 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2020
Date Written: May 23, 2017
The Israeli June 1981 raid against the Iraqi nuclear reactor ‘Osirak’ has received much attention in the context of debate on the usefulness of strikes against hostile nuclear programs. Yet surprisingly, some important historical questions were left up till now unanswered: how did the raid impact the formulation of Reagan’s non-proliferation policy and how was the raid perceived by relevant administration officials? How did the administration design its political strategy of response to the raid and how did this strategy play out at the International Atomic Energy Agency? What does this episode tell us about Reagan’s foreign policy priorities? By exploring recently declassified document from several archives around the world, our study addresses the following questions, and in the process, we debunk revisionist myths relating to the raid.
Keywords: Israel, Iraq, Nuclear, Osirak, Strike
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