SIPRI: Israel has close to 100 nuclear warheads


Report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) says there’s an estimated 13,865 nuclear weapons in the hands of nine states’, Anna Ahronheim, June 17, 2019, jpost.com

I’m going to paste most of the author’s coverage of the report given that the technical information about the different kinds of fissile material used, the delivery systems, the numbers of nukes, etc. can be good to know.  What doesn’t seem to be covered, and may not be knowable, is the yield of any of these nukes: blast radius, ‘equaling X tons of TNT’, and so on. My ignorance on the subject is almost total.

But feel free to jump down to Whitney Webb’s exposé below the dotted line if the following is all too much information.

“While Israel has a long-standing policy of not commenting on its nuclear arsenal, according to the report there are approximately 30 that are gravity bombs, which can be delivered by fighter jets – some of which are believed to be equipped for nuclear weapon delivery – and approximately 50 warheads that can be delivered by land-based ballistic missiles such as the Jericho III intermediate-range ballistic missile – which, according to foreign reports, has a range of 5,500 km.

The report also mentioned the numerous unconfirmed reports that Israel has modified its fleet of German-built Dolphin class submarines to carry nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missiles, giving it a sea-based second-strike capability.

According to the report, at the start of 2019 there were approximately 13,865 nuclear weapons in the hands of nine states – the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea – of which 3,750 were deployed with operational forces and another estimated 2,000 kept in a state of high operational alert.

Russia and the US collectively account for over 90% of global nuclear weapons, the report found, with 6,500 in Moscow’s arsenal and Washington possessing 6,185 nuclear weapons. The UK was reported to have 200, France 300, Israel between 80 and 90, Pakistan between 150 and 160, India between 130 and 140, China 290 and North Korea between 20 and 30 nuclear weapons.

Iran was reported to be continuing to implement the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and was not mentioned in the report as having any nuclear weapons.

According to the report, the US has 1,750 deployed nuclear warheads and another 4,435 “other warheads,” including operational ones held in storage and retired warheads awaiting dismantling. Russia, by comparison, has 1,600 deployed warheads with 4,900 other warheads; the UK has 120 deployed warheads and France has 280.

The other countries, including Israel, had no deployed nuclear warheads.
[I find that extremely a highly dubious claim.]

The raw material for nuclear weapons is fissile material, either highly enriched uranium (HEU) or separated plutonium.

According to the report, China, France, Russia, the UK and the US have produced both HEU and plutonium for use in their nuclear weapons, while India and Israel have produced mainly plutonium. Pakistan has mainly produced HEU, but it is expanding its ability to produce plutonium. North Korea has produced plutonium for use in nuclear weapons, but may have produced HEU as well.

Despite the high number of nuclear warheads, the report noted that the inventories of the nuclear-armed states continue to decline, due in large part to Russia and the US reducing their arsenals in line with the 2010 Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START) while also making unilateral reductions.
Nevertheless, both countries “have extensive and expensive programs underway to replace and modernize their nuclear warheads, missile and aircraft delivery systems and nuclear weapons production facilities,” the report said.

While the nuclear arsenals of the other seven nuclear-armed states are “considerably smaller,” they all are either developing or deploying new weapons systems or have announced their intention to do so.

The report stated that China is gradually increasing the size and diversifying the composition of its nuclear arsenal, while North Korea continues to prioritize its military nuclear program as a central element of its national security strategy.
Rivals India and Pakistan are both expanding their military fissile material production capabilities “on a scale that may lead to significant increases in the size of their nuclear weapon inventories over the next decade,” the report said.
The report acknowledged that the availability of reliable information on the status of nuclear arsenals and the capabilities of nuclear-armed countries varies significantly depending on the state.

The 202 comments are…instructive, let’s say.  ‘Those Muslim-loving Swedes’, we have more’, we need more!’, etc.

………………………………………………………………………………………..

I’d borrowed the coverage above from a link in Whitney Webb’s:

Israel’s Secretive Nuclear Facility Leaking as Watchdog Finds Israel Has Nearly 100 Nukes’; Israel is one of only five nations in the world that refuse to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, an international treaty aimed at ending the proliferation of nuclear weapons and achieving global nuclear disarmament,  Whitney Webb, mintpressnews.com, June 17, 2019

She first offers a look at the SIPRI Yearbook 2019 Report (24 pg. pdf), then links to the Jerusalem Post coverage. 

SIPRI was unable, however, to confirm those estimates with Israel’s government, which has a long-standing policy of refusing to comment on its nuclear weapons program — a policy it describes as “nuclear ambiguity.”

As a result of this “nuclear ambiguity” policy, the actual number of Israeli nuclear weapons is unknown. Some other organizations, such as the U.S.-based Nuclear Threat Initiative, have estimated that Israel has produced enough weapons-grade plutonium to arm between 100 and 200 nuclear warheads[She adds this graphic from the SIPRI report; (click for larger, then Go Back)]


“During a speech last August in front of the Dimona nuclear reactor in the Negev Desert, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to use nuclear weapons to “wipe out” Israel’s enemies. More recently, Netanyahu and his allies in the U.S. accused Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, despite the fact that intelligence agencies of both the U.S. and Israel have long recognized that Iran has no such program.

Unsafe, but only for those whose lives don’t matter

Just as the new SIPRI report has again brought scrutiny to Israel’s nuclear program, new information about Israel’s nuclear facility — the Shimon Peres Negev Nuclear Research Center, which houses the Dimona reactor — has also raised concerns about the facility’s safety.

Late last week, an Israeli court heard arguments that the site had leaked radioactive waste on more than one occasion and that information about those leaks had been hidden from some of the facility’s employees. One of those employees, Faridi Taweel, is suing the facility after learning he had cancer, which he suspects was the result of exposure to leaked radioactive material at the site.”

The exposure of the numerous leaks at the Dimona facility is greatly concerning, especially in light of the revelation just a few years ago that the Dimona reactor is believed, according to a group of Israeli scientists, to have an estimated 1,537 defects. Israel has reportedly refused to consider replacing or fixing the aging nuclear core.

The fact that the site has leaked and is rife with defects should be a major issue for Israelis, as the facility is just 30 miles south of Israel’s capital Tel Aviv. Yet it is the city of Dimona itself that is in the greatest danger, as it is located just eight miles from the highly defective reactor.

[No wonder Bibi moved the capital to Jerusalem…]

“But Dimona is largely populated by Jews from Northern Africa. This minority, referred to as “Black Hebrews” in Israel, is routinely discriminated against by Israel’s government, a recent example of which was the revelation of a covert Israeli government program of forcibly sterilizing African Jewish immigrants.

In addition to its large population of African Jews, Dimona and the surrounding Negev Desert are home to several Palestinian Bedouin villages, villages that are frequently labeled as “illegal” and demolished by Israel’s government. The fact that there is no political will or effort to clean up the site or prevent future leaks, coupled with the fact that the most at-risk populations are minorities frequently discriminated against by Israel’s government, reveals yet another troubling and overlooked aspect of Israel’s secretive nuclear program.”

File under ‘Lord luv a duck’: ‘A winnable nuclear war? New Pentagon document shows US military thinks so’, 19 Jun, 2019, RT.com

“The Pentagon document laying out the US doctrine of nuclear operations was publicly available for about a week, then made ‘official use only.’ What’s inside is a chilling reminder that Washington sees nuclear war as winnable.

“Nuclear Operations,” or Joint Publication 3-72, was dated on June 11 and made private since, but not before it was downloaded by Steven Aftergood, an activist at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS). It is currently available on the FAS website as a PDF.

The publication “provides fundamental principles and guidance to plan, execute, and assess nuclear operations.” The rest of it is in the same matter-of-fact tone, even when discussing practical consideration of potentially world-ending weapons.

“That kind of thinking itself can be hazardous. It can make that sort of eventuality more likely instead of deterring it,” Aftergood told the Guardian on Wednesday.

The Trump administration has paid a lot of attention to nuclear matters, updating the US Nuclear Posture Review last year and earmarking funds for modernizing the US “nuclear triad”: bombers, land-based missiles and submarines. However, Trump has also announced the US would leave the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Russia by next month. The fate of the New START arms control treaty with Russia, set to expire in February 2021, is very much up in the air.

In such circumstances, the Joint Chiefs doctrine stating that “Using nuclear weapons could create conditions for decisive results and the restoration of strategic stability,” might be taken as a cause for alarm, and with good reason.

The document also describes nuclear bombers as offering “the greatest degree of flexibility in the triad because they can be a highly visible sign of resolve and, once ordered to conduct a nuclear strike, are recallable.” It’s a dry, factual statement, but when coupled with the presence of B-52 strategic bombers on Russian borders earlier this week, it begins to sound like a threat.”

Why was it public for a week, then made private?  Just a strategic leak by way of an object lesson?

there’s no such a thing as a winnable war
it’s a lie we don’t believe any more…

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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wendy davis's picture

@RyanHillMI 4h4 hours ago
Replying to @realDonaldTrump

Sounds like a Rock Solid Plan!

Q: "How will you respond, Mr. President?"

President Trump: "You'll find out”

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wendy davis's picture

modi is amerika's and israel's bitch:

India deploys warships to Persian Gulf amid rising tensions between US and Iran (PHOTOS), 20 Jun, 2019, RT.com

"Designating the move “Operation Sankalp” (resolution), an Indian Navy spokesperson announced on Thursday that two warships would be deployed for “maritime security” in the troubled waters between Iran, Oman and Saudi Arabia. The vessels will be backed up by air cover and surveillance assets."

"Proving that they are not messing around and given the still highly volatile situation, one of the vessels New Delhi has sent out for security detail is the INS Chennai, a stealth guided-missile destroyer regarded as one of the most powerful warships in India’s fleet.

sorry to be hogging the comments./s

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To even comment on this insanity anymore. I don't know whether to cry, shriek, or hit something. Fat lot of good any of that does either.

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wendy davis's picture

@lizzyh7

and when i'd seen your comment a bit ago, i'd had to get off-line and spend some time figuring out how to answer. my mind was tumbling and turning with past images, as well as current ones...and my eyes felt like they were in the mode of a jail-house stare, unfocused, but burning with withheld rage.

the current zeitgeist is so far past surreal that it's almost unimaginable: where (convenient) lies pass as Truth, where Evil lurks anywhere the western empire and its client states say it does, no challenges to a multi-polar world are permitted, in which sunni v. shi'ite divisions rule (for the sunni nations, anyway); in which iran, russia, and venezuela, syria, have been labeled as evil, ruled by dictators who kill their own people... and they all must be put down.

it's all so thru the looking glass now, but it's been comin' for so many years. and the main publisher of truth may die in belmarsh gitmo. and what can we who want peace do? well, never mind; the only way i might answer would show my cynicism writ large, cuz after all, there's an election afoot!

blessing to you, lizzy7, and to all of us. many say we can't change the world, only ourselves: transcend. i'm crap at meditation, but (on edit)what good would that do for those being murdered, bombed, starved and immiserated by sanctions)

on later edit: i'm seeing peace medal obomba allocating how many trillions over ten years to 'upgrade the US nuclear arsenal', calling the maduro 'regime' (as trump followed later) a 'direct threat to amerikan national security', deporting millions of would-be immigrants, then paying nieto to stop them at the southern border of mexico, keeping the rest in cages with space blankets on concrete floors, now trump tripling down on that fukkerry....NATO surrounding russia with new cold war members and those 'under nato's umbralla' causing russia to build up its supply of nukes for defense, perhaps similarly for north korea.

and so much more. but we've been watching 'Selma', a biopic of MLK, jr., and the blind hatred against 'nigras' in the south is so similar to the zeitgeist today: castigating whole nations/rulers/religions as The Other, thus deserving of being destroyed/em>, when we are all descendants of One Man, One Woman (in the kalahari desert male dna), which exoduses around and across the globe found skin and eye color adapting to new climates....plus, we are all made of stardust, aren't we?

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wendy davis's picture

and tonight's closing song is by bluesman Timmy Thomas, published in 1972. good night. a good song for bedtime. ; )

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@wendy davis

Here's the rendition of that tune that made me fall in love with it, from the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1984:

And, just to link the two renditions together, here's Sade Adu with none other than Carlos Santana:

Give rose

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

wendy davis's picture

@thanatokephaloides

thank you for both.

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skod's picture

literally: http://fissilematerials.org/library/gla77.pdf

I still have my shopworn copy of the 1962 edition. If you want to know about blast effects, here is the authoritative place to learn. But be forewarned: it will cost you some sleep.

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wendy davis's picture

@skod

600 pages? ay yi yi! guess i won't have to lose any more sleep. ; )

thanks for the opportunity to learn, though, skod.

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wendy davis's picture

the big news this morning is this crazy report on trump's terrifying loose-cannon flips on a military assault on iran. the RT coverage was unintelligible, but bless his heart, bill van auken has it up, and explains at length:

Trump escalates war threats after drone shootdown over Iran’, Bill Van Auken, 21 June 2019, wsws.org

it's very long, and you may want to read it all, but here are the most salient details:

"US President Donald Trump authorized military strikes against Iran Thursday before unexpectedly cancelling them, the New York Times reported. The abrupt move leaves open the imminent possibility of a major new war in the Middle East with the potential to kill millions and spark a global military conflict.

The Times reported on Thursday that “Officials said the president had initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries.”

The news came after Trump delivered a series of contradictory statements threatening retaliation over the Iranian downing of a unmanned drone spying on Iranian territory, while at the same time suggesting that the action may have been a “mistake” committed by a member of the Iranian military.

The US administration’s real intentions remain opaque. Trump summoned top congressional leaders to the White House “situation room” late Thursday for a classified briefing on Iran. Those attending included Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate intelligence and armed services committees.

Such a meeting could well be the prelude to US military action.

Trump’s claim that the shootdown of the drone was a “mistake” is wildly at odds with what the Iranian government itself has said.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) immediately claimed responsibility for shooting down the drone, which took place near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, declaring that the action was meant to send a message to Washington.

“The message is that the guardians of the borders of Islamic Iran will decisively respond to the violation of any stranger to this land,” Gen. Hossein Salami, commander of the IRGC, said on Thursday. “The only solution for the enemies is to respect the territorial integrity and national interests of Iran,” he added in a speech that was broadcast live on Iranian television.

The drone that was destroyed by an Iranian surface-to-air missile was an RQ-4B Global Hawk, used by the US Navy as a “Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System.” These aircraft, which have the wingspan of a 737 passenger jet, are stuffed with electronic surveillance equipment and cost the Pentagon upwards of $200 million apiece.

As in the case of the claims of Iranian responsibility for the damage to tankers in the Gulf of Oman, no evidence has been provided to substantiate the latest US charges over the downing of the drone.

The unmanned aircraft was being used to spy on Iran under conditions in which Washington has steadily escalated military threats against the country, with the dispatch of a carrier battle group, a bomber strike force led by nuclear-capable B-52s and an amphibious landing group carrying US Marines. This has been followed by the dispatch to the region of first 1,500 and then another 1,000 US troops, all in the name of “deterring” unsubstantiated claims of Iranian threats to “US interests” in the region."

all begging some big Qs, of course, who are the 'officials' who'd told the NYT that? and was it all true?

RT has this weird story this morning: Iran denies reports Trump sent warning about imminent attack in retaliation for downed US drone

"Iran's top national security official has denied a Reuters report claiming that Tehran had received a low-key message via Oman from the US warning of an imminent attack on the Islamic Republic.

"The US didn’t send any message,” Keyvan Khosravi, spokesman for the National Security Council, told Iranian television.

“This issue is not in any way correct.”

The comment dismissed a previous report by Reuters, which cited unnamed Iranian officials as saying that Donald Trump had warned Tehran of a military strike and also gave a time to respond. The message was reportedly delivered via Oman and followed the downing of a US spy UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) earlier in the week.

Apart from the Reuters report, other media, like New York Times, cited sources as saying that Trump had, in fact, ordered a limited military response, but then abruptly called off the mission."

i'll be back in a bit; got chores to do for now.

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wendy davis's picture

but loads of sites have reprinted it, as this one has:

'Donald Trump approves strikes on Iran, but then abruptly pulls back', timesoindia.com

but by this morning, trump says that he wasn't aware that this would have been a disproportionate response. when did he ever care about that?

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Big Al's picture

@wendy davis and people are actually giving him some kind of credit for this? Disproportionate? Fuck that. And him saying "Iran will never have a nuke". Oh fuck that too, the lying piece of shit. When people read these tweets, most are failing to recognize what he's talking about is all illegal and unconstitutional, not to mention bending all logic and reason, Orwell style.
Back from the wilderness.

Btw, Tulsi Gabbard was fully on board the illegal sanctions against Iran which led to the pull out by Trump from the JCPOA which led to what we're seeing. The democratic party was unanimous in its vote for the sanctions.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

my guess on the whole bloody affair. nah, he wouldn't have given a flying fart about 'disproportionality'. his hands may not be as bloody yet as obomba's, but they will be soon.

but me, i think it was a palace coup by haspel, pompeo, and bolton, and somehow henry kissinger meeting w/ the penatagon had something to do with it. but as DT said: 'we're Cocked and Loaded'.

but come on, big al; so many candidates are now Peace Candidates and Peace Elected Congresscritters! of course we want to know more about the meeting in the sit room, i'm sure the Ds will offer a few feeble objections.

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Big Al's picture

@wendy davis that's just a bunch of hooey, just like Obama winning the fucking Nobel peace prize.
Hell, Gabbard should be in seventh heaven now with the idea of using her war OF terror AUMF to attack Iran, seeing's how she's a "hawk" for the war on terror.

Until a candidate actually renounces U.S. imperialism and militarism, there will be no peace candidates.
Besides, we're talking about the democratic party, but you know that.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

i do know that. ; ) but not only miz gabbard, but mr. sanders is all: 'no war on iran!'

the DSAs and 'progressives' (tulsi, AOC, warren, et.al.) who'd signed silcon valley ro khanna's letter to the secretary of gunboat diplomacy pompeo struck me as the most hypocritical earlier on: 'criminalizing the maduro regime that shoots its own citizens, stole the elections, immiserated the citizenry w/ its corruption', etc. but No regime change! (ah, but if there's an R2P to come to save the citizens...) Meh.

dunno what's in her heart, but many folks have brought videos of gabbard's challenges to DT over war with iran here. and of course such severe sanctions are simply war by other means, as well as blockading oil, as w/ VZ as well.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@wendy davis @wendy davis

...... doesn't go anywhwere. It returns error 404 from The Times' own server.

Please try this one instead: Donald Trump approves strikes on Iran, but then abruptly pulls back

Smile

edit: Govind Sarda from the linked article's Comment section: "Trump is the biggest clown of this century"
Read more at:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/69895499.cms?utm_source=c...

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

wendy davis's picture

@thanatokephaloides

failed, but that link isn't a reprint of the original NYT piece, as far as i can tell: this is: 'Trump approves strikes on Iran, but then abruptly pulls back'
By MICHAEL D. SHEAR, ERIC SCHMITT, MICHAEL CROWLEY AND MAGGIE HABERMAN The New York Times News Service, miamiherald.com, june 20

i hadn't been able to copy paste from the india times version earlier today, which is why i went in search of another reprint.

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wendy davis's picture

it's immortal technique aiding a 2011 (iirc) speech of mumia abu jamal's from prison. he says it right, and was prescient as all giddy-up. best to all of you in search of peace on the planet.

(the lyrics)

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Bob In Portland's picture

When Mordecai Vanunu exposed the Israeli nuclear program, this must have been back in the 80s, I thought he said that Israel had 200 nukes. Maybe they exchanged them for multi-warhead missiles or some other improvement in killing potential.

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wendy davis's picture

@Bob In Portland

i'd always thought that the guesstimate was about 40, dunno what kind, etc. but unfortunately this from w. webb's boldedlink went to the dimona reactor's leak, so i have no idea what that date may have been.:

As a result of this “nuclear ambiguity” policy, the actual number of Israeli nuclear weapons is unknown. Some other organizations, such as the U.S.-based Nuclear Threat Initiative, have estimated that Israel has produced enough weapons-grade plutonium to arm between 100 and 200 nuclear warheads.

i'm not even familiar with mr. vanunu's name, sadly.

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