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Revisiting Osirak: Preventive Attacks and Nuclear Proliferation Risks

Braut-Hegghammer, Målfrid

International Security, Summer 2011, Vol.36(1), p.101 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Revisiting Osirak: Preventive Attacks and Nuclear Proliferation Risks
  • Author: Braut-Hegghammer, Målfrid
  • Description: Thirty years after the Israeli attack on the Osirak reactor in June 1981 the consequences for Iraq's nuclear weapons program remain hotly debated. A new history of this program, based on several new Iraqi sources, yields a net assessment of the impact of the Israeli attack that differs from prevailing accounts. The attack had mixed effects: it triggered a covert nuclear weapons program that did not previously exist, while necessitating a more difficult and time-consuming technical route to developing nuclear weapons. Notwithstanding gross inefficiencies in the ensuing program, a decade later Iraq stood on the threshold of a nuclear weapons capability. This case suggests that preventive attacks can increase the long-term proliferation risk posed by the targeted state. [PUBLICATION ]
  • Is Part Of: International Security, Summer 2011, Vol.36(1), p.101
  • Identifier: ISSN: 01622889 ; E-ISSN: 15314804 ; DOI: 10.1162/ISEC_a_00046
  • Subjects: Iraq ; Israel ; National Security ; Nuclear Weapons ; Military Engagements ; Arms Control & Disarmament
  • Language: English

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