Israel's nuclear program, especially the reactor at Dimona, which serves as its lead installation, has not gone unnoticed here or abroad. But the United States, traditionally a champion of Israeli interests, has refused to take action that might be regarded as inimical to Israel or as challenging its nuclear advances. At most, the United States has urged "restraint," 44 suggesting also that the Israeli weapons not be tested. It has done this despite a national policy that proclaims nonproliferation as a priority objective and the obvious fact that American national interests dictate that the Middle East, of all areas in the world, remain free of nuclear weapons.
In summary, forty-four years after Hiroshima and four decades after the knowledge of the bomb's dreadful potential for ending civilization, the two leading powers of the day are engaged in the process of accumulating weapons as never before in history. There is no rational purpose for these weapons. The superpowers already have enough on hand to deter each other a thousand times over.
The weapons currently being acquired by the superpowers are clearly designed for first-strike purposes. Their mission is to execute with impunity a disarming first strike and to deny the other side the capability and will to retaliate. Success in a first strike, however, cannot be assured without the availability of a defensive shield (i.e., SDI) to protect the friendly forces against the possibility of retaliation. This is the area the superpowers are focusing on next, to the detriment of their own security and the future of all civilization.