In the weeks preceding Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address to Congress the Pentagon declassified a 1987 Department of Defense analysis report on Israel’s nuclear weapons capabilities. The move was done without ceremony and without uttering a peep.
Israel has been a known nuclear power but has never formally declared themselves as one, worried that doing so would have triggered a nuclear arms race amongst their neighbors.
The groundwork for the release of this report was laid three years ago by a FOIA request but had been, until recently, moving at the snail’s pace more common with the Obama administration’s FOIA compliance. In addition to the timing, the release has also received criticism because the original DOD report also gave analysis of several NATO nations, such as Italy, France, and West Germany, but those portions remain classified. Only the analysis of Israel was released to the public.
Was it retaliation for Netanyahu refusing to play ball in the undermining of Israel’s security and maintaining relations with their primary ally? Israel seems to think so.
The declassified Pentagon report in full: